Film: 9429

Aviation | 1930 | Sound + Silent | B/W

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Synopsis:

Aeronautical oddities.
Shots of various U.S. Air Force aircraft in flight. Some fly in formation, others are jets, others carry bombs.
A large bi-plane is pushed out onto an airfield. 1903 - The Wright Brothers fly their aircraft at Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Shots of the 'plane taking off and in flight. Bleriot takes off in his "animated box kite". Ruth Law - a female pilot - leaps out of a stationary aeroplane and puts on a coat.
World War One - aircraft in the field. Servicemen stand about smoking - Eddie Rickenbacker and his La Fayette Cadrille. A pilot sitting in a cockpit smiles at camera. Shots of the bi-planes in flight - from the ground and air to air, and camera shots from behind the pilot. Good footage of a bomb being dropped on a battleship at sea. Shots of the pilot releasing the bombs, and of explosions as the boat is hit. The battleship on its side starts to sink.
People stand around a United States Air Mail Service van. A pilot shakes hands with officials before flying.
Lindberg climbs into his aircraft - The Spirit of St. Louis - and takes off. Shots of aviators - Will Rogers and Wily Post (?) - one wears a white eye patch. Close ups of Amelia Earhart, Ruth Elder. Ruth Nicholls climbs out of a cockpit. She stands by the side of the aircraft which has details of her records listed on the side.
A man wears a white boiler suit with a winged emblem on the back. It says Pratt-Whitney Aircrafts U.S.A. He fixes a hard cockpit cover over a pilot. Shot of Jean Bales (Jee Bee) in his "power packed speedster" in flight. The aircraft is caught in a roll and bursts into flames as it crashes into the ground.
The Hindenburg airship floats over a city. People watch her from an airfield. Shot of the airship ablaze as she falls to the ground. She collapses in a cloud of black smoke. People stand and watch an American jet with pointed nose in flight over an airfield. Three fly in formation. On the ground a cameraman quickly turns trying to capture the action of a fast moving aircraft. Further shots of jets taking off and speeding into the distance. Air to air shot of a jet 'plane. A "flying wing" takes off and flies (similar in appearance to a Stealth Bomber - perhaps a forerunner?), then the B47 Stratojet - United States Air Force - which can reach speeds near the sound barrier. It has to release a parachute to slow it down on landing. The XS1 (?) releases a rocket from its under carriage which is capable of travelling 1500 miles per hour. Various shots of the rockets in flight.
A convoy of trucks carries a rocket to a launch pad. Military types stand about watching the launch. Shots of the control room including interiors. The rocket takes off.
Horses and carts pull an aircraft - Bleriot. A man and woman speed off in a car. Series of stunts with a bi-plane hanging down a rope ladder for the man to climb up out of the car. The woman goes too, leaving the moving car empty. Air to air shots of the biplane with people hanging off it. A crowd of spectators watch an aircraft in an arena, flying low and hopping over parked vehicles.
Shot of a three wheeled glider (?) in flight. An aircraft comes into land and crashes into a wooden building and straight out the other side. Second shot of the same stunt from a slightly different angle. The stunt is tried again, but this time the aeroplane flies too high and hits the roof. It tumbles over and crashes on the other side of the house, upside down. Very brief shot of a biplane taking off over camera. Harold Lloyd flies an aircraft with a lady sitting behind him astride the body of the aeroplane. Rather a poorly staged stunt as they crash into a church.
Various shots of a large box frame aircraft in flight (early - Wright Bros.?). Still of a bizarre looking aircraft with revolving blades. Moving footage of the helicopter-type craft with the blades revolving. It leaves the ground momentarily as onlookers watch. A cross shaped craft with rotary blades at each prong attempts flight. With the assistance of the ground crew it leaves the ground momentarily and moves about the airfield. Unassisted, it remains airborne for a few moments. An early helicopter takes off and has a successful, if slow and low flight. It lands. Close up of the rotary blades. More shots of it in flight - now moving faster. A man pilots another successful early helicopter.
Footage of the Sky Car - an aircraft with an umbrella-type pumping propeller. It does little more than bounce up and down. An aircraft with bird type wooden wings begins to flap. The force causes its propeller to drop off. A second try fails when the undercarriage collapses.
A large contraption is taken out of a hangar. Its paddle-like sails revolve. A bearded man sits in a wonderful bird shaped aircraft with flapping wings. Shot of a pilot getting into a cockpit. Shots of an aircraft in flight. Various views of its workings. An aircraft with seven wings (a sept-plane?) attempts flight. The wings fold in half and fall to bits. A chap tries to take off in a pedal powered craft with flapping wings. A helicopter crashes to one side as it tries to take off. More shots of different aircraft with flapping wings that fall apart, helicopters that don't go very far and aeroplanes whose force of propulsion makes them fall to bits rather than take off. A second version of the Sky Car does much the same as its predecessor.
A light aircraft takes off and flies quite high, but crashes into the ground, collapsing on impact. A large balloon with propellers sways backwards and forwards before people on the ground manage to hold it down. A huge contraption with American flags on it is taken out of a garage onto the road. Further montage of various suspect looking flying machines. Some look more like children's climbing frames. Some have flapping wings, others revolving sails. Some are pedal powered. An aircraft taxis quite successfully, but on take off, crashes sideways. The next appears quite successful and flies quite high, but then does a nose dive and hits the ground. People rush towards the wreckage. Further flying attempts repeat previous footage.
A man lies horizontally, strapped to a glider and is perched on top of car. The car travels at speed, but eventually the hang glider falls off the back. A man tries to fly in a flimsy glider, but instead crashes down a rocky cliff face. He is rescued, seemingly unhurt. A man with a glider jumps off a bridge and falls into the water below.
In a snowy area the first rocket mail is attempted. Neither attempt gets very much further than the end of the launch ramp.
A man straps rockets to his back. They are ignited and explode backwards. He remains standing still, but others have to throw snow on his backside to stop the burning. He tries again, this time on ice skates. The explosion is more powerful and he does move forward until he loses his balance and falls over.
(Fuller explanation of this sequence) - on ice, two men stand. One wears dark overcoat and hat, other a woollen hat, pullover and trousers. First man assists second man strap a contraption on his back. Close up of the back pack of three rockets mounted on a board. They are adjusted. Rocket man stands side on to camera and crouches. He puts his left arm out and sets rockets off with other hand. In a blinding flash, the rockets explode. An stands as wires on contraption burn.
Five or six men rapidly scoop up snow and throw it at man's back. He hops from one skate-wearing foot to the other. Men put fire out.
Second profile shot of crouching man as he sets rockets off again. Rockets fire properly, man pushes off and immediately falls over with the rockets burning fiercely on his back.
Further repeated footage of previous helicopter type air craft follows. Nice close ups of the second Sky Car.


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