ACROSTAR MINI JET
(aka Bede jet) Miniature jet aircraft flown by James Bond (Roger Moore) in the Octopussy pre-credits teaser. After his plan to destroy a top-secret South American radar system goes awry, Bond escapes in his plane, hotly pursued by a heat-seeking antiaircraft missile. Diving into the radar system’s hangar, he’s able to maneuver his acrobatic plane through to the other side just as enemy soldiers are closing the hangar doors. As the doors close, the missile enters the hangar and explodes against them—obliterating the hangar, the radar system, and everything else.
The Acrostar jet, designed by Jim Bede and built, modified, and flown by veteran stunt pilot Corkey Fornof, is slightly more than three meters in length and boasts a top speed of 310 mph. It’s powered by a Micro-turbo TRS 18 engine.
The jet was originally scheduled to make its Bond debut in Moonraker. In that film’s original script, 007 and CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) arrive in Brazil and discover that a fleet of cargo planes owned by Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) are disappearing into the hinterlands. Determined to find them, Bond and Holly climb into their own mini jets and take off for a run across the jungle surrounding Angel Falls in neighboring Venezuela. During one planned action sequence, the two friendly agents engage in a bit of acrobatics that takes them through tight crevices and, at one point, behind Angel Falls itself. Then, just as they’re about to find Drax’s hidden base, they’re jumped by a flight of black twin-boom Vampire jets that try to shoot them down. However, the viability of the sequence depended on the water level in and around Angel Falls. Unfortunately, when it came time to shoot the scene, the riverbed was completely dry. So the Acrostar jet sequence was eliminated from the script, only to be resurrected for the Octopussy teaser, where only one jet was used.