Film actor makes flying visit

HOLLYWOOD star Ewan McGregor has paid a visit to East Anglia to examine a rare example of an historic plane that plays a key role in his next movie.

Elliot Furniss

HOLLYWOOD star Ewan McGregor has paid a visit to East Anglia to examine a rare example of an historic plane that plays a key role in his next movie.

The Scottish star of films such as Trainspotting, Angels and Demons and the Star Wars prequels was at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, recently to have a look at one of the few surviving Lockheed Electras.

The museum's specimen, called Hazy Lily, is identical to the one aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart flew on her ill-fated voyage in July 1937, where both she and the aircraft disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.

The tragic and mysterious flight is the subject of a new dramatisation called Amelia which stars Oscar-winner Hilary Swank as Earhart and Mr McGregor as her lover, Gene Vidal.

During his whistle-stop visit to Duxford, Mr McGregor also enjoyed a flight in a Fairchild Cornell PT19 and a P-51 Mustang and had the opportunity to chat to members of staff from The Fighter Collection, the brains behind the “Flying Legends” air show, which features a display by Hazy Lily.

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The team's next show takes place this weekend and Mr McGregor said he was sorry he could not witness the display in person.

He said: “Filming Amelia stoked my interest in historic planes and early flight. Last week, I flew in some of the most incredible machines from World War Two, which was a rare privilege.

“I am sorry that I will miss seeing more of 'Flying Legends' at Duxford next weekend - I certainly look forward to going back again and again.”