A reusable, vertically launched Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) spaceship used for space rescue and the maintenance of Thunderbird 5, piloted by Astronaut Alan Tracy.
Length : 61m (200 ft.)
Diameter : 7m (23 ft.)
Span : 24m (79 ft.) including engines)
The spacecraft uses chemical rockets for lift-off and boost, and an ion drive for propulsion whilst in space. Thunderbird 3 is hangared beneath the "Round House" on Tracy Island, and is primarily piloted by Alan or John Tracy, although Scott often co-pilots. Since John is usually seen in Thunderbird 5, he is rarely seen piloting the spacecraft
The model in the studio was produced by Gerry Anderson, a limited edition replica of the one used for filming the original series.
Thunderbirds is a British science fiction television show from the mid 1960’s, devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films using marionette puppetry dubbed "Supermarionation". The series followed the adventures of International Rescue, a secretive organisation helping those in grave danger using technically advanced equipment and machinery launched from a hidden base, Tracy Island. The show's title is derived from a letter written to his family by Anderson's older brother, while he was serving in the United States during World War II. In the letter, he referred to an American Air Force base called "Thunderbird Field".
The show depicts the adventures of the Tracy family, which consists of former astronaut Jeff Tracy and his five sons, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John, each named after a Mercury astronaut, Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper and John Glenn respectively. Together with Jeff Tracy’s elderly mother called Grandma Tracy, the scientific genius and engineer "Brains", the family's manservant Kyrano and his daughter Tin-Tin, the Tracy family live on a remote, uncharted island.
International Rescue's London agent and socialite Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, and her Cockney butler and chauffeur Aloysius "Nosey" Parker, are often seen chasing villains in the pink, amphibious Rolls-Royce FAB1. Lady Penelope's yacht is called FAB-2. Lady Penelope lives in a mansion in Kent, a miniature copy of Stourhead House in Wiltshire.
Gerry Anderson MBE (born 14 April 1929) is a British publisher, producer, director and writer, famous for his futuristic television programmes, particularly those involving specially modified marionettes, a process called "Supermarionation". His first television production was the 1957 Roberta Leigh children's series The Adventures of Twizzle and it would be almost a decade before his most famous and successful production, Thunderbirds, would be produced.
His production company, originally known as AP Films and later renamed Century 21 Productions, was originally formed with partners Arthur Provis (hence AP Films – Anderson Provis Films), Reg Hill, John Read. He has also written and produced several feature films, although these did not perform as well as expected at the box office. Following a successful move towards live action productions in the 1970s, his long and highly successful association with Lew Grade's ITC (Incorporated Television Company) ended with the second series of Space: 1999.