The title is a play on the term "air lift," as expressed in the plotline.
A newspaper announces the test flight of the world's biggest airplane. The plane lands at an airport, its giant wheel covering Bugs Bunny's hole. Bugs struggles out and, impressed by the plane, decides to take a look inside. Meanwhile, in town, Yosemite Sam robs the Last National Bank ("...and keep reachin' for the ceilin'- till ya' reach it!!") and, after wiping off the assets, which read $4,562,321.08, leaving just the $0.08. He hears the police approach and drives off to the airport, with plans to hijack a plane and take refuge in another country where he won't be found.
Inside the plane, Bugs has started to pretend he's a World War II pilot, and when Sam boards, he assumes Bugs is the pilot and orders him to take off at once. Before Bugs can protest, Sam threatens to shoot him. Bugs succeeds in finding the ignition button, and the plane sets off down the runway and flies over a busy traffic intersection.
Racing toward a skyscraper, Bugs pulls the plane up into outer space, sending Sam falling to the plane's tail. When it seems as if the plane is about to crash into the moon, Bugs steers the plane back down toward Earth, sending Sam falling to the plane's nose. As Sam threatens to have Bugs's license revoked, he discovers the latter reading a flying manual. Noticing the Earth growing larger in the window, Sam orders Bugs to read faster, or else. Bugs, however, refuses to read any further in the manual because of Sam's mean talk and orders him to apologize. Sam slaps himself in the head. The United States appears in the window; Sam apologizes to Bugs, but not without insulting him. Bugs then orders Sam to "say you're sorry with sugar on it." Sam refuses and tries to act nonchalant by playing with a yo-yo and a set of jacks. As a farm appears in the window, Sam finally gives in and apologizes properly.
Bugs steers the plane straight back up into space and goes to radio the authorities to inform them that they're bringing the plane back. Sam then orders Bugs to give him the flying manual, but Bugs throws it out the open door. Sam runs out to retrieve it, but upon discovering how high he is, "runs" back in. Bugs then lets Sam slip on a banana peel and out the other door. When he hears Sam knocking at the door, Bugs pretends to be a grocer. "Nope, sorry, can't use any today! [slams door on him] Try next Wednesday." Burning with anger, Sam busts back in and threatens to blow Bugs to Kingdom Come. Since Sam happens to be standing on the bomb bay doors, Bugs pulls a cord and sends Sam falling out of the plane. Sam panics mid-air and scrambles back into the plane.
Fed up with Bugs's flying, Sam orders Bugs to turn the steering wheel over to him. Instead, Bugs breaks off the steering wheel and tosses it out of the plane. Afraid of crashing, Sam activates the Robot Pilot, but the robot ends up chickening out, grabbing a parachute from the parachute locker, and jumping out of the plane itself.
With just one parachute left, Bugs decides he and Sam should draw straws to see who gets it. Sam suggests that Bugs should prepare the straws. While Bugs is distracted with the straws, Sam grabs the parachute and his bag of stolen money. Sam jumps out and, while shouting at Bugs ("So long, sucker! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! Ha-ha... Wooooh...."), lands in an open police car with policemen in it. Bugs manages to stop the plane in midair by pulling a lever (an ending reminiscent of that of "Falling Hare"). He's just thankful the plane comes with "air brakes" (a play on a different type of "air brakes").
- (1993) VHS - Yosemite Sam's Yeller Fever
- (1993) LaserDisc - Bugs Bunny: Hare Beyond Compare: 14 More Bugs Bunny Classics
- The plane's nosediving sequence is very similar to Bob Clampett's "Falling Hare" from 1943.
- At the time this cartoon was made, the biggest airplanes in the world were Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose" and the Saunders-Roe Princess flying boats.
- Parts of this cartoon were used in the beginning of the 1963 Merrie Melodies cartoon "Devil's Feud Cake", while the "How To Fly" book and the control panel were used in the 1956 Looney Tunes cartoon "A Star Is Bored".
- Parts of this cartoon were also used in the 1980 TV Special The Bugs Bunny Mystery Special. But here, Sam's use of the giant plane is changed around, as is what happens to him after he parachutes out of the plane. Bugs also escapes the plane after it stops.
- Yosemite Sam last acted nonchalant in the 1948 Looney Tunes short "Buccaneer Bunny".
- "Hare Lift" at SuperCartoons.net
- Hare Lift at the Internet Movie Database
- Hare Lift on the SFX Resource
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