Bud Wise dreams of becoming a successful aviator, but the derision of his neighbors in the small village of Plainsfield drives him to the big city to fulfill his fantasies. After arriving in the city, Bud writes to Edith Kent, the only person from Plainsfield who had faith in him, that he has become a flying ace, but in reality he labors as a maintenance man at the aviation field. When Edith arrives to see her flying ace, Bud bluffs behind the levers of the plane when the engine accidentally starts, sending Bud on a wild flight which proves to Edith that her sweetheart has become a star pilot.
The musical Going Up was based on the play The Aviator. The working title of this film was An Ace in the Hole. Warner Bros. Pictures produced a film entitled The Aviator in 1929, which was based on the same source; it was directed by Roy Del Ruth and starred Edward Everett Horton and Patsy Ruth Miller. First National Pictures produced Going Wild in 1930, which was based on the same source; it was directed by William A. Seiter and starred Joe E. Brown and Laura Lee. (See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0207 and F2.2150.) In 1931, Warner Bros. released a French language version entitled L'Aviateur, which was made primarily with a French cast in Hollywood under the supervision of Jean Daumery and starred Jeanne Helbling and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.