Skyward (1980 TV Movie)
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Filmed in (and above) Rockwall, Texas, "SKYWARD" is an inspirational, made for TV, movie that will more than satisfy any lover of the "wild blue yonder" with it's spectacular aerial photography and sport flying! For the aviation enthusiast, you will share the sky with aircraft like the Stearman PT-13, Christen Eagle, and a several sailplanes.
For the lovers of heart touching dramas with inspirational messages and an all-star cast, it doesn't get much better than this! Ron Howard and Anson Williams, bring you a wonderful film dedicated to the disabled who "reach for the sky!" Julie Ward (Suzy Gilstrap, a true paraplegic) is a young wheelchair bound girl who, against handicap stereotypes, and her parent's (Marion Ross and Clu Gulager) overprotective wishes, fulfills her dream and learns to fly! She is aided with the help of flight instructor Billie Dupree (Bette Davis), airplane mechanic "Koup" (Howard Hesseman), and her high school boyfriend Scott Billings (Ben Marley).
For me, Skyward was a true inspiration as I went through flight school at TSTC in Waco, Texas from 1986 to 1988. It really puts a magical touch on aviation and has always been one of my favorite movies...thank you Ron Howard!
Where is the Christen Eagle airplane (N2FC) that was used in the movie today? In 2011 it was moved to the "EAA AirVenture Museum" in Oshkosh Wisconsin: http://www.eaa.org/news/2011/2011-10-27_christen_eagle.asp
I remember this as a "made for TV" movie of the time. As my father was a pilot who was rebuilding old planes in our garage, it brought home something extra.
While watching the video, I was immediately hooked into the drama of a wheelchair bound girl wanting to learn to fly.
Added to that was the performance of Bettie Davis along with Suzy Gilstrap as the girl.
The icing on the cake was the Christian Eagle plane depicted in the movie. IMHO, there could have not been a better all around showing.