Could the Bond in the novels fly a plane and helicopter?
off the top of my head, I dont think he has the opportunity anywhere in all of Fleming, except the end of Goldfinger
I just checked, and the hijacked plane has a crew who land the plane at gunpoint, after Bond has killed Goldfinger and Oddjob (Pussy's not a pilot in the book).
I've only read Dr No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and OHMSS. None of these apart from, as you said, Goldfinger, has a plane scene. If I remember correctly, in Goldfinger the plane crashes into the sea at night, and Bond is either rescued by a boat or swims to shore. I can't remember if Pussy survived, or was even on the plane.
In those days, the 1950s, Fleming probably never conceived that an MI6 agent would need to fly a plane in a novel... or in life for that matter.
@sirso !!! you should read the books!
Thunderball has a plane scene, but the plane (a Grumman Amphibian) is piloted by Felix Leiter.
Bond's experience seemed to be limited to what Fleming could do, so scuba diving, stuff with cars and so on. It annoyed me that Craig's Bond could fly a Dakota in only his second film because his character was meant to be modelled on Fleming's Bond and it seemed to go off on a tangent, into Brosnan's world really. Remember that Connery's Bond only did this stuff in his fifth film YOLT - an autogyro - by which point his capabilities and his world had gone beyond that of Fleming, he was more a fantasy figure.
That's an interesting point about QOS which I never even considered. I think, given the long history of Bond suddenly piloting auto-gyros, planes, motorboats, motorcycles etc in his previous incarnations blinded me to the unlikelihood of this episode.
It's a fun question, it doesn't seem unlikely to me that Bond in today's world would have found himself with a bit of plane tuition (or even done so himself as he's a bit of a petrolhead). Bond in the 50s would have had a bit less in the way of intensive instruction I guess.
Doesn't Gardner have Bond fly an attack helicopter in Cold? That does seem a bit much.
I know. I don't know why I haven't read more. Maybe I'm too obsessed with the 1960s film versions and their style. I did read a book that had long summaries of all of Fleming's Bond novels and stories. It also had a history of the fictional Bond, other stuff related to the films, cars and gadgets etc. I forget the name of the book.
Possibly Raymond Benson's James Bond Companion?
Yes, I think it could have been.
In John Gardner’s SeaFire, Bond flies a Royal Navy Hawker Harrier jet fighter, like the one after the TLD PTS in which Koskov is taken away on a RAF Harrier.
I just remembered he flies a Jet Fighter - I can't recall the model- of some description in Win, Lose or Die, but he has to have a third of a book's worth of training to do it. If my memory serves me correctly the flying lessons dont have any relevance to the plot, Gardner uses it as the excuse to get OO7 undercover. All the best action takes place on an aircraft carrier, in Italy & Gibraltar.
Thanks to Chrisno1’s post, my original statement is wrong, Bond pilots the Harrier jump jet in Win, Lose or Die and not in SeaFire.