Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Guide to the Aircraft of Tintin Volume 1

Hergé the creator of Tintin was a fastidious cartoonist and he attempted in great detail to make his drawings accurate in the sense that all the vehicles and equipment that were depicted  in the Tintin comics were inspired by actual objects and things that existed in real life. 

Being a minor aviation enthusiast myself, I have undertaken a sort of fun project to identify all the real life aircraft that make their appearance in the Tintin comics, some of them were easy to identify but some of them required a lot of googling to find out what the name of the plane was. What is shown here is just a few of the planes from a selected few of Tintin's escapades and I shall be updating this slowly if time permits. 

Real planes on top, Tintin planes on the bottom in case it isn't clear. Clicking on the names of the planes leads you to their Wikipedia pages. Titles of the Tintin adventures in which these planes are found in red.

The Black Island:

There is some variation in the landing gear.  This plane was produced only in 1945 whereas The Black Island was published in 1938, however Herge constantly upgraded his drawings in later editions so this probably was from a later edition.

The Tiger Moth was one of the most popular planes of  the 30s and 40s and entered both civil and military service .

The Hawker Siddeley Trident was one of the first 3-engined jet planes

Tintin in Tibet

The DC -3 was the mainstay of Air India's flight operations in the 40s and 50s  and also regularly featured in many of Tintin's adventures.
Herge was also quite fond of depicting real life airline companies. He almost got into trouble with Air India for showing a crashed Air India plane in "Tintin in Tibet".
Flight 714


The first jet-liner built by Boeing.

Flight 714 also featured a fictional aircraft called the Carreidas 160 which was based on early designs of the real life Concorde.

The Seven Crystal Balls

One of the largest war-time seaplanes

The Broken Ear

Took me a bloody long time to figure out this one!

The Red Sea Sharks

My favourite WW2 era war plane. It served as a low- to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike aircraft, and reconnaissance aircraft while at the same time doing your laundry for you!

Bonus: The "tank" that you see in the picture above was the Daimler Armoured Car which again really existed.

King Ottokar's Sceptre

Messrs. Thompson and Thomson go for a quick swim

Arguably the most popular German warbird of WW2 (well if you were living in London during WW2 it wouldn't have been quite popular I imagine.)

If there any errors in the names of the planes please inform me so that I can make the necessary corrections. To be continued.. 

PS: Dedicated to my wife Kukui who's a big Tintin fan herself and to Hergé! 
Note: All pictures are the copyright of their respective owners. 


David Lalmalsawma said...

Interesting read. Kudos to you

ku2 said...

The wife says thank you, and wow!! the attention to detail and accuracy. Herge, I mean. And you too, of course.

benjamin rualthanzauva said...

Nice. Tintin planes have no call sign, perhaps on purpose.

Next: How place a house cleaning project?

Anandeep Pannu said...

There was a DHC-1 Chipmunk in the Black Island. The panel you picked however is the Percival Prentice.

Rodney Fleming said...

In my copy of Tibet there are what I believe to be Lockheed Super Constellations on p6? And reread Picaros �� you will find a DC8 on p11 & p12, & a 747 on p62.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amos how do I contact you dear friend?

Robert Schulte said...

The red and white plane in "The Black Island" is NOT a Chipmunk but a Percival Prentice ;)