The Aviator XF-11, like the Hughes H-1 Racer built by Aero Telemetry, was flown at two separate locations. The first would be at the San Bernardino Airport on November 21, 2003, the second was almost 3 months later at Catalina Island 26 miles off the coast of California. The flights provided the cameras with some amazing shots, some of which were captured by an aerial, gyro-stabilized, film platform.
The first flight was dramatic as usual with the XF-11 taking every bit of an 1800-foot runway to get airborne. With the chase helicopter in close pursuit, the XF-11 carefully found its way into the overcast sky that morning, making history on several levels but certainly as one of the largest and heaviest scale model aircraft to ever fly.
As fate would have it, the weather conditions and lighting on the day of the first XF-11 flight in November would preclude the use of any of the film footage shot that day. It was decided to try and get some shots of the XF-11 which included some “over-water” flying that more closely resembled the Los Angeles area and coastline as it looked in the 1940’s when and where the original one would have flown. Joe Bok suggested Catalina Island Airport as a flying location, since he had flown there several times as a full-scale pilot. “It was remote and provided an excellent background with outstanding ocean views, plus it was safe.”
The Aero Telemetry team flew the plane 5 more times on February 29, 2004 at the Catalina "Airport in The Sky" and Academy Award winning visual effects director, Rob Legato filmed the amazing flight sequences from several scenic vantage points on the runway.