Wings Over Everest

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Wings over Everest
Directed byGeoffrey Barkas
Ivor Montagu
CinematographyS. R. Bonnett
A. L. Fisher
J. Rosenthal
Release date
  • June 1934 (1934-06)
Running time
22 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Wings over Everest is a 1934 British short documentary film directed by Geoffrey Barkas and Ivor Montagu. It won an Academy Award in 1936 for Best Short Subject (Novelty).[1] It described the 1933 Houston-Westland expedition, in which Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton, otherwise known as Lord Clydesdale, piloted a single-engined biplane on 3 April 1933, just clearing Everest's southern peak by a few feet, having been caught in a powerful downdraught.[2] The film used mixture of real footage of Everest from the record-breaking flight and theatrically produced scenes using the actual people rather than actors.[3]

The flight used two aircraft that took off from Purnea, India on 3 April 1933.[4] One aircraft was Westland PV-3 which had undergone some additional changes, and the other aircraft was a Westland PV-6.[4] Lord Clydesdale flew the PV-3 and Lieutenant David McIntyre in the PV-6.[4] The aircraft were not pressurized but they did use bottled oxygen.[4]

As mentioned, the film about this flight won an Oscar in the United States in 1936, in addition, aerial photos would go onto be used by mountaineers including Tenzing and Hillary's expedition which reached the summit on foot.[5] The aerial photos were made on a second flight on 19 April 1933 as during the first flight there was a dusty haze that obscured the photographs from the 3 April flight.[6]


  1. ^ "The 8th Academy Awards (1936) Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  2. ^ Meredith-Hardy, Richard (31 January 2004). "Over Everest: Aeroplane Expeditions to Everest". Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  3. ^ "81 years ago, the first movie camera over Everest won an Oscar". 26 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Arbuckle, Alex. "The first men to fly over Mount Everest did so in an unpressurized biplane". Mashable. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Remembering the Scots who flew over Everest some 80 years ago". Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Remembering the Scots who flew over Everest some 80 years ago". Retrieved 24 January 2019.

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