29/1-2017, updated 30/6-2017 by MS
After a pleasant night Bond is taking a flight to Tokyo as passenger in this fabulous plane. However the female pilot, Helga Brandt (Karin Dor) refuses his offer of personal protection and she is trapping Bond in the back seat instead. After starting a fire in the cabin she leaves the plane by parachute. Of course Bond manage to get free and make a emergency landing without landing gear. Opposite 007, the plane did not survive the landing...
The Meyers 200D is the child of the aircraft designer Allen H. Meyers (1908-1976), who is a member of Pioneer Aviation Hall of Fame.
The plane is developed from the MAC-145 and is a low-wing, full-metal construction with single, normally aspirated piston engine, and fully retractable gear. The plane debuted in 1955 and got attention thanks to its lines, flying cababilities and very solid construction - the sturdy airframe from inox steel with "roll cage" which was protecting cabin crew. The plane is developed by a flying enthousiast and skilled engineer all in one, but never got any Airworthiness Directive from FAA - from several Meyers accidents noted there were no deads noticed.
Meyers Aircraft Company produced around 45 planes model 200's in different versions. After acquisition by North American Rockwell's Aero Commander Division in 1966 the company built 83 planes (SN 301-383) known as Aero Commander 200D - but this production stopped in 1968 due to economical reasons.
At Meyer's plant each plane was manually build without special toolings - except some wooden- and cardboard templates hanging on the walls . And of course the worker's notepads and their know-how. According to notes it took around 10 000 man hours to build one plane, so production was not profitable. And within 2 years they lost over a 1 million USD.
The plane however fully deserves it's apperance in a Bond movie. Nice lines, rare type, and very fast. The Meyers 200 was the fastest, normally aspirated, production piston single-engine 4-seat aircraft ever built. In 1966, a Meyers 200A set the world speed record for Class C-1.b Group 1 - at 227,24 mph over a 3 kilometer closed course. That record lasted for almost 18 years. Standard production Aero Commander 200D, in Class C-1c scored 239.5 mph over the same 3 kilometer closed course.
For the movie the producers hired the plane SN 333, original tail number N 427 VV. It was at the time owned by Suzan Olivier , an American actress, TV director and pilot, who 1 year later became the fourth woman to fly a single-engine aircraft solo across the Atlantic Ocean and the second to do it from New York City. She did it in the same plane used for filming. She died in 1992.
Plane with state "last flown in June 2002" was advertised for sale in Southwick, Massachusetts - price less than 100.000 USD. Ad date - unknown.
"200D for sale
Good news - this beautiful and rare bird is still operational - registration is valid, registered to private person, operates in the same Massachusetts area.(status for 01.2016)"
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