war of the worlds 747  War of the Worlds: Crashed Boeing 747, Universal Studios(Image: Daniel Rodríguez Troitiño, cc-nc-sa-3.0)

Anyone who has seen Steven Spielberg’s 2005 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds will remember an incredible scene where, after cowering in a suburban basement while the Tripods wreaked havoc on the world around, Ray and his kids ventured out to discover the wreckage of a crashed Boeing 747. Storm Climb has delved into the story behind the “crashed” plane and its final journey to Universal Studios.

war of the worlds 747 2  War of the Worlds: Crashed Boeing 747, Universal Studios(Image: s.yume, cc-nc-nd-3.0)

The 747 Jumbo Jet is a breathtaking sight on the back-lot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, 2,500 miles from the crash scene’s fictitious east coast setting. To create the scene, the film crew purchased a retired 747 previously operated by Japan’s All Nippon Airways. The surplus passenger plane was transported to Universal at a cost of $2 million.

war of the worlds 747 4  War of the Worlds: Crashed Boeing 747, Universal Studios(Images: prayitno, cc-3.0; Roger Schultz, cc-3.0; Andrew Wippler, cc-3.0)

The crew then set about breaking the 747 into several massive pieces and cutting away parts of the cabin to reveal seats and other internal features. Wreckage was strewn all around, and the damaged houses were constructed around the aircraft remains.

war of the worlds 747 3  War of the Worlds: Crashed Boeing 747, Universal Studios(Image: s.yume, cc-nc-nd-3.0)

The All Nippon Airways livery is clearly visible on the fuselage of the wrecked plane. Fans can view the memorable scene for themselves on the Universal Studios back-lot tour. While this 747 is well and truly destroyed, it has nevertheless been immortalised in film history and displayed for the enjoyment of movie fans, unlike the rusting occupants of forgotten plane graveyards and boneyards around the world.