The story behind the spacecraft name:


When "Planet of the Apes" was first released in 1968, the opening sequence featured one of the most beautifully-designed spacecraft ever seen in a motion picture. Its simple, yet dramatic lines captured the imagination of many people, including myself. Several years later, in high school, I met a fellow afficiando of this vehicle, Phil Broad. He and I spent hours working on various drawings in an attempt to capture the design of the ship from our memories. Finally, we found not only photos, but Phil was able to obtain a set of blueprints from the studio.


I turned my limited artistic skills to making a set of my own blueprints, part of a set which also included the Proteus from "Fantastic Voyage," and later the Dark Star from the movie of the same name. As I learned in a mechanical drawing class in school, I needed to have a title block for the blueprint, and when it came time to do this for the ship from "Planet of the Apes" I realized there was never a name given in any of the three movies in which it appeared.


Considering the fact that at least two of these vehicles had unsuccessful missions (The Taylor and Brent missions from the first two movies), the idea formed that maybe the name should reflect this idea of reaching too high and falling to Earth. This line of thought led me quickly to the name Icarus from the Greek legend.


As a science fiction fan I was a customer of a company called Star Tech. I became friends with the man who ran Star Tech, and it turned out that through a barter program between the two of us, he ended up selling copies of my science fiction vehicle blueprints. It wasn't until many years later that I found a model of the Apes ship from, I believe it was, Lunar Models. When I saw the name Icarus on the box art, my immediate reaction was that somehow they had gone down the same road I had, and by pure happenstance had come up with an identical name to the one I used to christen the ship all those years ago. When I talked with Phil about this, he explained that, no, this was my name, which had now entered the lexicon because of those blueprints from Star Tech.


I am extremely honored to be included in even this tiny way with regard to the "Planet of the Apes" saga. And it was wonderful to have the name Icarus acknowledged briefly in the 2011 movie "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which has now placed the name officially into the canon of the Apes universe.


On this page, I have included scans of the blueprints I created which bore the name of Icarus. Although still somewhat rough, these are the second set I created, replacing my original drawings from 1972 with these larger and more accurate pencil drawings in July 1975. My name shown in the title block of the drawings is also different than today, but that's a whole different story. The History page on this site gives more information about that if you have any interest.


For those excited about building an Icarus for yourself, I highly recommend an upcoming release from Fantastic Plastic. More information is available on their web site: Icarus (Full Spacecraft) in 1/72 scale.

This is the Icarus model I scratch-built many years ago sitting on my shelf next to the Dark Star. The model was constructed in 1/48th scale using a central steel rod to get the proper sharp point for the nose. The remainder of the Icarus is a framwork of plastic cross sections wrapped in an outer plastic skin which ends at the gold nose cone. The cone itself is built up with modeling putty and sanded to the correct shape to blend with the steel tip. The rod extends all the way through the spacecraft and is used to support the model on its base.