|Equipment & Vehicles|
|Top Speed:|| 4567 mph
|Main Operator:||Air Terrainean|
|Appearances:|| Trapped in the Sky|
The Impostors (cameo)
The Duchess Assignment (cameo)
The Man From MI.5 (cameo)
Security Hazard (flashback)
Fireflash is a hypersonic airliner capable of travelling at six times the speed of sound carrying at least 600 persons. Its luxurious interior contains a comfortable lounge in each of its wings, a vehicle garage (as revealed in The Impostors) and a cockpit located in the tail fin. It has been the target of at least two separate sabotage events that have required the intervention of International Rescue.
Fireflash's nose cone contains landing sensors as well as radar and tracking systems. The main wings begin roughly halfway down the fuselage and sweep back to the very end of the plane. Each one contains a cocktail lounge with Cahelium Extract X strengthened windows that offer panoramic views. The wings have an aileron and a leading edge flap each, and when plane is landing, the ends fold down 90 degrees to deploy the nacelle undercarriage, and then, when it takes off and it is in the air, the undercart is closed and the end of each wing folds back up 90 degrees.
The tail fin contains the cockpit, allowing the pilot and co-pilot a complete view of the massive aircraft.
The Cockpit ControlsEdit
The top of the tail fin splits into two branches, each one housing three "Atomus" engines, that give Fireflash a cruising speed of 2800 mph. There are two sets of horizontal stabilising fins: one pair near the front of the fuselage, the other attached to the engines.
Forward Passenger LoungeEdit
The fuselage houses the forward passenger lounge, and has two decks, indicated by the two rows of windows seen in close-ups.
Loading is done by a hydraulic lift, that is built into parking bays at Airports.
While the reactor is capable of running for up to six months, the shielding around the reactor requires servicing at the end of every flight, limiting its flight time to around 3-4 hours before everyone aboard is exposed to lethal levels of radiation.
- Flight deck crew: At least 1 pilot and 1 co-pilot
- Manufacturer: New World Aircraft Corporation
- Maximum operating altitude: 250,000 feet
- Length: 380 feet
- Passenger deck crew: At least 20
- Power source: Atomic reactor powering six "Atomus" engines; three are in each tail fin
- Top speed: Mach 6 (about 4,567 mph)
- Wingspan:180 feet
- Weight: 1,806 tons
- Main article: Fireflash (1)
- The Impostors (cameo)
- The Duchess Assignment (cameo)
- The Man From MI.5 (cameo)
- Security Hazard (flashback)
Fireflash 1 was piloted by Captain Hanson. His Co-Pilot was unnamed. Fireflash 3's pilot was unnamed. Fireflash 4's Pilot was unnamed and his co-pilot was Bob. There was a waiter in the cocktail lounge on board Fireflash 1, and also waiter on Fireflash when Lady Penelope flew to Nice in France to meet with British secret agent Jimmy Bondson in the episode The Man From MI.5.
Fireflash has been subject to a number of sabotage attempts, the first of which was during the maiden flight of the aircraft and was a particularly notable incident due to the fact that the rescue of Fireflash, its crew and passengers introduced International Rescue to the world. The Hood planted a bomb in the undercarriage of Fireflash, inhibiting its ability to land. Early attempts to save the aircraft included the pilots carrying out violent manoeuvres to loosen the bomb, but to no avail. The second rescue attempt involved putting a man aboard the plane to remove the bomb. The task was a difficult one and the bomb was just out of reach, resulting in the man falling from the aircraft, opening a parachute and floating to the ground. International Rescue, who had been monitoring the situation, arrived with a rescue plan involving Elevator Cars to act as Fireflash's undercarriage. The rescue was successful, although it resulted in damage to Fireflash's nose as well as a few of International Rescue's Elevator Cars. (Trapped in the Sky)
Fireflashes 3, 4 and 5 were also sabotaged and went missing in the sea. This was because the international gang, Benton Aircraft Espionage, were damaging the elevator power unit. (Operation Crash-Dive)
At least three cross-sections of Fireflash, all of which were illustrated by Graham Bleathman, are known to exist.
- The first appeared in a Thunderbirds Fleetway comic.
- The second appeared in a Thunderbirds Redan comic.
- And finally, the third featured in the 50th anniversary edition of the Haynes Thunderbirds manual.
- Fireflash is distinguished to be the only non-International Rescue machine shown in the closing credits of the TV series, starting with the episode Trapped in the Sky and continuing to the end of the series.
- There was originally going to be a scene in the movie Thunderbirds Are Go showing Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward and Parker on board Fireflash flying to the United States, but it was deleted.