Conditions in Japan in 1927-1928. An animated map of the Pacific Ocean depicts the growth of Japanese military might since 1894. The map depicts areas under Japanese empire in 1894, the Chinese Japanese War of 1894-1895, the Russian Japanese War Of 1904-1905, the territory under Japanese influence and World War I from 1914-1918. Officers watch as Japanese soldiers march. Japanese cavalry units. Soldiers run forward. Japanese Emperor Hirohito looks at the maneuvers at the Imperial Japanese Military Academy in Tokyo. He salutes standing at a dais. The soldiers parade. A naval smoke screen is laid to shield the army at a river crossing. The Emperor looks on as soldiers in a barge land at a shore. Two vessels in a water body. Japanese sailors march. Emperor Hirohito in conversation with military officials. From the deck of his flagship 'Katori', he watches as naval guns are fired.
Opens with scenes of aviators unsuccessful attempts to cross the Atlantic in pursuit of the Orteig Prize. Failed attempt by Fonck in his Sikorsky aircraft as he headed for Paris on September 21, 1926. French aviator René Paul Fonck standing beside his aircraft before takeoff. Fonck's plane taxiing for takeoff. View of the plane crashed and consumed in fire and smoke. Crash of Byrd's Fokker plane on April 16, 1927, injuring Byrd and crewmen Noville and Bennett. View of Byrd in uniform before the crash. View of the crash as Byrd's plane is seen tumbling nose over on landing. Failure of Chamberlin's Bellanca aircraft carrying Chamberlin and two little girl passengers. The plane stalls at landing but passengers are safe. Next scene of crash of plane carrying Davis and Wooster on April 26, 1927 near Langley Field, Virginia, killing both men. The crashed plane beside a swamp. View of France's Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli before their attempt in L'Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird). Plane with Nungesser and Coli taking off; it disappeared after taking off from Paris, with the last sighting of it over Ireland. View of Charles Lindbergh and then also of Lindbergh and his mother, and of the Spirit of Saint Louis on May 20, 1927 before his successful Atlantic Crossing to Le Bourget at Paris on May 21, 1927. The aircraft being backed out of a hangar and being fueled. Captain Charles Augustus Lindbergh enters the cockpit. The Spirit of Saint Louis Wright Whirlwind powered monoplane taxiing and taking off slowly from Roosevelt Field in New York, heavily burdened by fuel. Aerial view of the Spirit of St Louis in flight, taken from another airplane. Charles Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic in the plane 'Spirit of St. Louis'. Charles Lindbergh is greeted by huge crowd in Paris. Views of crowds, dignitaries and celebrations as he is welcomed by people in Paris, Brussels and London. Also views of his receptions in Washington DC and New York City in the United States in June 1927.
Aerial view of airfield at Oakland, California. Pilot, Bennett Griffin, is seen with his wife and child, standing beside his Travel Air 5000 airplane,"Oklahoma." Registration number:"N-X 911" is stenciled on its tail. Pilot Martin Jensen, saying farewell to members of his family in front of his airplane,"Aloha" (that finished second in the race). Aircraft being readied for takeoff. Starter with checkered flag stands ready as nine men push the Travel Air 5000 "Oklahoma, the first to take off, forward into starting position, with engine running. Next scene shows starter holding stopwatch and flag. He signals start with the flag. Scene shifts to the second aircraft to take off, the Goddard Special metal monoplane, NX5074, "El Encanto." Camera tracks as the airplane has difficulty breaking ground, skipping several times in a long ground roll. Suddenly, it veers off the the right in a crab, wiping out its landing gear and breaking part of its right wing as it flips over in a crash leaving it tilted on its left wing facing backwards. Some smoke is seen but quickly disappears. Men and rescue personnel rush to the scene. (Reportedly the crew was unhurt.) Next, the prototype Lockheed Vega 1 monoplane, NX913, "Golden Eagle," is making smooth takeoff. Navigator Gordon Scott waves to spectators below as the plane climbs out. Aerial view of the plane in flight. The "Miss Doran," a Buhl CA-5 Air Sedan, number NC2915, is seen next on takeoff, past photographers and spectators, and then airborne. Next, the Breese-Wilde 5 Monoplane, NX914, "Aloha" is seen taking off. It climbs out very slowly. Navigator Paul Schluter waves as they depart. Pilot Arthur C. Goebel and navigator, Willian V. Davis Jr. are seen next by their plane "Woolaroc." A woman wishes them good luck, with a bouquet of flowers. Next, men are seen pushing the "Woolaroc" and it takes off and climbs. Pre-departure footage of Pilot Gordon Scott and navigator John W. Frost, with friends, near their airplane, "Golden Eagle." (Their aircraft vanished in the Pacific.) Pre-departure footage of pilot John Augie Pedlar, navigator Lieutenant Vilas R. Knopie, and their passenger, Mildred Doran, whose aircraft, "Miss Doran," was also lost in the Pacific.
U.S. battleships underway in the Pacific Ocean. The battleships underway in a column. Smoke rises from firing from the ships. Heavy columns of smoke rise.
A huge crowd of people (including a number of U.S. Army personnel in uniform) converges on the airfield at Honolulu, Hawaii, to witness the arrival of the Travel Air 5000 airplane, named "woolarc," winner of the Dole Derby trans-Pacific air race. The aircraft taxis across a wide swath of grass, assisted by men at each wing. A small airplane taxis behind it. An Army officer walks past the camera. Pilot Arthur C. Goebel and navigator, William V. Davis Jr. are seen next with Hawaiian Leis around their necks as they are surrounded by congratulatory well-wishers. They are closely escorted by an Army officer into a tent, where some children, including one boy with a bandage and patch over his left eye. Outdoors, Pilot Arthur Goebel receives more flower leis and poses for closeups. Next, the Breese-Wilde 5 Monoplane, NX914, "Aloha" is seen taxiing after arriving second in the race. an Army officer waves some spectators away from the taxiing aircraft. Navigator Paul Schluter waves from the rear cockpit. He and pilot, Martin Jensen, are next seen with leis around their necks. In the final sequence, winners Goebel and Davis are seen with second place aviators, Jensen and Schluter, flanking James D. Dole, who has just presented each pair their award checks.
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.