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In Avengers: Endgame after Thanos arrives and destroys the Avengers base, we see War Machine yell out, "Canopy! Canopy! Canopy!" This appears to be a command which releases him from his suit and allows him to move freely.

My question is what is the significance of the phrase? Why would that specifically be the command to set him free from the suit? Is it based on any real systems or was it a fabrication of the movie?

I realize that's three questions so to summarize, what I really want to know is the origin and significance (if any) of the command.

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He was a fighter pilot. In order to enter or exit a jet fighter you must first open the glass "bubble" over the cockpit, which is called the "canopy."

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    And, similar to "Mayday Mayday Mayday", the call is given 3 times to prevent confusion - he doesn't want to be ejected mid-flight because he inquired as to Tony's planned hors d’œuvre for the wedding... – Chronocidal May 29 at 16:29
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    @Chronocidal But if he was, then it would be his fault for pronouncing canapé wrong. ;) – Hashim May 30 at 0:36
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    @Hashim It's a noisy environment so he might be misheard. On the other hand, there is also the danger tha he will should "Canopy, canopy, canopy" and be served light snacks. Hmm. – David Richerby May 30 at 9:26
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    @DavidRicherby: That fight seemed exhausting. Maybe he did in fact call for canapés, and that was the reason he opened his canopy? – Ink blot May 31 at 18:18
  • It's also what happens in Captain Marvel. They try to bail out, but only the canopy deploys, and the ejection seats fail. – Mazura May 31 at 23:43
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The real world equivalent is pilots saying "Eject, Eject, Eject", either to their backseater, or another pilot who can see that a plane can't be recovered and is using the radio to tell the pilot in it to get out. (Whatever caused the plane to be unrecoverable might have dazed the pilot--he might be functional enough to fire his seat but not functional enough to figure out he should do so.)

  • I recently saw an (old) video of a magnificent Harrier eject. The aircraft hit the ground at some speed and slid disintegrating with increasing flame for some seconds. Only when the fire was about to completely engulf the cockpit did he eject. Either dazed, 'not paying attention' :-) OR rather brave and hoping against hope to walk away. Given the nasty kick with potential spinal adjustment a walk-away really is desirable. || – Russell McMahon May 31 at 13:21
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    ... Similarly the famed Mig Ukraine airshow crash that killed many. Manual eject. One left as the aircraft slid across the ground exploding and the other did so later still (off camera). Both lived. || In many craft the pilot can eject the systems man. Telling him you are going to is no doubt "polite" :-). – Russell McMahon May 31 at 13:22
  • @RussellMcMahon Yeah, ejection seats are powerful enough they inflict some permanent damage when used. You don't want to ride one without a very good reason. The basic problem is the rocket must be powerful enough to make the pilot clear the tail even in a high speed ejection. I wonder if it might be possible to split the rocket into two parts, the first lights when you pull the handle, the second lights either when encountering sufficient wind force or when the first burns out. – Loren Pechtel May 31 at 16:05
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    @RussellMcMahon (continued) You can't just omit the second part as you'll need it if it's a ground ejection--the rocket has to carry you high enough for your chute to work, and preferably a bit away from the crash. (Having your chute work but carry you back into the crash site wouldn't be a good thing!) – Loren Pechtel May 31 at 16:07
  • @RussellMcMahon youtube.com/watch?v=7aydbBl6_W0&t=25 ? – mattdm May 31 at 20:40

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