Completing the XF-11 airplane in less than 3 months proved to be one of the biggest challenges for the Aero Telemetry team. Joe Bok and his team had to design, build, and test a custom set of hydraulic, retractable landing gear, fabricate an ultra-strong airframe, coordinate a complex airborne flight control system, and integrate all of these systems seamlessly to overcome the aerodynamic stresses of high speed and heavy payload. In addition, they had to completely re-engineer the wing which was originally designed to be in 3 sections for ease of transport. The contractor who built the wing delivered one which failed completely at the attach points (as in broke and pulled out) when the wing was first assembled on a table at the shop. Someone could have been killed had this wing been used in the condition that it was delivered in. Criminal negligence, on the part of that contractor, is the correct way to describe his terrible work on the wing. Nevertheless, the Aero Telemetry team was able to re-design the wing. Although it was now a one-piece wing and much, much heavier; it was far safer and able to support the weight of the rest of the airframe.
The primary scale models for The Aviator were the Aero Telemetry XF-11 and the H-4 Hercules or Spruce Goose. Both of these airplanes would be designed and fabricated over a period of 3 months by Joe Bok and his Aero Telemetry team. At the time, they were the worlds largest (unmanned) flyable scale aircraft ever flown for a big budget Hollywood movie.
The aerodynamic profile of the wing, engine thrust-lines, CG location, main airfoil angle of attack, incidence angles (between wing and horizontal stabilizer), counter-rotating propellers, and vertical stabilizer offset angles were just a few of the critical design criteria addressed and implemented correctly by the Aero Telemetry engineering design team. All these specific details contributed directly to the success and margin of safety exemplified in all the flights of the Aero Telemetry XF-11.