The film is based on the biography of Valeri Chkalov (1904 - 1938), a Russian pilot, who set several long distance flight records. Chkalov and his co-pilots Baidukov and Belyakov together had accomplished several non-stop long-distance flights. In June of 1937 Chkalov set the world record, covering 12000 kilometers in 63 hours of non-stop flight from Moscow to Vancouver, Washington, flying over the North Pole. He was flying a specially designed Russian plane ANT-25, which was also called RD (Record Distance). Chkalov was also a professional test-pilot. He was involved in testing the new Polikarpov fighter, that was designed to fight against the newest German fighters. Chkalov died in a plane crash during the test-flight near Moscow, on December 15th of 1938.