In Deadpool, we are shown Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead walking to the X-Men plane and then in the next scene we see the plane take off.

I have never seen anything in the comics or in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that either of them can fly a plane.

Was it Colossus or Negasonic Teenage Warhead flying the plane? Or did they have a pilot fly it for them?

  • Dunno. But it can pilot itself home and can be remotely piloted from the X-Mansion, so there's that; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_(comics)
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:27
  • I'm sure all of the X-Men have polited the X-aircraft at some point.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:30
  • That thing doesn't fly anything like an airplane, so I'm not sure if airplane piloting skills are even relevant :)
    – hobbs
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 0:36
  • I did a quick wiki search, and it seemed to be worth noting that the Negasonic Teenage Warhead from Deadpool is actually unrelated to the Negasonic Teenage Warhead from XMen. Apparently they share the same name beacuse the Deadpool writers thought it was cool, but she has different powers, personality, and backstory.
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 15:59
  • The main question I have is: Did he pilot it in Metal form? As good of control as he has, one wrong move and he puts his hand through the control board or rips the yoke out of the plane. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 17:35

5 Answers 5


The jet is not just a generic plane, but the X-Men's own custom and private jet, the Blackbird (inspired by the real-life Lockheed SR-71).

As the school is actually a training ground for mutants, and as over the years we have seen many X-Men piloting it, it seems reasonable to think that part of their training involves at least being able to fly it under normal circumstances.

Apart from that the plane contains a copy of Cerebro (and Cerebra, later), so it can probably fly even on its own.


Way back when, in Uncanny X-Men #143, (cover-dated March 1981, which I think means it first became available in comic book speciality shops around December of 1980), Kitty Pryde had her first solo adventure.

She was still very much the "new recruit" at that point, having only been residing in the X-Mansion, and getting trained by Professor X, for the last few issues before that. She was a mere thirteen years old. But when a creature called a "N'Garai Demon" (shamelessly modeled on the monster from the original Alien movie with Sigourney Weaver) invaded the mansion in search of revenge on the X-Men (because of a previous fight -- long story!), Kitty tried various ways of coping with it, and finally ended up luring the demon into approaching the Blackbird from the rear, where she could fire up all the engines at once and incinerate it in the sudden blast.

I found a a scan of part of that sequence from the original story. (Not showing the incineration, but what leads up to it as Kitty begins working out a new plan and moves into position.) Please note that in the last panel on the bottom right, Kitty is thinking:

I don't see it yet, in the tail camera. Now to run through the ignition check list. Please, Lord, don't let me forget anything.

Panel of Kitty in the Blackbird working the controls

So her thoughts and actions in that scene made it crystal-clear that, even at this early stage in her career, when she was still a thirteen-year-old recruit, her training had already included memorizing the full checklist of things to do in the cockpit of the Blackbird before takeoff. And how to actually fire up the engines, etc., after you'd done everything else!

This demonstrates that, by that time, Professor X had evidently decided that part of the curriculum for new mutant students went this way: "Start teaching them how to fly the Blackbird as soon as possible, since you never know when a worst-case scenario may come along which makes it a matter of life and death for any available X-Man to know what to do in the cockpit!" (And let's face it: the superhero lifestyle being what it is, "worst-case scenarios" do tend to keep happening!)

Since Colossus had already been an X-Man for a while at that point (he joined at the same time that Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and some others did in the comic books of the mid-1970s), it's a safe bet that by this point he was already an experienced pilot of the X-Men's regular Blackbird, even if he didn't get to show it very much. (As I recall: Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, seemed to be the most frequent choice for pilot when the entire team was traveling long distances.) By now, I suspect that the comic book version of Colossus could practically fly the thing in his sleep, if necessary. So I see no reason to assume things are much different for a movie version of the character. He may not be a great pilot, but he's probably been "cross-trained" so that he can function at the helm of the Blackbird if the more gifted pilots among the X-Men are unavailable at the time.

  • Among other usual pilots that I recall are Storm, Jean Grey and Shadowcat herself. In fact, back in early 90's after Mutant Massacre, when Shadowcat and Nightcrawler went back to Excalibur and X-men dissappeared, they planned to recover the Black Bird to use in their new group (after a hard trip to New York in Inferno events where they were carried by Cpt. Britain and Meggan and they had to stop by a petroleum platform in the mid of the Atlantic to allow Shadowcat to have a leak). God bless Chris Claremont and their brilliant crazy scripts. (I think it's Excalibur issue nº8)
    – Bardo
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 9:27
  • Ok, I found it, it's nº6, and it was a ship, where they stop by: 3.bp.blogspot.com/-baaucbjbGtM/U-0Z23Vn9LI/AAAAAAAAWDU/…
    – Bardo
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 9:34

All senior students of the school (X-men and New Mutants) are taught how to fly a plane, specially the Blackbird.

This is issued several times across the comic

  • 3
    Can you provide a panel or a scan that confirms this?
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 12:31
  • It's been a long time since I left my old comics at the familiar house, however I recall it perfectly
    – Bardo
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 12:34
  • 12
    It's not that I don't trust you, it's just that I like my evidence a little more tangible.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 12:50
  • 3
    Is that how people get the panels, they scan their comic books? Or do you have a mass collection on your computer? I'm always super impressed by the panels that are shown and the quality and clarity of them
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 13:25
  • 1
    @Bardo all the old XMens can be found online in digital format (torrent or nzb); since you own them then you're on solid moral footing if you download them
    – jcollum
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:28

Since only Colossus and Negasonic were there, and since they flew the Blackbird, clearly at least one of them was capable. This should not be surprising since in X2, Rogue and Iceman, both rather junior members of the team also flew the Blackbird. Either the Blackbird is really easy to fly (unlike its real life counterpart), or Professor Xavier really packs the skills training in, or both.


The Negasonic Teenage Warhead shown in the movie is a new character, with different powers than the one in the comics. Therefore, all we know about her capabilities is what's shown in the movie.

So, even if we had reason to think Colossus couldn't fly the plane (which we don't), we could safely conclude that she could.

  • I don't see how this follows at all. "All we know about her is the movie; we don't see her fly the plane in the movie; therefore we can conclude that she knows how to fly the plane." This doesn't preclude the use of a third person flying, or an autopilot, or even Colossus flying since you provided no evidence that he can't fly. Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 19:24
  • @ChrisHayes I'm assuming that the only people on the plane are those two, especially since we never see anyone else at the mansion. It could certainly be a third pilot, but there's not reason to think that. I didn't really read the question as asking which of them was flying. It sounds like they were surprised the plane was able to fly, since there was no pilot. I'm saying there's no reason to think she couldn't fly the plane, so there's nothing wrong.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 12:38

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