Features Peter Cushing's last screen performance, filmed January 21-March 1985 (copyright 1985).
The scene where the helicopter lands and then takes off again from a flat wagon on a train traveling at over 40mph had never been attempted before this film and had to be repeated 15 times over two days before the directors were satisfied that it looked just right.
The weapon testing ground scene was filmed in the now disused Beckton Gas Works in London, Which was also used for the Vietnam scenes in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987) a year later.
Skysport Engineering was commissioned to build a replica Sopwith Pup which could be suspended from a crane and "flown" and crashed with a stuntman inside for the opening sequences of Biggles's rescue. Attention was given to every detail of its construction so that even when it was burnt the charred remains would look authentic. The wings and frame had to be selectively strengthened and weakened so that it would crumple and break to look as though it has fallen from 1000ft, not 10ft as in reality.
A late 1930's Boeing Stearman and a modified late 1940s Belgian Stampe SV-4 were used to stand in for the WW1 aircraft flown and craft from the Shuttleworth collection added authenticity to the ground sequences.
The helicopter used in the film was a Bell Model 206BII JetRanger, registered G-BAKF with pop-out emergency floats fitted on the skids. Later on, it was involved in a thankfully non-fatal accident in 1989 after colliding with electrical wires when the pilot was preparing to land. The crew escaped with minor injuries, but the helicopter was written off and broken up for spare parts.
Neil Dickson later reprised the Biggles character in all but name in It Couldn't Happen Here (1987).
The half-track in which Eric von Stalhein arrives at the airfield is a Citroën Kégresse Type P17 which was made in France between 1929-1934.
The original script called for an adventure film in the mould of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and would have been much more faithful to Johns' original novels. During scriptwriting, however, Back to the Future (1985) was released and became a major hit, so the script was duly altered to follow this trend, in an attempt to capitalise on Back to the Future's popularity.
When Jim enters Tower Bridge he walks past the engine room, however, the engine room is actually 100 yards away in a separate location.