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Thunderbirds Wiki

The Elevator Cars are pod machines owned by International Rescue.


There are at least four (one manned, three remote controlled) Elevator Cars. Each one is a twelve-wheeled, two-sectioned truck capable of travelling at speeds similar to those of an aircraft on landing approach. The rear section carries a large, flat platform that can support great weight. The trucks' bodies are red in colour. They are carried to the danger zone in Pod 3 of Thunderbird 2.

Each Elevator Car is fitted with high-density Plasma Mould tyres.

Technical Data[]

  • Height: 7.3 metres
  • Height with raised platform: 26.6 metres
  • Length: 18.6 metres
  • Maximum speed: 320 km/h
  • Power: twin diesel electric motors
  • Weight: 12 tonnes
  • Width: 8.6 metres


Master Car[]

The master Elevator Car - designated 1 - is the only human operated car of the fleet. A manual operator is needed in order to keep the pace of the fleet and make any fine-tuning needed to ensure they are positioned correctly underneath the approaching aircraft.

The master Elevator Car differs from the three radio controlled Elevators in that its front section is topped by a bulbous cabin where the driver/controller sits.

Radio-Controlled Cars[]

The radio-controlled cars follow the movement of the master car at some pre-determined offset, dependent on the aircraft and its structure.

They are nearly identical to the design of the master car, except they have no cabin, as there is no need for one.


The Elevator Cars' only on-screen rescue took place in Trapped in the Sky.

A flashback of Fireflash's landing during Trapped in the Sky is seen during Security Hazard, when Scott recounts the story of International Rescue's first mission to Chip Morrison.

The Rescue of Fireflash[]

The Fireflash was unable to land due to a bomb placed in its landing gear by the Hood. The Elevator Cars were driven down the runway at London International Airport by Virgil and Fireflash was able to land using the Elevator Cars in place of its own landing gear. Although only three Elevator Cars were needed for the rescue, Car 3 steered off-course and crashed into a plane during Fireflash's first approach, necessitating the use of Car 4. All the cars and Fireflash suffered severe damage from the rescue, but no lives were lost despite Virgil's Master Elevator spinning out of control and ending up on its roof beside the runway.

Cutaway Drawings[]

As far as is known, only two cutaway drawings of the Elevator Car exists. Both were illustrated by Graham Bleathman. One appears in a Redan comic that was published in the 2000s, and the other featured in the Haynes Thunderbirds manual. The former cutaway drawing is of the Master Elevator Car.

Redan edition

Haynes edition