The first part of this two-part documentary series begins by following young men and women on their way to "earning their Wings." In a rigorous course of instruction, they learn to lift off and land a supersonic aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, still considered one of the most difficult and hazardous tasks. Eugene Ely first attempted the death-defying feat in 1911. Ely's act of landing a fragile bi-plane on a make-shift wooden deck would eventually transform into a weapon of unprecedented power and influence. The episode concludes with World War II and the U.S. victory in the Pacific, when carrier aviation reigned supreme. However, Naval soon would face a threat to its existence - not from an enemy source, but from a competing technology - the nuclear bomb.
Episode #101 / Length: 55 minutes