Iron Maiden’s Prop Plane Malfunctions During ‘Aces High’
The replica of the Spitfire fighter plane that Iron Maiden uses to "buzz" the crowd during the song "Aces High" in their live show, didn't fly right during last night's (Oct. 17) performance. The Spinal Tap-eqsue moment happened during the final song at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.
When working properly, the mock up of the British World War II combat plane is supposed to slightly extend over the stage, rotate and dive while hanging from a support brace. Propeller whirling, it's a quite a sight, and a signature staple of Maiden's rendition of the 1984 Powerslave classic.
At Worchester's "Legacy of the Beast" tour stop, however, the Spitfire malfunctioned. As old war footage played on the screens and the band lit into the "Ace High" intro, the plane, uh, stalled? Instead of proudly cruising out on its mission, it hung limply over the stage, slightly wobbling. After a minute or so, stagehands lowered the plane and removed it from the stage. As they maneuvered the plane to the hangar for repair, one could see that it was mushy, not made of metal, but some kind of inflatable foam (maybe.)
Frontman Bruce Dickinson looked back midway through the song and did a small double take when seeing that the Spitfire was not at altitude. Soldiering on, he still crushed the tune in his leather aviator helmet and goggles. Dickinson is a licensed pilot and warplanes aficionado.
We've included video of the plane malfunction from last night, AND video of how it's supposed to look when all cylinders are properly firing. Check out both at the end of this post.
Dickinson is apparently accustomed to the unexpected during shows. Last month, he performed admirably when a fan hopped up on stage and started doing metal-karate moves (also during "Aces High.") Dickinson grabbed him by the collar and ejected him behind the curtain where security took care of the rest.
After the "Legacy of the Beast" tour is over, Iron Maiden say they will have a brand new production and setlist in 2023. Earlier in October, they announced a series of European dates of "The Future Past" tour, which will places special focus on last year's Senjutsu album as well as 1986's Somewhere in Time, among other hits. Will the Spitfire fly in this new Maiden show? We'll find out next year.
Iron Maiden's Prop Spitfire Plane Malfunctions at the DCU Center in Worchester, MA 10.18.2022. (Jump to 1:13)
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