Victory Through Air Power

Synopsis: This is a unique film in Disney Production's history. This film is essentially a propaganda film selling Major Alexander de Seversky's theories about the practical uses of long range strategic bombing. Using a combination of animation humorously telling about the development of air warfare, the film switches to the Major illustrating his ideas could win the war for the allies.
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win.
70 min


a war is very different...

than the last European war was.

Now air power is the dominant

feature of military operations.

Air power can fly directly

into the vital centers...

of an opposing state

and neutralize them.

It can destroy the cities.

It can wreck the aqueducts.

It can knock out

the lines of communication.

It can destroy

the food supplies...

and make the people

helpless to resist.

For 3,500 years,

man has had the desire to fly.

And yet it was

only 40 years ago...

this ambition was realized-

an accomplishment that

was to change the destiny...

of the entire world.

Two brothers,

Orville and Wilbur Wright-

bicycle builders

from Dayton, Ohio-

on the morning

of December 17...

set up on the sands of

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina...

their first heavier-than-air

flying machine.

Powered by

a four-cylinder motor...


almost twelve horsepower...

with two bicycle chain-driven


turning at nearly

340 revolutions per minute.

The machine,

complete with pilot...

weighed almost 750 pounds.

In order

to launch the plane...

a monoraiI track was designed.

The biplane "A"runs on

the wooden raiI "B"...

and anchor wire "C"

holds the plane back...

to enable the motor

to develop sufficient power...

for the takeoff.

Everything is in readiness.

The small crowd of witnesses

looks on hopefully.

Orville Wright

is at the controls.

One, two, three...


The motor races.

It's a tense moment.

Wilbur steadies the wing.

The plane strains

at the anchor cable.

Orville's hand

grips the controI.

The wire is released!

For twelve seconds...

the Wright plane

plows through the air...

in unmistakable power-driven,

man-carrying flight.

Twelve seconds.

TotaI distance-120 feet.

Man has conquered the air.

The five witnesses

of this epoch-making flight...

were too startled,

too thrilled to cheer.

Success! Four flights

Thursday morning...

starting from leveI,

average speed 31 miles.

Inform press. Home Christmas.

Orville Wright.

Man's first flight.

Yet this epoch-making feat...

failed to impress

a disinterested public.

The only part

of this stirring message...

that seemed newsworthy was...

"The Wright Brothers

to be home for Christmas. "

In spite of the public's

lack of enthusiasm...

the Wrights persisted.

Then one day, they made

a revolutionary flight.

For the first time,

they were able...

to turn the plane around

in midair...

and fly in

the opposite direction.

The daring Brazilian sportsman

Alberto Santos-Dumont...

made the first

officially recorded...

European airplane flight.

Soon, many other

intrepid airmen...

were flying

in triplanes, biplanes...

monoplanes and multiplanes.

Fantastic in appearance,

but they all flew.

Back in America...

Gee willikers!

It says here

the Army plans an Air Corps.

"The flying machine

must make...

"an endurance flight

of one hour...

"carry pilot

and one passenger...

"attain a speed

of 40 miles an hour...

'traveI ten miles

and land undamaged. "

Well, doggone.

41 enthusiastic

airplane builders...

submitted bids

of somewhat varied amounts.

I'll build a plane

for a million dollars.

I'll build it

for a thousand.

- Mine'll cost 10 million.

- $3,000.

- $1,230.

- $10,000.

My plane'll cost only $510.

And one shrewd bidder...

guaranteed to build a plane

for $45 a pound.

However, when

the government demanded...

a 10% forfeit be posted...

all but three of

these enthusiastic bidders...

hastily withdrew.

The contract was let

to the Wright Brothers...

for one military airplane.

Six months later,

at Fort Meyer...

delivery was made

to the United States Army.

This was the modest beginning

of our Air Force.

It was only 33 years ago...

that Louis Blriot took off

from the coast of France...

and, without instruments,

made the 21-mile flight...

across the English ChanneI.

Only a few realized

the significance...

of this great flight.

England was no longer isolated

from the rest of Europe...

by an impassable body

of water.

A ChanneI flight

that was to one day...

prove of even

greater significance...

was accomplished by

the Honorable C.S. Rolls.

In his own words...

Departing from England...

the flight across the ChanneI

was quite uneventfuI.

Reaching the other side

and being recognized.

Dropped greetings.

And without stopping...

returned home

safely without mishap.

In the meantime,

back in America...

aviation saw

another great advancement.

Eugene Ely

made the first takeoff...

from the deck

of the U.S.S. Birmingham.

Two months later,

Ely reversed this feat...

by landing on

the U.S.S. Pennsylvania.

This was the birth

of the aircraft carrier.

In 1911, the first experiments

with seaplanes began.

Canoe-like pontoons

were added to a land plane.

Straining for the takeoff,

the motor raced.

At 31 miles an hour...

the plane sped across

the surface of the lake...

and slid up on the bank.

It was not untiI Glenn Curtiss

added a more powerfuI motor...

that experiments with seaplanes

were a success.

That same year

also witnessed...

the first

transcontinentaI flight.

Racing against

a 30-day time limit...

for a $50,000 prize...

Calbraith P. Rodgers

took off from Long Island...

accompanied by a speciaI train

carrying spare parts.

The flight consisted

of 69 short hops...

and 15 crashes.

Over rivers and mountains...

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