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Title:KENNEDY GIANT UNDER CONSTRUCTION [Allocated Title]
Film Number:IWM 1073
Summary: Views of the prototype Kennedy Giant aircraft under construction, presumably at Northolt in 1917.
Description: Opening panning shot across aircraft hangars, with the front of the Giant protruding from one of them. Various shots in increasing close-up of the front of the aircraft: a man inside the cockpit can be seen operating control wheels, and the serial number (2337) and identification ("[Giant Biplane] System Kennedy No 3" - the first two words are unclear) can be read on the nose. A large number of men can be seen working out on the wings in most shots. Two men, one the designer C J H Mackenzie-Kennedy himself (dressed in pilot's clothing), the other an unidentified but prosperous-looking civilian, point out details of the starboard wing. The two seen in close-up. Interior views in hangar, showing the Giant's commodious fuselage and inadequate-looking tail, with workmen among the scaffolding that supports it. The two men again, pointing out details of the starboard engines. A shot along the interior of the fuselage, with Mackenzie-Kennedy moving away from the camera towards the cockpit. Medium close-up (from behind) of Mackenzie-Kennedy standing in the cockpit (no seats fitted) demonstrating operation of twin control wheels. Note that the aircraft is seen in its original configuration, before the wings were moved back and the tail surfaces enlarged.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 364 ft; Running time: 6 mins
Notes: Summary: the aircraft was the personal project of C J H Mackenzie-Kennedy, who claimed to have pioneered aircraft production in Russia as a collaborator of Igor Sikorsky: the Giant represented an effort to emulate in Britain the success of the large Sikorsky machines. Components were built by the Gramophone Company and by Fairey Aviation, both of Hayes, Middlesex, for assembly at Northolt. The engines provided were inadequate for the large airframe (wingspan 142ft, length 80ft), and the aircraft literally did not get off the ground. The prototype, seen in this film, was left derelict at Northolt. Identification of Mackenzie-Kennedy has been confirmed by correspondence with the RAF Museum; the identity of the other man is still unknown