EXT. SKIES OVER FRANCE 1917 - DAY
CAMERA drifts towards a large puffy cloud floating 6000ft above the
French countryside ...
... a roar of engines - sounding like angry buzzing bees - and three
... six ... NINE SOPWITH CAMEL FIGHTER PLANES emerge from the cloud,
flying in tight formation. These are frail looking, but deadly single
seat BIPLANES, each armed with twin Vickers machine guns. The height of
1917 aircraft design, built for the sole purpose of blasting German
planes out of the skies.
SUPER "FRANCE 1917"
JACK DRISCOLL and his buddy, MATT HAMON are flying two of the CAMELS at
the rear of the formation. An UPTIGHT BRIT - McKECKNIE, is flying along
side them. He's as JUMPY AS HELL, scanning the skies for enemy planes.
MATT looks around furtively. None of the other pilots are looking in
their direction. With practiced skill, MATT reaches down for something
in his tiny cockpit ... HE STANDS UP, wedging the control column
between his knees and turns back towards JACK'S Camel ... a BASEBALL IN
HIS HAND!! With equal proficiency, JACK jams his control column between
his knees and stands, brandishing a BASEBALL BAT! Both pranksters have
to fight against the fierce slipstream as MATT THROWS THE BALL.I across
fifty feet of sky towards JACK! He prepares to swing, but the ball
FALLS SHORT, getting MINCED in JACK'S propeller! A quick look around to
make sure no one is looking, and MATT reaches down again, grabbing
ANOTHER BASEBALL out of the bag of balls he carries in his cockpit!
MATT PITCHES it back towards JACK ... he swings and smashes the ball
into the side of McKECKNIE'S PLANE! He LEAPS WITH FRIGHT, his CAMEL
wobbling in the sky as he frantically spins around, thinking he's been
hit by enemy fire!
JACK and MATT sit in their cockpits, innocently looking the other way!
Sudden MACHINE GUN FIRE ... The SQUADRON LEADER has fired his guns to
attract the attention of all his pilots. He gestures down ...
JACK looks down ... 3 large GERMAN BOMBERS, escorted by 6 sleek
ALBATROSS fighters are heading towards Allied lines, about 1000 feet
With a wave of the SQUADRON LEADERS arm, the NINE CAMELS peel away
towards the GERMAN PLANES. The fun is over for JACK and MATT as they
grimly steer their planes into the steep dive ...
WOOD CREAKS, WIRE WHISTLES as the CAMELS shudder against the wind
resistance. Wings sometimes crumple like matchwood in dives as steep as
this. JACK squints as he lines up an ALBATROSS in his gun-sights. The
Germans have not spotted the FAST APPROACHING CAMELS ...
The Camel Pilots OPEN FIRE virtually simultaneously - 18 MACHINE GUNS
send yellow TRACER BULLETS ripping into the German planes. Within
seconds, 3 ALBATROS are destroyed! One spins away in flames, another
literally collapses under a hail of bullets and the third collides with
one of the BOMBERS, causing both planes to tumble out of the sky.
It's a turkey shoot as the CAMELS fly through the German formation,
turning sharply to attack again before the enemy pilots can recover.
McKECKNIE blasts at the NOSE GUNNER of a German BOMBER, pumping so many
bullets into his plane, the NOSE SECTION DISINTEGRATES and the GERMAN
FALLS OUT ... This is in the days before parachutes ...
CLUNK!!! The GERMAN GUNNER LANDS ON JACK'S WING!!! He desperately hangs
on, spread eagled, FINGERS GRIPPING the wing edges ... JACK stares at
him, amazed ...
This is one of those defining moments in life ... With a flick of his
CONTROL STICK, JACK could send this guy sailing into space. It is a
moment he will remember till the end of his days ... JACK makes EYE
CONTACT - the GERMAN is terrified, helpless ...