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The hydrofoil

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Accidents
Ken Adam Artist
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When you are dealing with new things, like underwater battles, of course accidents happen, and the man who directed the underwater sequence had one of these arrows shot right through the thigh.

And also we had... I had to design this Vulcan bomber, which makes a false landing in the Bahamas, in... in the water, with the two nuclear weapons on either side. And so we built part of the Vulcan bomber, full size, and then we had a model, which must have been 14ft, probably, or something like that, wingspan, if not bigger, of the Vulcan crashing or landing in... in the water of... of Nassau. And we had this stuntman from Ivan Tors’, who was the dead pilot in the full sized Vulcan, and in the film you see him, you know, surrounded by the... and the nuclear bombs have gone, and we gave him an alarm system that if he felt anything was wrong or wanted to come, because we sank that Vulcan in about 50ft of water, we would get him out as quickly as possible. Well, something did go wrong, but he didn't... being a professional stuntman, he didn't want to spoil the scene so he didn't send the alarm or press the alarm until sometime later, and by the time we got him out he was in a bad way. Fortunately, he didn't lose his life, you know, but I'm just saying that, because in the Bond pictures there were really people taking some serious risks, and also lost their lives, unfortunately.

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Vulcan bomber, Bahamas, Nassau, Ivan Tors

Duration: 2 minutes, 34 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 October 2011