PIONEERS IN AVIATION: THE RACE TO THE MOON captures every significant event in aviation history, from the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk and the birth of the airlines to the triumphant Apollo moon landing. The three-part documentary uses archival footage and newsreels, along with commentary from aviation scholars, to profile industry pioneers William Boeing, Donald Douglas, Dutch Kindelberger and James McDonnell. Some of the newly rediscovered and never-before-seen footage includes General Jimmy Doolittle's legendary 1942 Tokyo raid, the famous 1924 "Round-the-World Flight," a rare glimpse inside the wartime factories at Boeing, Douglas and North American Aviation and President John F. Kennedy's eloquent 1963 speech which set forth the goals of the Mercury Space Program. Episodes: "The Early Years," "The War Years" and "The Race to the Moon."
Upcoming airings of "Pioneers In Aviation: The Race to the Moon" on:
"The Early Years" details the birth of American aviation-from the Wright Brothers' earliest flights, through the turbulent era of the 1920s. "The Early Years" documents the captains of the Aviation Industry as young men as they design and construct planes for America's effort in World War I, begin flying the mail in the 1920s, and develop the first passenger airlines. Episode I concludes with the dramatic head-to-head rivalry between the Boeing 247 and the Douglas DC-3 for command of the newly born commercial aviation industry. Highlights include: Footage of the Wright Brothers' famous 1908 demonstration for the U.S. Army Signal Corps at Fort Myer, Virginia. Newly recovered footage of the Boeing workshops and factories (circa 1917-1918), as they build aircraft for America's effort in World War I. Newsreel footage of the 1924 U.S. Army Aviation Service "Around-the-World-Flight" in four Douglas World Cruisers. Donald Douglas's moving reminiscence his experience-at the age of 16-as he witnessed Orville Wright's demonstration of the first Wright airplane.
Episode Number: #101
Length: 55 minutes, 54 seconds.
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"The War Years" documents the 1930s and 40s, as the clouds of war once again began to gather over Europe. With all of Western Europe a German stronghold by the summer of 1940, and England under attack, President Roosevelt calls upon the captains of his Aviation Industry-declaring that America must become "the Arsenal of Democracy. " Under Donald Douglas's leadership, and Dutch Kindelberger's guidance, the U.S. aviation industry unites to tackle the biggest production job in industrial history. With Boeing, Douglas, and North American Aviation factories working around the clock, they produce some of the most legendary aircraft in American history-giving the Allies air supremacy in both the European and Pacific theaters and, ultimately, victory in World War II. Highlights include: Newly discovered footage of the Second World War's most storied military operation: the 1942 Doolittle/Tokyo Raid, flown by North American Aviation's B-25 "Mitchell bomber." Newly discovered footage of Jimmy Doolittle's triumphant return to North American Aviation to share his victory with Dutch Kindelberger and the North American employees. Newly recovered newsreel footage from the1940s, offering a rare glimpse inside the wartime factories at Boeing, Douglas, and North American Aviation. A Lowell Thomas-narrated World War II newsreel of the legendary North American P-51 Mustang in the skies over Berlin.
Episode Number: #102
Length: 56 minutes, 15 seconds.
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"The Race to the Moon" documents the era of the 1950s and 1960s, as post-war America finds itself locked in an ideological struggle with the Soviet Union-an adversary whose philosophy promised the destruction of capitalism. In 1957, the Soviet launch of Sputnik suddenly shifted the Cold War battlefield to space and heralded the decade-long Race to the Moon. As did his predecessors, President Kennedy turns to the captains of his Aviation Industry-now in the autumn of their years-with the century's greatest aerospace challenge. Highlights include: Newly discovered footage documenting President Kennedy's 1963 visit to McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, in celebration of the Mercury Space Program. Emotionally charged footage of Astronaut John Glenn's triumphant return to McDonnell Aircraft, after orbiting the Earth-to share his achievement with "Mr. Mac" and his employees. Photographs of the unknown 19-year-old Marilyn Monroe, modeling the cabin features of the new Douglas DC-6. Boeing Test Pilot Tex Johnston's legendary barrel-roll of the "Dash-80"-prototype of the Boeing 707-over Lake Washington during the 1955 Seattle Gold Cup Races.
Episode Number: #103
Length: 56 minutes, 38 seconds.
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