The two planes Louie flies on are both named after famous
comic book characters. Like Superman, the Super
Man is kinda awesome, and like the Green Hornet, the Green Hornet kinda isn't
Man becomes a "dear friend" (2.10.25) to the men, especially
after it gets riddled with 594 bullet holes and somehow manages to hold
together. Of course, Phil deserves a lot of credit for landing the machine, but
the plane seems to take on a personality of its own.
Hornet has a personality too, but not a good one. It's known as "the
craziest plane" (2.10.31) and all the men are scared of it. Can't say we
The real injustice here isn't the fact that one plane is of
shoddier construction than the other, it's that the U.S. military put these men
in the Green Hornet even
though it was a "faltering plane" (2.10.31) that wasn't nearly well
equipped enough to survive a crash landing. Louie, Phil, and Mac might survive
partly because of
the Super Man's construction,
but when it comes to the Green
Hornet, they survive in spite
of what a winged disaster it is.
The planes are reminders of how unpredictable war is, and
how many variables are at play at any given moment. They also make it
explicitly clear that the men fighting are forced to make do with whatever
equipment they're given—for better and for worse.