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Looking at a drawing as an example, it seems like some piles would be
most of the height of the building above the waterline anyway.
Well, using film logic and rationalizing what happened on screen there is a tipping point for buoyancy and once reached, the object quickly drops in the liquid. So releasing the air from the bags is key to the catastrophic failure shown on screen. [And the building itself--whether most or all of it is designed to be above the water--could leak like a sieve and quickly sink without the air bag supports or piles.]
For the entire building to submerge up to the roof, considering the water depth, I expect some lower level(s) collapsed like an accordion. So where the house structure itself was in need of repair, that condition would just pile on you could say. And what's shown on screen indicates the piles aren't there--a fatal mistake by the renovation crew, but great for the story.
Some background on those houses.
Aerobatic Helicopter tricks with Chuck Aaron
Have to wonder where pilot Chuck Aaron gets his inspiration.
Top Ten Most Extreme Helicopter Pilots
So the concept of a bullet from a Walther PPK reaching the helicopter is possible. Against all odds, possible. Kind of an element of the Bond film formula itself.
Of interest to me is the effect as the bullet strikes the helicopter from the rear. That's likely not a part of the planned design of the aircraft, which would consider protection from the front. Also as pointed out, this is not a military aircraft.
The effect here is not simply the damage of impact but where that slug of metal comes to rest, which can be disastrous. Restricting or outright stopping movement of parts, maybe affecting avionics (indicated by the sparks and change in direction of the aircraft). There's little to no reason for the design to plan for this potential cause of a catastrophic event.
And of course I enjoyed Alex Jay's final comment.
I had the strong impression the chopper was flying at less then it's normal cruising speed. A quick search gives it a max speed of 306 km/h, or 165 kn.
Taking a standard luxury speedboat
it has a top speed of 40 kn. Even if the chopper was flying at half speed, it would go twice as fast as the boat.
With a 40kn difference, or 73km/h, the chances of Bond still beeing able to reach it would dissapear within seconds.
I would call it extremely unlikely.
Yes the pilot essentially cooperated in his chopper’s demise. It’s literally the worst scene in the whole film imo and it’s the climax. The issue isn’t even so much about how impossible/unlikely it is, but how boring. You could give Bond a 50 cal sniper rifle or a machine gun and it would still be anticlimactic and uninteresting.
Notice this .380 chart tops out at 250 yards (228.6 meters), but that's not a limit for how far a bullet could travel. Actual bullet travel also depends on barrel length, grains of gunpowder in the shell casing, and other real world variables like crosswind (or tailwind).
Storytelling staples going on:
- The hero's weapon finding the fatal flaw--the chink in the dragon's armor.
- For want of a nail--the vehicle unexpectedly loses a minor but essential capability. Unforeseen, and a showstopper for the overall airframe.
I adjusted some of my earlier description, I incorrectly suggested the bullet struck the tail rotar when it clearly hit the upper rear section behind the main (top) rotar. It plays out on screen in a reasonable way.
SO indeed it's extremely unlikely but not impossible.
What remains is a climax in which the protagonist is firing fromgreat range at a vehicle in which his nemesis is ignorantly enjoying the view. Not the highest of tension moments.
Considering the supposed location of the base, there wasn't anything to be hit for 898 miles......
That’s a good point.
HPEM. Not HEMP anymore I notice. And Norway.
I think they loved it!
Ah, of course. Sorry. It was the 'anxious'that frew me off course...
Anyway, interesting to see scientists write about scientists writing about Bond.