The airport / air-circus sequences were filmed at Santa Maria Municipal Airport in California. The "Bigelow" building, built for the movie, was moved in 1992 to a new location across from the Museum of Flight.
"There is an airshow performer, Dr D, who uses the Rocketeer's opening sequence music for his aerobatic routine. Dr D does not do the now popular, fast paced, gyroscopic type routine. He does what he calls old time aerobatics in his immaculate '46 Taylorcraft that he restored himself. His routine is slow, graceful, and is beautifully choreographed to the Rocketeer theme. I love airplanes, period, but Dr D's routine actually brought tears to my eyes." -- Georgia Trehey
The airplane that Cliff Secord flys in the comic book as well as the film is based on these historical aircraft. The original plane was black on yellow as was the plane in the comic book and the beginning of the movie. A black on white paint scheme a repaint for the ending of the film.
Steve Hinton, former air racer and current President of Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino CA, flew the replica BeeGee in the Rocketeer feature film.
ILM brought the Luxemburg (LZ131) to life -- it never existed. It was patterned after the Hindenburg (LZ129) and its sister ship, the Graf Zeppelin II (LZ130). In the late 1920s and through the late 1930s, these great passenger ships -- over 800' long -- made regularly scheduled transatlantic flights. The Graf Zeppelin (LZ127) made a round-the-world demonstration flight -- in 1929! The LZ127 and LZ130 were dismantled in 1940.
If you'd like to learn more about these mammoth passenger ships, visit the websites below.
The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only. This site was created, written, and is maintained by John Dziadecki. Images and quotes not the author's remain in the copyright of the originator. Please send comments, suggestions and possible links to: John.Dziadecki@colorado.edu