|Directed by||Ford Beebe|
|Written by||Eliot Gibbons|
Clarence Upson Young
|Produced by||Henry MacRae|
William A. Sickner
|Edited by||Saul A. Goodkind (supervisor)|
|Music by||Charles Previn|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|12 chapters (227 minutes)|
Sky Raiders is a 12-episode 1941 Universal film serial. The serial was directed by Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor. Sky Raiders stars Donald Woods, Billy Halop, Robert Armstrong and Eduardo Ciannelli. Sky Raiders has little in common with Universal’s other early-1940s espionage outings like Sea Raiders or Junior G-Men, although the serial is often lumped in together as if it is part of a series.
Former World War I ace pilot Captain Bob Dayton, (Donald Woods) is the owner of Sky Raiders, Inc., an aircraft company. Dayton has designed a bombsight and a new high speed fighter aircraft, the "Sky Raider". Dayton recruits young Tim Bryant (Billy Halop), a member of Air Youth of America, to help him.
Nazi agent Felix Lynx (Eduardo Ciannelli) attempts to steal these designs for his own country. Lynx is determined to seize this valuable new aircraft, with the help of his female accomplice Innis Clair (Jacqueline Dalya) and of a criminal named John KAne who happens to be a perfect double for Dayton. All attempts, however, to steal the fighter aircraft prototype, fail.
Dayton's new bombsight is being tested in Hawaii, and Lynx intercepts a Sikorsky S-45 flying boat on the way to Honolulu. After it is shot down, Dayton and his secretary Mary Blake (Kathryn Adams) who were on board, were rescued by a government cutter.
Lieutenant Carry (Robert Armstrong) and Tim meet the survivors but find that Lynx has sent his henchmen to finish the job. The foreign agents are killed when they hit an oncoming truck. Mary announces that she has become Mrs. Dayton.
Many exterior shots for Sky Raiders were made at the Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, California. A rare Phillips 1-B Aeroneer appears in the serial. Bob Dayton's personal aircraft is a Fairchild 24W-9 (c/n W-101, NC18688).
Aerial photography was a mixture of "fairly effective combinations of process-screen shots, (obvious) model work, stock footage and actual flying work by stunt pilot Jerry Jerome."
The aircraft used in Sky Raiders are:
Reviewer Hans J. Wollstein, wrote in his review of Sky Raiders for Allmovie, "Universal catered to the young fans of aviation with this airborne serial, which featured a plucky kid –'Bowery Boy' Billy Halop – and plenty of 'sky riders'. Famous aviator Bob Dayton (Donald Woods) hires a bright member of the Air Youth of America, Tim (Halop), to help him finalize a hush-hush project: a new type of fighter plane and bombsight. This being 1941, plenty of enemy agents are after the invention, including the nefarious Felix Lynx (Eduardo Cianelli). It takes Dayton, Tim, and the co-owner of Sky Raiders, Inc., Lieutenant Ed Carey (Robert Armstrong) 12 breathless chapters before they are able to defeat the enemy. The final installment was quite appropriately entitled 'Winning Warriors'."