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The Early Years

series: Pioneers In Aviation: The Race To The Moon

air date: 5/08/13 12:00 AM

"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.

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