Flying Fleet was one of the first script-writing efforts of Lt. Commander Frank "Spig" Wead, who came to Hollywood after the crippling accident that ended his naval career (Wead's life story was later romanticized in the 1957 John Ford picture The Wings of Eagles). Evidently, Wead's favorite story involved two military men who have a falling out over a beautiful woman. In this instance, six U.S. Naval Academy graduates argue over "dames" while attending flying school. Foremost among the cadets are Tommy (Ramon Novarro) and Steve (Ralph Graves, who showed up in several Wead films), while the romantic bone of contention is Anita (Anita Page). The rate of attrition amongst the six would-be flyboys is astonishing, and as a result only Tommy and Steve are able to complete the training process. In time-honored tradition, our heroes forget their personal problems when lives are at stake. The film is distinguished by its first-rate aviation scenes, superbly photographed by Charles A. Marshall. A silent film, Flying Fleet was released with a synchronized music and sound-effects track; a "restored" version of the film debuted over the Turner Classic Movies cable service in the mid-1990s.
by Hal Erickson synopsis