Generous stock footage from such previous Columbia aviation epics as Flight and Dirigible helped to make Air Hawks (working title: Air Fury) seem more costly than it really was. Real-life pilot Wiley Post, who'd recently grabbed the headlines with his daring around-the-world flight, plays himself, while the acting relief is provided by Ralph Bellamy (hero), Tala Birrell (heroine) and Douglass Dumbrille (villain). The plot has something to do with an infra-red "death ray" which figures prominently in the rivalry between two competing air services. Singled out for critical praise was the sound-effects work by Edward Bernds, who later became a prolific Columbia "B"-picture and 2-reeler director. Air Hawks was released in late May of 1935; in less than two months, Wiley Post and his close friend Will Rogers would perish in a plane crash of the coast of Alaska.