In limbo for almost 25 years, Pink Tails—George Lucas’ sweeping aerial epic concerning the Tuskegee Airmen of World Struggle II—lastly hits theaters at this time. Purple Tails spends a lot of its time within the cockpits of P-51s because the Airmen battle and dodge their approach via a flurry of fireside. And since Lucas spent 1 / 4 century and tens of millions of his personal dollars to deliver to the film to life, it is no shock that his group obsessive about getting the World Warfare II–era particulars good.

“There’s historic footage in all places,” says visible results supervisor Craig Hammack. “You possibly can watch previous John Wayne films that have been shot with actual airplanes. So individuals have a basic concept of the capabilities of the planes, and find out how to inform that story and keep true to these dynamics is a problem.”

The visible results staff began its analysis by analyzing historic footage and flight simulator video games to get a great understanding of P-51 flight dynamics. Then Lucas referred to as in Ed Shipley, an acrobatic pilot of P-51s, to assist. “He is an absolute professional,” Hammack says. “And so he was all the time made out there to speak by means of dynamics of the scenes.” The actors who portrayed Tuskegee pilots additionally studied with actual surviving airmen to find out how they managed their planes.

On set, the crew constructed cockpits—and, in some instances, whole mocked-up planes—for the actors to take a seat in. To get the jumpy, jolted look of 1940s fight, the crew relied on a hand-operated gimbal—a platform outfitted with extenders that crew members might maintain and manipulate. “The factor about these planes, particularly within the first a part of the film, is that they are presupposed to be type of simply buckets of bolts up there,” Hammack says. “You need somewhat little bit of shimmy, slightly little bit of sudden rattling type of happening.” The hand-operated gimbal delivered this type of imprecise, natural motion completely, and it was quicker to make use of, too.