A Dash Through the Clouds, 1912

This Mack Sennett silent comedy includes rare footage of a Wright Model B piloted by Phil Parmelee. After he left the Wright exhibition team, Parmelee had a brief career as an actor, starring in A Dash Through the Clouds, released in 1912. Playing the role of Slim, “the Aviator,” Parmelee flew with actress Mabel Normand in a Wright Model B for the film’s aerial scenes. This scene features good footage of the Model B taking off and landing as Parmelee and Normand’s character, Josephine, fly to the rescue of Josephine’s boyfriend, Chubby, who is in a shack, hiding from a group of Mexicans whom he has angered. At the film’s end, Josephine switches her affection from Chubby to Slim. Shortly after the film was completed, Parmelee died in an airplane accident in Washington state. Video: Library of Congress (2:02)

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