Author Topic: Straton 797 SST from Mayday (book and film)  (Read 127 times)

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Offline Weaver

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Straton 797 SST from Mayday (book and film)
« on: December 08, 2018, 02:06:08 pm »
The Straton 797 is a fictional supersonic passenger jet invented by author Thomas Block for his 1979 novel Mayday, in which an illegal US navy test exercise results in one of the airliners being struck by an inert missile over the Pacific. The hit kills some passengers instantly and depressurises the aircraft, causing nearly all the passengers and crew to suffer from oxygen deprivation and consequent brain damage. A few escape this fate by sheer luck and are left to try to save the aircraft. More problems are created by various cover-up/damage-limitation exercises on the part of both the USN and the airline. Thomas H. Block was a long-serving airline pilot who retired in 2000, so he knew what he was talking about and it shows. Mayday has an interesting mix of correct predictions about the future and some now-amusing anachronisms, mostly to do with computerization. The book was re-issued in 1998 with revisions and Nelson de Mille credited as co-author, but I don't know what changes were made.

McColm mentioned seeing the 2005 TV movie version on Youtube on the Movies thread, and that made me remember reading the book many years ago. Unfortunately I can't find my copy (it may have been thrown out), but I have gone digging for images and info:

Here's some info on the Straton 797 from Nelson de Mille's website, where you can read about half the first chapter too: http://nelsondemille.net/books/mayday/

Quote
As usual, the interviewer had been more interested in the Straton than in him, but he'd become accustomed to that. He ran through the standard spiel in his mind. The Straton 797 was not like the old British/French Concorde. It climbed to the same altitude the Concorde did, but it flew a little slower. Yet it was measurably more practical. Armed with some aerodynamic breakthroughs of the '90s, the Straton engineers had aimed at less speed and more size. Luxury coupled with economy of operation.

The aircraft held 40 first-class and 285 tourist-class passengers. For the interview, he remembered to mention the upper deck where the cockpit and first-class lounge were located. The lounge had a bar and piano. One day when he was feeling reckless he would tell an interviewer that it had a fireplace and pool.


The design details of the Straton 797 have varied between the various book covers and the movie version.

Here's the 1979 cover, which I still think has the best version:




Here's an image of it with swing wings (obviously based on a B-1) made by artist Franco Brambilla for a later edition:

Franco Brambilla's website (worth a look): https://francobrambilla.com/artwork/1145024-The-Real-Super-Straton.html




And here's the best still image of it from the movie that I could find. This version seems to have a blend of Concorde and 747 for the fuselage, scaled-up X-32 wings and B-2 intakes:



Here's the movie on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A55YtAKsQw8

And here's a compilation of SFX shots of just the aircraft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyykgrB-n24


As for modelling the Straton, well if I was going to, I'd go for the version on the original cover, and I'd want something like the fuselage from a 1/144th 747 with a more pointed nose grafted on, the wings and fin from a 1/72nd Concorde and the engines from a 1/72nd Hustler.




« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 02:10:37 pm by Weaver »
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Offline Tophe

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Re: Straton 797 SST from Mayday (book and film)
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 11:49:27 pm »
Good subject! :thumbsup:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Straton 797 SST from Mayday (book and film)
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 05:39:07 am »
Uh, that looks ambitious! But a great subject.  :thumbsup: