ANGLE OF ATTACK chronicles the history of naval aviation — from wobbly gliders and the first shipboard landing in 1911 to modern supersonic jets and unmanned aerial vehicles. The film deftly interweaves archival footage, interviews with historical and military experts, contemporary footage of cutting-edge aircraft and insights from today's "Top Gun" fighter pilots. In addition, ANGLE OF ATTACK also pays tribute to naval aviation’s visionaries, pioneers and risk-taking aviators, past and present.
Despite being viewed by some over the years as impractical, extravagant or obsolete, naval aviation has struggled to remain relevant in the face of competing technologies — the nuclear bomb and automation — and even budget pressures. In the face of these threats, naval aviation changed the face of war — from its heyday in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and later, Korea and Vietnam, to its rediscovered utility for reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The film begins and ends with the next generation of pilots working to hone their skills, in all kinds of weather, day and night, to land a jet safely on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean. This death-defying feat, first achieved in 1911 by Eugene Ely, cleared the path for the development of a powerful new tool for ensuring both the safety and security of nations and peacekeeping forces. ANGLE OF ATTACK then follows the progress of naval aviation, from the age of nuclear terror to the asymmetrical warfare, including the long, difficult ground wars still taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Produced by The Documentary Group.
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