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Two British aircraft companies are competing for the business of American tycoon Paul Fisher, and in consequence airplane designer Jack Hopkins clashes with Humphrey Upshott, son of the owner of the rival firm. Hopkins' devotion to his hobby--steam traction engines--and to his own engine, "The Iron Maiden," involves Fisher, his status-seeking wife, and his daughter Kathy in a number of unpleasant situations; and Fisher becomes furious with Hopkins though he is impressed by his airplane. With the start of the year's most important traction engine rally, at Woburn, circumstances place Fisher in "The Iron Maiden" assisting Hopkins as a stoker. Kathy takes her father's place when his back gives out and helps win the race. By the end of the race, Kathy and Hopkins have fallen in love; and as they embrace, "The Iron Maiden" blows up. Hopkins' firm gets Fisher's contract, and the first plane is christened "The Iron Maiden."