Opening scene shows several aircraft and aircrews on an Airfield in Oakland, California, readying for the Dole Air Race to Hawaii. A modified Travel Air 5000 aircraft, NX869, named "Woolaroc," is seen in the near foreground. Behind it is another Travel Air 5000, named "Oklahoma." Next, the "Oklahoma" and the "Aloha"(NX914), a Breese-Wilde 5 Monoplane are seen with engines running and taxiing. The "Aloha" takes off and climbs sharply after gaining airspeed. Several Wickes-class destroyers are seen steaming underway. (Slate reports they patrol the course to be flown over the Pacific.) Scene shifts to wreckage of the "Angel of Los Angeles" a twin engine Bryant Monoplane, which crashed on a test flight at Montebello, California. (Pilot, Arthur V. Rogers, bailed out at the last minute but his parachute didn't fully open and he was killed.) Next is shown the wreckage of the "Pride of Los Angeles," an International CF-10 Triplane, after crashing into San Francisco Bay on August 11th. Pilots J. L. Giffin and Theodore S. Lundgren are seen stepping from the water, unhurt. A crane, on a barge, lifts the wreckage from the shallow water.
Ground crews prepare Fokker C-2 Trimotor aircraft called "Bird of Paradise." Crowd at Oakland airport as plane takes off. Aircraft in flight. Aircraft lands in Hawaii. Lieutenant Alfred Hegenberger and Lietenant Lester Maitland greeted by large crowd. Leis placed around neck of Hegenberger and Maitland.
Fliers in the Dole Derby air race take off for Hawaii. The "City of Oakland," a Travel Air 5000 aircraft is seen being readied for flight. Pilot Ernie Smith and navigator Emory Bronte pose at the front of the aircraft, inspecting the engine and propeller. Closeup of the two. Next, a mechanic hand-cranks the engine to start it. Pilot, Smith climbs into the cockpit and closes its door. On July 14th, the aircraft is seen on takeoff roll toward and past the camera, which continues to track it through the takeoff. (The aircraft ran out of fuel and crash landed on the island of Molokai, in Hawaii on July 15th. Smith and Bronte were flown by Army aircraft to Wheeler field, the same day, where they were feted as the first civilians to fly across the Pacific.)
The longest over water flight to date, accomplished by the U.S. Army Air Service in 1927. Chief of Army Air Service, Major General Patrick, standing between Pilot, Lt. Lester J. Maitland, and Navigator, Lt. Albert F. Hegenberger in front of their Fokker C-2-3 trimotor airplane, named the Bird of Paradise. General Patrick is wishing them farewell as they are about to depart on their transoceanic flight from Oakland California to Honolulu, Hawaii. Animation of aircraft leaving Oakland Airport. Fokker C-2-3 in flight. Animation of the longest over water flight ever attempted, 2400 miles, Oakland to Honolulu.
Evolution of United States Air Force uniforms in the United States. A pilot in a 1927 U.S. Army Air Corps uniform in the front cockpit of a trainer. Another pilot in a 1927 U.S. Army Air Corps uniform in the cockpit. A pilot in a 1927 U.S. Army Air Corps uniform takes off his officers' hat and puts on a helmet. He climbs into the cockpit of the aircraft. A French Nieuport fighter aircraft takes off. A German Fokker D VII fighter aircraft takes off. The Nieuport aircraft and the Fokker D VII aircraft make low passes over a runway.
'The Epic American Trans Atlantic Flight' depicts crashes involving various pilots in the United States. Captain Charles A. Lindbergh. On September 21, 1926, Rena Fonck stands in front of his Sikorsky airplane, ready to try a solo flight across the Atlantic to Paris. He takes off and crashes in flames.
Navy Commander Richard E. Byrd poses. On April 16, 1927, his Fokker C-2 trimotor airplane ("America"), piloted by Anthony Fokker, with Byrd, Floyd Bennett, and George O. Norville,on board, flips over on takeoff at Hasborough, New Jersey. In September, 1927. Clarence Chamberlin in a Bellanca plane taxis and takes off. The tail and right main wheel dig into the soft field on landing and the airplane is severely damaged. The wreck of the "American Legion" Keystone Pathfinder airplane that carried Commander Noel Davis and Lieutenant Stanton Wooster to their deaths, in a crash landing, in the Back river, near Langley Field, Virginia, In Paris, on April 26, 1927,Frenchmen, Captain Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli pose before taking off on their ill fated flight, in a Levasseur PL8 aircraft, named " White Bird." Charles Lindbergh standing next to his mother,Evangeline Land Lindbergh. The "Spirit of St. Louis" is towed out and refueled at Mineola, New York. Charles Lindbergh climbs into the plane and makes a bumpy takeoff. Bystanders watch. People gather to greet him upon arrival in Paris. Lindbergh poses with U.S. Ambassador to France Myron Herrick. Lindbergh honored by the French President Gaston Doumergue.