The Portuguese Air Force takes part in the production of “A Guerra dos Thrones” in Portugal
The helicopter for the material transport is the koala. The actors are about to arrive in Idanha-a-Nova.
The helicopter was bought in 2018.
The production of “A Guerra dos Thrones” in the Idanha-a-Nova community has been intensified in the last 24 hours – when dozens of trucks and vans with technical material arrived from Spain for the recordings of the prequel “House of the Dragon”. However, a Portuguese team has been on site for a week to set up structures for the recordings.
The trucks that transport the tons of technical material used for the filming cannot drive through the narrow streets of the village of Monsanto. Because of this, they park in an open field and technicians transport the material into a helicopter that makes the crossing between that area and the interior of Monsanto, where it lands to leave the material.
It is a Portuguese Air Force helicopter, an official NiT spokesman confirmed on Wednesday October 27th. The process was triggered by a request from the Idanha-a-Nova municipality as part of an “operational training” in material handling, he adds.
The aircraft acquired in 2018 is known as the Koala – although the official name is AW119MKII. It was developed from the twin-engine AW109 and is described as extremely versatile. It serves functions as diverse as basic and advanced flight training; Search and rescue; sanitary evacuation; Patrol and observation; and assistance in fighting fires in rural areas.
Another Portuguese Air Force source explains to NiT that this type of mission can happen if it is believed there will be something in return – either for the country or for that part of the armed forces. The order can come from the government or an internal decision by Air Force leadership. When making a decision, operators consider the availability of aircraft and the prerequisites for moving the process forward.
In this case, the enormous visibility of “A Guerra dos Thrones” and the benefit it can bring to national tourism must have been what made the Portuguese Air Force borrow their helicopter.
The same source affirms that it is difficult to find a civil version of this type of aircraft that can be compared to the Koala. This helicopter, flying without character, can carry up to seven passengers (in addition to the pilot). It has the capacity to transport 1,400 kg of suspended load. The maximum weight you can take with you at the start is 2850 kg. It can reach a speed of 267 kilometers per hour and has a maximum autonomy of four hours. It is operated by Squadron 552 – “Drones”.
Recordings in Idanha-a-Nova
Apparently the recordings should really start in the next few days. The municipality has already announced the locations that will be closed until the beginning of November. Monsanto Castle “will be closed to residents and visitors from October 18 to November 13, 2021”. “The ban is intended to create logistical and safety-related conditions for the work teams when assembling sets and devices.” Several Portuguese extras will take part.
The actors will stay at the Hotel Fonte Santa next to the Termas de Monfortinho. Part of the technical team is based in Alambique de Ouro in Fundão. This hotel is full of professionals and the manager explains to NiT that he has no regrets for declining other reservations.
“House of the Dragon” will be a prequel to “The War of Thrones” and is based on the book “Fire & Blood” by the same author, George RR Martin, and focuses on the Targaryen family, 300 years before the events of the original series. It will have ten episodes and will premiere on HBO in 2022. The first teaser has already been published.
In this new story, the characters are different, but the Targaryen clan’s hunger for power remains intact. The narrative again focuses on the succession and the right to take control of the Iron Throne.
Under the command of the Targaryens, at a time when dragons ruled everything and everyone, commanded by their platinum-haired masters, Westeros prepares for a new battle. The civil war that followed was called “Dance of the Dragons”. The clash brought two heir to the throne, Rhaenyra and her half-brother Aegon II, into a conflict that defined much about the future of the then most feared and powerful House of Westeros.
Since David Benioff and DB Weiss were not in the picture, an old friend from “The War of Thrones” was brought in to lead the production. Miguel Sapochnik, director of some of the show’s most famous episodes, is now one of the showrunners alongside Ryan Condal – the latter of the screenwriters who worked side by side with George RR Martin.
It also confirms that composer Ramin Djawadi, the author of the original themes that stood out during the eight seasons of “The War of Thrones,” is back for this new project.
“The opportunity to have a production company that uses our heritage, as is the case with Monsanto, to film the previous phase of ‘A Guerra dos Thrones’ is an excellent opportunity for us. Not only to make the territory known, but later in terms of profitability, the production itself brings us the participation of all actors. These are two very important aspects. Of course we are very interested, ”said the Mayor of Idanha-a-Nova, Armindo Jacinto, to NiT in August. “I would like to see the kites in Monsanto that fly all over the region.”
Several European regions that received footage from “The War of Thrones” over eight seasons – particularly in Spain, Croatia and Ireland – experienced an explosion in local tourism in the years that followed. Read the NiT article that explains which of Monsanto’s top attractions won over the producers of House of the Dragon.
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