On the midway, Elmer Purdy pulls a farmer in to play the dart game he's running. Corky comes over and wave to Elmer that he's ready, and Elmer breaks the balloon for his customer and then closes his booth/ At the wagon, Corky shows Elmer the miniature passenger balloon that he created, and figures that Tim will want it as a new attraction because business is terrible. Elmer demonstrates how it will work, and dismisses Corky's concern about how they'll get back. He then wonders what to use to fill the balloon, and starts mixing some hydrogen or hot air.
In the big top, Tim complains to Joey about how the attendance is down. They're wondering where Elmer is when there's an explosion from the wagon. Elmer says that they'll use hot air instead of hydrogen, just as Tim and Joey run in. Tim demands an explanation, and tells him to be at the dart game all the time. Joey tells Corky to let Elmer clean up his own mess, and Elmer assures corky that they'll show him.
The circus heads on to Centerville and that night, Elmer wakes Corky up and takes him to see his full-size hot-air balloon. He explains that a farmer named Stebbins let him make it in the balloon. Mrs. Stebbins comes over with her baby Junior, and says that her husband is at the county seat. Elmer offers to give her a ride but she refuses and leaves with her baby. The inventor invites Corky to come with him on his first flight. Corky admits that he's scared and Elmer says that he is as well. They convince each other to go up, and they finally release the anchor ropes.
The balloon takes off and Elmer lets some air out to stop their descent. They start dropping too fats, sand Corky suggests that they drop the sand bags. The first one hits a farmer's water trough, and the second one smashes a woman's eggs. The balloons crashes into the circus, and Tim and Joey run over to check on Corky. Corky is all right, and Tim has a long talk with Elmer. Tim had to pay for the damages and his fine for disturbing the peace, and say that now the locals hate them. Business is worse than usual, and the sheriff is threatening to run them out of the country as a menace. Tim has told Elmer to burn his balloon.
A circus worker points out a nearby forest fire. The wind is blowing it away from the circus, and Joey figures that Elmer burning the balloon started the fighter. Tim gathers volunteers and they go to help fight the fire. The workers are soon fighting against the fire, and the locals arrive to help. Joey discovers that Corky stowed away in a wagon, and Corky insists on staying. The sheriff apologizes to Tim for talking out of turn, and Tim assures him that it's okay.
Elmer arrives and Corky asks if he had anything to do with starting it. Elmer says that he couldn't burn the balloon and has it patched up and reinflated. He was planning to fly off, make money, and send it back to Tim. The sheriff asks if anyone has seen Stebbins since the farm is cut off. They're the only ones that aren't encountered with, and a farmer says that Stebbins took his family with them. Corky and Elmer says that they saw Mrs. Stebbins and the baby at the farm that morning, but the sheriff warns that there's a ring of fire around the farm and they can't get to them Corky suggests that they can go over the fire with the balloon, and Tim comes over and blames Elmer for the fire. Corky says that Elmer didn't burn the balloon, and that he has an idea how to save Mrs. Stebbins. Tim figures that it would be suicide and tells him to help fight the fire. Elmer checks the wind and figures that it's in the right direction, and tells Corky that he's going alone because it's too dangerous. He finally gives in and they take a wagon to where Elmer has stored the balloon.
Soon, the balloon is drifting over the fires. The sheriff says that he saw Corky leave with them, and remembers a wagon rod that goes around the fire to the other side where Elmer will have to touch down. Tim, Joey, and the sheriff head down the road.
The balloon arrives at the Stebbins farm and they confirm that it's still standing. Elmer takes the balloon down and when they land. Corky stays with the balloon while Elmer goes to find the mother and baby. He finds them and takes them to the balloon, and they cast off the ballast bags. The balloon drifts to the far side of the fire where Tim and the others arrive. They find the balloon stranded in a tree and help everyone down.
Soon the townspeople are flocking to the circus and Tim introduces their newest act: Elmer and Corky, the nation's first aeronauts and the saviors of Centerville. Everyone applauds and Corky and Elmer figure that they're the big attraction.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 13, 2017