Filmfacts & Trivia

  • A total of nine models of the Firefox were built. Six were used as miniatures for filming, two remote-controlled versions actually flew, and one was built to full scale specifications. Several flying shots were later re-used in Back to the Future Part II (1989).
  • The story is loosely based on an actual event where a Soviet fighter pilot defected to Japan in the mid 1970s.
  • The cockpit section of the helicopter gunship chasing Gant is adapted from the Aerospatiale Gazelles used for the filming of the motion picture Blue Thunder (1983)
  • The original plan was to use a Swedish JA 37 Viggen jetfighter as the Soviet aircraft, but the Swedish government refused this request.

  • Prior to the release of the movie, the cover art for the novel Firefox showed an aircraft similar to a MiG-25 Foxbat. After the release of the movie, the cover art was updated to reflect the design of the movie version of the aircraft.
  • Incidentally, there really is a MiG-31, and it's a modified version of the MiG-25 called the "Foxhound."
  • Because his role in the movie required him in part to speak Russian, Clint Eastwood prepared by studying Russian with resources provided by the military's Defense Language Institute in Presidio of Monterey, California (which is just north of Carmel, California).
  • The fuselage of the full scale mockup Firefox was built around the framework of an old radio tower with most of it's exterior panels fabricated out of plywood. It had a Volkswagen motor mounted internally with a chain-driven rear wheel for the taxiing sequences (which were filmed at Edwards AFB).
  • The footage of the British submarine breaking the icecap is recycled from Ice Station Zebra (1968).