Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce that one of the stars of it’s annual Airshow on the 1st and 2nd August has been confirmed as the helicopter used in the iconic final scenes of ‘Goldfinger’ as it transports a dirty bomb to Fort Knox. The helicopter was flown in the film by the character “Pussy Galore” played by the incomparable Honor Blackman. The Airfield is thrilled to further be able to announce that Ms. Blackman will also be in attendance over the weekend, and will once again take to the sky in the helicopter, recreating one of cinema’s most recognisable and iconic moments.
Honor Blackman last saw the Hiller helicopter in 1963 whilst filming ‘Goldfinger’. The scenes shot of her piloting the helicopter, complete with the ‘atomic device’ designed to render the US gold reserves worthless, formed part of a film that turned the character of James Bond into a phenomenon and changed cinema forever.
After ‘Goldfinger’ Honor Blackman flew to Hollywood to make Moment to Moment with the famous director, Randall Kleiser. She then returned to the UK to launch herself into a vast realm of film and TV. She’s still a regular on the stage and TV. Her one woman show recently toured the UK to critical acclaim and she has recently been seen in the latest series of “You, Me & Them” with Anthony Head and Eve Myles.
The Hiller has had a somewhat less glamorous career. Despite appearances in other films, most notably costarring alongside Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in ‘The VIP’s’, the helicopter was destined to spend 35 years in service before unceremoniously languishing in the back of a hangar. In 1999, however, a four-year restoration project was started that saw the aircraft returned to service, and it has since appeared in numerous Bond related productions, as well as appearances in ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘The Royal’.
The restoration has seen the Hiller painted in the same livery used in ‘Goldfinger’ and in 2014 was the stand out star of the world-famous Freddie March Spirit of Aviation Display at the Goodwood Revival.
At the Old Buckenham Airshow, the Hiller will once again take centre stage. Appearing in the flying displays on both days, as well as taking Honor Blackman for a ride after a gap of fifty years, the Airshow will be making the most of her Bond connections. A special display including Aston Martin DB5’s will be created for the weekend, allowing visitors the chance to see an incredible piece of Hollywood history at close quarters and in suitable company.
Airshow Organiser, Matt Wilkins “There can be no real doubt of the impact and lasting influence that ‘Goldfinger’ had on popular culture and we are ecstatic to be able to wind the clock back fifty years by reuniting two of its stars. Whilst the ‘Goldfinger’ helicopter has been displayed at many prestigious events since her restoration, this will be the only occasion where you’ll see ‘Pussy Galore’ reunited with her helicopter, all within a specially created display celebrating one of the greatest films ever made.”
This is not the first time that Old Buckenham has welcomed A list Hollywood stars such as Honor Blackman. The original Operations Officer was Jimmy Stewart and Walter Matthau served at the Airfield whilst it was active in wartime use as the home of the 453rd Bombardment Group from 1943 – 1945. In order to celebrate the indelible connection with the US, the theme of this year’s Airshow is ‘America’ and it will feature a weekend of celebrations of the United States.
The Old Buckenham Airshow runs on the 1st and 2nd August 2015. In recent years, the Airshow has cemented its position as the largest in Norfolk and Suffolk and it was the only Airshow to appear in Country Life’s list of the 100 events that made up the ‘Greatest Summer Ever’ in 2012; a list that included events such as Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.