Flight 714 to Sydney

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Flight 714 to Sydney
(Vol 714 pour Sydney)
Tintin, Snowy, Haddock, and others emerge from a cave into an underground cavern, adorned by statues of ancient astronauts.
Cover of the English-language edition
SeriesThe Adventures of Tintin
Creative team
Original publication
Published inTintin magazine
Issues936 – 997
Date of publication27 September 1966 – 28 November 1967
  • Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper
  • Michael Turner
Preceded byThe Castafiore Emerald (1963)
Followed byTintin and the Picaros (1976)

Flight 714 to Sydney (French: Vol 714 pour Sydney; originally published in English as Flight 714) is the twenty-second volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The title refers to a flight that Tintin and his friends fail to catch, as they become embroiled in a plot to kidnap an eccentric millionaire from a supersonic business jet on an Indonesian island. This album, first published in 1968, is unusual in the Tintin series for its science fiction and paranormal influences. The central mystery is essentially left unresolved.


On a refueling stop in Jakarta on their way to Sydney, Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus chance upon their friend Skut (introduced in The Red Sea Sharks), now personal pilot for aircraft industrialist and eccentric millionaire Laszlo Carreidas. Tintin and his friends join the millionaire on his prototype private jet, the Carreidas 160, crewed by Skut, co-pilot Hans Boehm, navigator Paolo Colombani, and steward Gino. En route, Carreidas' secretary Spalding, Boehm, and Colombani hijack the plane and bring it to the deserted volcanic island of Pulau-pulau Bompa situated in the Celebes Sea, where the aircraft makes a rough landing on a makeshift runway made of interlocking metal strips, with a nylon barrier at the end. While disembarking from the plane, Snowy bolts from Tintin's arms, runs off into the jungle under fire by gunmen, and is apparently killed. The mastermind of the plot then reveals himself as Rastapopoulos, intent on seizing Carreidas' fortune. Captain Haddock's corrupt ex-shipmate, Allan, is present as Rastapopoulos's henchman, and Sondonesian nationalists have been hired as mercenaries.

Tintin, Haddock, Calculus, Skut and Gino are bound and held in a Japanese World War II-era bunker, while Rastapopoulos takes Carreidas to another bunker where his accomplice, Dr. Krollspell, injects the millionaire with a truth serum to reveal Carreidas's Swiss bank account number. Under the serum's influence, Carreidas becomes eager to confide his life of greed, perfidy, and theft, revealing every detail thereof except the account number. Furious, Rastapopoulos strikes at Krollspell, who is still holding the truth serum syringe, and is accidentally injected, whereupon he too boasts of past crimes until he and Carreidas quarrel over which of them is the most evil. In the process, Rastapopoulos reveals that nearly all of the men he recruited, including Spalding, the aircraft pilots, the Sondonesians and Krollspell, are all marked to be eliminated after Rastapopoulos gets Carreidas' account number.

Snowy, alive after all, helps Tintin and his friends escape, and they find the bunker where Carreidas is held prisoner. Tintin and Captain Haddock bind and gag Krollspell, Rastapopoulos, and Carreidas, and escort them to lower ground, intending to use Rastapopoulos as a hostage; but the serum's effect wears off, and Rastapopoulos escapes. Krollspell, intimidated by Rastapopoulos, continues to accompany Tintin and Haddock. After a run-in with Alan and some Sondonesians, Tintin, led by a telepathic voice, guides the other protagonists to a cave, where they discover a temple hidden inside the island's volcano, guarded by an ancient statue akin to a modern astronaut. Deeper inside the structure, Tintin and his friends reunite with Calculus and meet Mik Kanrokitoff, a writer for the magazine Space Week, whose guiding voice they have followed via a telepathic transmitter obtained from an extraterrestrial race, formerly worshipped on the island as gods and now in co-operation with Kanrokitoff to communicate with Earth's scientists. An earthquake and explosion set off by Rastapopoulos and his men triggers a volcanic eruption; but Tintin and his party (now reunited with Skut and Gino) reach relative safety in the volcano's crater. Rastapopoulos and his henchmen flee the eruption outside the volcano and launch a rubber dinghy from Carreidas' plane.

Kanrokitoff puts Tintin and his friends under hypnosis and summons a flying saucer piloted by the extraterrestrials, in which all escape the eruption. Kanrokitoff spots the rubber dinghy and exchanges Tintin and his companions (except Krollspell, who is taken to CairoNew Delhi in the French edition — under hypnotic-induced amnesia) for Allan, Spalding, Rastapopoulos, and the treacherous pilots, who are whisked away in the saucer to an unknown fate in the stars. Tintin, Haddock, Calculus and Skut awaken from hypnosis and cannot remember what happened to them; but Calculus retains a crafted rod of alloyed cobalt, iron, and nickel, which he had found in the caves. The cobalt is of a state that does not occur on Earth, and is the only evidence of a close encounter with its makers. Only Snowy, who cannot speak, remembers the hijacking and alien abduction. The story ends with Tintin, Carreidas, and companions catching Qantas Flight 714 to Sydney.


Hergé commented that with Flight 714 to Sydney, he wanted a "return to Adventure with a capital A... without really returning there."[1] He sought to provide answers to two questions: "Are there other inhabited planets? And are there 'insiders' who know it?"[2] Hergé had a longstanding interest in paranormal phenomena, and believed that a story with such elements would appeal to the growing interest in the subject.[2] He was particularly influenced by Robert Charroux's Le Livre des Secrets Trahis ("The Book of Betrayed Secrets"), which expounded the idea that extraterrestrials had influenced humanity during prehistory.[2] The character of Mik Kanrokitoff was based on Jacques Bergier.[2]

A launch party for the publication of the book was held in Paris in May 1968, but was overshadowed by that month's student demonstrations and civil unrest.[1]

Later, Hergé regretted explicitly depicting the alien space craft at the end of the story, although was unsure how he could have ended the story without it.[1]

Carreidas 160[edit]

A detailed, cross-section design of an aircraft, the Carreidas 160, is shown
The Carreidas 160 cross-sectional view, as it appeared in Tintin magazine

Hergé wanted the Carreidas 160 in Flight 714 to Sydney (1968) to have at least the same detailed attention that he had put into all of his fictional vehicles, from the Unicorn ship in The Secret of the Unicorn (1943) to the moon rocket in Explorers on the Moon (1954).[3] The supersonic jet aircraft called for by the new Tintin adventure, while fanciful, could not be viewed as implausible and needed to meet the same exacting standards. Hergé, who had reached his sixtieth birthday and whose drawing hand had begun suffering from eczema, was happy to leave the drawing of the jet to Roger Leloup, his younger colleague at Studios Hergé.[4] Leloup, a technical artist and aviation expert, had drawn the moon rocket, the de Havilland Mosquito in The Red Sea Sharks (1958), and all aircraft in the recently redrawn The Black Island (1966).[5] Leloup was described by British Tintin expert Michael Farr as "the aeronautical expert in the Studios" and his design of the Carreidas 160 as "painstakingly executed and, of course, viable."[6]

A "meticulous design of the revolutionary Carreidas 160 jet" was prepared, according to entertainment producer and author Harry Thompson, "a fully working aircraft with technical plans drawn up by Roger Leloup."[7] Leloup's detailed cross-sectional design of the Carreidas 160 and its technical specifications were published in a double-page spread for Tintin magazine in 1966.[8]

Critical analysis[edit]

Hergé biographer Benoît Peeters noted that the book "smacks somewhat of [Hergé's] hesitation" as he was unsure whether to include an explicit depiction of the extraterrestrial ship.[1]

The literary critic Tom McCarthy believed that Flight 714 to Sydney exhibited a number of themes that recurred throughout the Adventures of Tintin more widely. He opined that the troubles faced by Tintin and Haddock aboard Carreidas' jet reflected the theme of the "troubled host-guest relationship".[9] He believed that Rastapopoulos' activities below the area that he could be located by radar reflected the theme of eluding detection.[10] In addition, he expressed the view that the flagging relationship of Haddock and Calculus, as it is depicted in Flight 714 to Sydney, is a form of the wider theme of strained relationships in the series.[11] McCarthy also highlighted the scene at the start the story in which Haddock mistakes Carreidas for someone trapped in poverty and gives him some money accordingly; McCarthy drew parallels between this scene and a similar one from Charles Baudelaire's poem "La Fausse Monnaie", suggesting that Hergé might have been thinking of Baudelaire's scene when creating his own.[12]

"Flight 714 may seem like a totally pointless adventure because the characters do not remember anything that happens and their stay on the island does not change them in any way. While showing us something of their daily lives and desire for roots, this adventure otherwise alienates the characters from their readers and encloses them in a fictional universe."

Jean-Marie Apostolidès[13]

In his psychoanalytical study of The Adventures of Tintin, the literary critic Jean-Marie Apostolidès expressed the view that the concept of "the void" appeared repeatedly in Flight 714 to Sydney,[14] referring to the existence of World War II bunkers and the underground temple as reflections of that void.[15] He added that whereas early Adventures of Tintin reflected a keen division between "Good and Evil", in this story this dichotomy has been replaced by a "meaningless void", with Rastapopoulos having degenerated from the role of criminal mastermind to that of "a mere hoodlum" who "sinks to the level of mere farce".[16] Apostolidès further expresses the view that one of the "best scenes" in the story was that involving an interchange between Rastapopoulos and Carreidas, stating that "their opposition is merely superficial", in this way comparing them to the competing figures of General Alcazar and General Tapioca in Tintin and the Picaros.[17]

Apostolidès believed that Flight 714 to Sydney exhibited many of the same themes as were present in Prisoners of the Sun and the Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon story arc.[16] He compares the character of Carreidas with that of Baxter from the moon adventure, yet notes that the former is "craftier, more childish and inhumane, less interested in research itself than in technological applications", working for profit rather than the good of humanity.[16] Turning his attention to comparisons with Prisoners of the Sun, he highlights that both stories feature ancient temples, "weird animals", and dramatic natural phenomena,[18] as well as the prominent inclusion of amnesia.[19]



  1. ^ a b c d Peeters 2012, p. 299.
  2. ^ a b c d Peeters 2012, p. 298.
  3. ^ Goddin 2011, p. 150.
  4. ^ Assouline 2009, pp. 200–201; Farr 2001, p. 184; Thompson 1991, p. 190.
  5. ^ Assouline 2009, pp. 200–202; Farr 2001, pp. 75, 78, 157, 184; Lambiek Comiclopedia 2011; Dupuis 2011.
  6. ^ Farr 2001, pp. 184–185.
  7. ^ Thompson 1991, p. 190.
  8. ^ Farr 2001, pp. 184–185; Tintin magazine 1966.
  9. ^ McCarthy 2006, p. 71.
  10. ^ McCarthy 2006, p. 29.
  11. ^ McCarthy 2006, p. 58.
  12. ^ McCarthy 2006, pp. 140–141.
  13. ^ Apostolidès 2010, p. 260.
  14. ^ Apostolidès 2010, p. 252.
  15. ^ Apostolidès 2010, pp. 253–254.
  16. ^ a b c Apostolidès 2010, p. 254.
  17. ^ Apostolidès 2010, p. 255.
  18. ^ Apostolidès 2010, p. 256.
  19. ^ Apostolidès 2010, p. 258.


  • Apostolidès, Jean-Marie (2010) [2006]. The Metamorphoses of Tintin, or Tintin for Adults. Jocelyn Hoy (translator). Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-6031-7.
  • Assouline, Pierre (2009) [1996]. Hergé, the Man Who Created Tintin. Charles Ruas (translator). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-539759-8.
  • Farr, Michael (2001). Tintin: The Complete Companion. London: John Murray. ISBN 978-0-7195-5522-0.
  • Goddin, Philippe (2011). The Art of Hergé, Inventor of Tintin: Volume 3: 1950-1983. Michael Farr (translator). San Francisco: Last Gasp. ISBN 978-0-86719-763-1.
  • Hergé (1968). Flight 714. Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner (translators). London: Egmont. ISBN 978-1-4052-0633-4.
  • McCarthy, Tom (2006). Tintin and the Secret of Literature. London: Granta. ISBN 978-1-86207-831-4.
  • Peeters, Benoît (1989). Tintin and the World of Hergé. London: Methuen Children's Books. ISBN 978-0-416-14882-4.
  • Peeters, Benoît (2012) [2002]. Hergé: Son of Tintin. Tina A. Kover (translator). Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-1-4214-0454-7.
  • Thompson, Harry (1991). Tintin: Hergé and his Creation. London: Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-52393-3.
  • "Avant Concorde ... le Carreidas 160 Jet" [Before the Concorde ... the Carreidas 160 Jet]. Tintin (in French). Le Lombard. December 1966.
  • "Roger Leloup (b. 17 January 1933, Belgium)". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 11 November 2011. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2015. From 1953 to 1969 he worked at Studios Hergé, where he was responsible for the airplanes in the Tintin episode Vol 714, among other things.
  • "Roger Leloup". Dupuis: Editeur Caractère(s). 2011. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2015. Hergé gives him especially technical drawings and very accurate decoration, such as the railway station of Genève-Cointrin in L'Affaire Tournesol, the wheelchair of captain Haddock in Les Bijoux de la Castafiore, cars, motorbikes, tanks, the design of the aeroplane of Carreidas, and all the aeroplanes in the new version of L'Île noire.

External links[edit]