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World War I fighter pilot Scotty Allen returns home and learns that his wife has died giving birth to their first son Jimmie. After the Armistice, Scotty refuses to see his son until his fellow airmen, Speed Robertson and Tommy Wade, convince him it is his duty to raise Jimmie. Speed and Scotty join their old buddy Casey Cameron's flying circus, while Tommy joins his father's bank. Years pass, during which record-breaking flights are made around the world. In 1924, Casey adds parachutist Geraldine "Geri" Croft to the troupe. Casey then leaves the circus to smuggle goods for "Gat" Billings. Tommy's father offers to back Scotty and Speed in becoming professional flying aces, while Geri agrees to put Jimmie through school. In 1927, Speed and Scotty attempt to cross the Atlantic in thirty-six hours. Their plane crashes before take-off, however, and Scotty is killed. Although Speed proposes to Geri, she refuses, believing he only wants to protect young Jimmie. Charles Lindberg, meanwhile, lands in Paris, and Amelia Earheart crosses the Atlantic. Speed and Tommy decide their daredevil days are over and turn to commercial aviation. By 1933, their airline, Continental, has become incorporated. Casey then returns, following Billings' run-in with the authorities, and asks for a job with Continental, but Speed refuses him. Continental meanwhile, is perfecting an automatic pilot device, which Billings hopes to sell to Russian Baron Ankrevitch. Casey gets a job next door in order to spy on the project. After a five-year absence, Geri returns with high school graduate Jimmie, who wants to learn to fly. Although Speed and Geri still carry a silent flame for each other, she dates Casey until Speed finally asks her to dinner. Casey then offers to let Jimmie take his first plane up in order to procure information on the automatic pilot. Continental loses its mail contract to the army and is desperate to fly their new plane to Washington, D.C. and secure a patent for the auto-pilot. When the plane takes off from Las Vegas, Billings and Casey intercede and hold Geri and Speed hostage. Jimmie hides in the plane, however, and after Casey and the pilot are shot, lands the plane with Speed's help. Speed and Geri make plans to marry, and Continental gets its mail contract. Jimmie is now a bonafide pilot.