- Dusty is a plane with high hopes-literally. Crop duster by trade, this single-prop plane sees himself soaring alongside his high-flying heroes in an international race. The fact that he's not really built for competitive racing doesn't deter him from pursuing his dream—but his fear of heights just might. With a little help from his friends—and a WWII vet with wisdom to spare—Dusty takes off on an adventure of a lifetime, going prop-to-prop with champions while daring to reach heights he never imagined possible.
- When world-famous air racer Dusty Crophopper returns to hometown Propwash Junction after another victorious racing season, the former crop duster revels in his new career success until a fateful training run changes his course with a career-ending injury. Forced to shift gears, Dusty decides to train with the Aerial Fire Fighters at Piston Peak Air Attack Base as a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT). The heroic, often life-threatening efforts involved are admirable—but seemingly impossible to master—particularly if you're a crop duster-turned-racer with an injury that can't be ignored.
- “I'm afraid of heights.”
- ―Dusty admitting his then fear of heights
Dusty is one of those who is friendly, brave, curious, and courageous. Originally, he had a fear of heights, because he had never flown so high during his job of crop-dusting. However, when attempting to win the final leg of the Wings Around the Globe, he overcame his fears when going above the clouds so to gain more speed. although he was formerly afraid of heights. Additionally, he is heroic, first shown when he saved Bulldog from having an accident, and again when he saved the Smokejumpers from a wildfire.
Although Dusty's model seems to be fictional, it takes inspiration from the Air Tractor AT-502, Cessna and the PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader, with 680½ horsepower, one propeller, and a wingspan that is 23 feet (7 meters).
He is painted orange and white, and has blue eyes. While working as a crop duster, he has black stripes on his sides, as well as a M5000 crop sprayer attached to his undercarriage. Before coming to the first location of the Wings Around the Globe, he gets the Jolly Wrenches insignia painted on him, as well as his first name's initial and racing number, #7, painted in white on his vertical stabilizer.
Before doing the third leg of the Wings Around the Globe, he gets his sprayer removed, along with a new paint job, where his black stripes are replaced by blue stripes that are different shapes, and an inscription of his name is placed on his sides, which also have his racing number on a black-outlined white circle that is additionally on his right wing. Additionally, the color of his tailplane is changed to blue.
As he is being upgraded in time for the final leg, he gets T33 wings, which are painted white, with the tip tanks being orange, and black stripes in place of the blue ones. The orange color on his front is changed to gray, while his back has the white color replaced with orange, along with part of his vertical stabilizer and tailplane changed to gray. Additionally, he uses a four-bladed Sky Slycer Mark Five propeller.
Soon afterwards, Dusty is painted gray and black after being honored by the Jolly Wrenches, along with their insignia, initials and logo painted at the back.
Soon into his career, Dusty goes back to the paint job he received in Germany, as well as using his original propeller, but keeps his T33 wings. When he comes to Piston Peak National Park, his landing gear gets replaced by gray pontoons with blue and black stripes. Additionally, his tip tanks get removed.
Upon being certified as a firefighter, he gets repainted red, with his racing number painted in a different font style, being white on his vertical stabilizer, and black on his right wing. His pontoons are also changed to white, with red and black stripes on them as well as the inscription of his name, while his fan cowl door is changed to black.
Dusty stars in the first film's teaser trailer which contains animation not in the film itself, as well as clearly taking place after the film. He is shown to be preparing to take off from the Dwight D. Flysenhower, but soon begins to have second thoughts, just before he is released from the catapult. Dusty seems to be having trouble at first, when he is heard exclaiming off-screen, to which Bravo wonders if he is going to be okay. Echo agrees when seeing that Dusty has been skywriting "Cool", and Dusty continues flying.
Dusty makes an appearance in his very own short that was made to promote the first film. In the short, he comes to the Fill n' Fly to get refueled by Chug, having noticed that he had just refueled a fighter jet. Dusty admits that these kinds of jets are not seen very often, to which Chug admits that they use a type of fuel that makes them go fast. Dusty soon goes to take off, unaware that Chug had accidentally given him the wrong fuel. Before Chug can warn him, Dusty takes off at a high speed, getting startled as he tries to control himself while flying around Propwash Junction. Eventually, he runs out of fuel, and lands back on the runway, but continues to slide along, and applies his brakes just in time before he reaches the cliff. Chug immediately comes to apologize, before Dusty remarks, "That was awesome!"
In Planes, Dusty is first seen dreaming of outrunning two fighter jets. He is introduced as a crop duster that works for Leadbottom, and dreams of competing in the Wings Around the Globe Rally. Hearing a horn signifying quitting time, Dusty radios his best friend Chug to get in his coaching gear as he practices air racing. However, running his engine at high speeds wears out his main oil seal, forcing him to land and seek repairs from his friend Dottie, who correctly suspects he had been racing. Dusty tries to deny her accusations, but then Chug rolls in and ruins it all. Dottie tells Dusty that he is not built to race, and starts listing all the possible mechanical failures that could happen to him, before acting out, saying he would probably regret not listening to her before crashing into an orphanage. Though disturbed by her "vivid and specific" act, Dusty tells Dottie to join him and Chug for the qualifier.
While watching the Ten Top Crashes in Racing on TV, Chug suggests that they seek help from Skipper Riley, whom Sparky claims is a legendary naval flight instructor, though Dusty dismisses him due to the fact that he has not flown in decades, but reconsiders after seeing a clip of a plane exploding. However, upon knocking on Skipper's door, Dusty is flat out rejected twice.
Dusty and his friends later go to Lincoln, Nebraska for the Wings Around the Globe qualifier. When it comes to his turn, Dusty takes the callsign "Strut Jetstream", but is ridiculed by everyone for being a crop duster. He manages to wow them all with his well-practiced flight maneuver, only to come in sixth place. Saddened that he did not make it into the race, Dusty returns to his crop-dusting job. However, the next day, Roper comes to Propwash Junction and tells Dusty and his team that the plane ahead of him was using an illegal fuel additive, and was disqualified, so Dusty is now eligible to compete. Chug happily announces Dusty's achievement to Propwash. However, Dusty then starts hesitating upon hearing Chug list all the dangers he would encounter. He is soon confronted in his own hangar by Skipper, who tells him he is over his head. He tries to talk him out of racing, but when Dusty explains he wants to prove he is more than just a crop duster, Skipper decides to mentor Dusty. While in the midst of his training, Dusty admits that he has a fear of heights. Despite this, Dusty works to improve his speed and agility.
Dusty then travels to New York City for the start of the race. After meeting his racing idols, most of which are mean to him for being "just a crop duster", including his new rival Ripslinger, Dusty befriends the eccentric El Chupacabra. He is told by Bulldog that it is a competition, and that every plane is in it for themselves.
During the first leg, Dusty flies low across the Atlantic Ocean unlike the rest of the racers, resulting in himself catching ice and arriving in Iceland very cold. During the second leg, Bulldog springs an oil leak, and the wind forces the oil into his eyes, blinding him. Dusty saves Bulldog by navigating him through the castle, earning the British plane's gratitude. However, Ripslinger mocks Dusty for his kind nature, saying that nice guys always finish last. While standing around in a bar depressed, Dusty is approached by his first ever fan, Franz, who suggests that he remove his sprayer to give himself more speed, an idea that El Chupacabra agrees with. The removal of the sprayer allows Dusty to move up in the ranks.
At the next leg of the race, Dusty falls in love with Ishani, who gives him advice to fly low, so he does not get scared when flying high. Dusty follows Ishani's advice, finding a train tunnel, only to nearly die by almost being hit by an oncoming train. He then finds himself at the airport in Nepal, where he is told that he is in first place. While being interviewed by the press, Dusty notices Ishani, and goes to talk to her. He then realizes that Ishani had set him up, after seeing that she now has a Sky Slycer propeller that is made for Ripslinger's team. Dusty begins to leave and begins to sarcastically thank Ripslinger for the victory, leaving Ripslinger furious.
Dusty continues to hold onto first place during the next leg into China, which continues to anger Ripslinger more as he breaks Ned & Zed's Skypad. In the interlude, he helps El Chupacabra win the heart of Canadian racer Rochelle.
Later in one of the legs, Ripslinger's henchplane Zed breaks off Dusty's antenna, and he gets lost at sea, but is rescued by two fighter jets, who help him land on the USS Dwight D. Flysenhower. While aboard, he spots the Jolly Wrenches' wall of fame, and learns that Skipper only flew one mission, which contradicts his previous reputation as a veteran of many battles. While getting his antenna replaced, he radios Skipper, who confesses that he did lie about his war record. Dusty is then forced to fly out with an oncoming storm occurring.
However, Dusty becomes distracted, constantly thinking about Skipper, and ends up crashing into the ocean, but is eventually rescued. He is airlifted to Mexico, where all his friends had gathered to see him. At the hospital, Dusty is severely damaged, including having a broken wing, effectively grounding his chances to proceed with the race. Skipper confesses to Dusty that he did indeed fly only one mission in the Pacific theatre, where his entire squad of trainees was killed in an attack on the Japanese Navy, all revealing that the previous battles were just lies to prevent Dusty from knowing the truth. Skipper was the only survivor, but torn by his guilt, he never trained another plane or flew again. He then asks Dusty if he would have gone to him for help if he knew the truth and Dusty is at first silent, then he replies "no."
The next day, Dusty then sinks again into depression, admitting to Dottie that she was right all along, that he was never meant to race. Dottie then admits that she was wrong, telling him that the whole world knows he is a racer. Subsequently, the other kind racers, including El Chupacabra, Rochelle, Bulldog, and Ishani, donate new parts so he can race again. While Dottie repairs him, Chug watches some of Ripslinger's races, and figures out that before every victory, Ripslinger turns to his right side so the cameras can get good photos of him.
As he gets ready to race, Ripslinger taunts that he is still just a farm boy even he's wearing new gear. Unfazed, Dusty stands up to Ripslinger by saying that he is just afraid of being beaten by a crop duster and warns him that he's coming. As the final leg begins, race officials rule that though Dusty did not complete the last leg, he would be allowed to continue with a time penalty. Dusty soon begins to catch up to Ripslinger, but the Green Tornado and his henchplanes ambush him and attempt to ground him for good, but are thwarted by Skipper, who overcame his guilt and came to help Dusty. Dusty fights Ned and Zed, while Skipper takes on Ripslinger. After Ned and Zed get stuck between each other in between two rocks, Dusty races to catch up with Ripslinger, only to lose power to his engine. He then overcomes his fear of heights to ride the jetstream and catch up. When it looks like Ripslinger would win, his ego gets the best of him, and he slows down for the cameras, enabling Dusty to pass him and win the race. Dusty is congratulated by his friends and fans, and Skipper thanks him for giving him the confidence to fly again.
At the end of the film, Skipper and Dusty are onboard the flight deck of the Flysenhower, and fly over the sea, back to Propwash Junction.
Having become famous for winning the Wings Around the Globe rally, Dusty starts off a racing career. After winning the Red Bulldozer race, Dusty returns to Propwash for the annual Corn Festival. Soon after, he goes out flying with Skipper, but the excursion causes damage to his gearbox. With that particular model of gearbox now out of production and none available anywhere, Dottie fits a warning light to his control panel to ensure he does not damage his gearbox any further. No longer able to race and faced with the possibility of returning to his old job as a crop duster, Dusty goes on a defiant flight and tests his limits. In doing so, Dusty exceeds his limits and makes a forced landing at Propwash Junction airport, causing a fire. He, Skipper, Chug and Mayday narrowly manage to put it out.
The next day, government inspector Ryker condemns the airport due to inadequate firefighting personnel. While Dottie and Sparky plan on refurbishing Mayday to meet Ryker's regulations, Propwash requires a second firefighter to be reopened. Dusty then learns from Mayday about SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers), inspiring him to get certified as a firefighter. Mayday instructs him to go to Piston Peak to look for Blade Ranger to get trained and certified. When he gets to Piston Peak, he meets his biggest fan Dipper, a heavy lift helicopter called Windlifter, and an ex-military transport heavy plane named Cabbie. He then finds out their job is to go and fight fires, and then Dusty gets so interested that he goes along with the planes. He then meets Blade Ranger, who tells him to get out of the airspace, but he does not listen, getting sprayed with fire retardant by Dipper.
After being hosed off back at base, Blade Ranger dismisses Dusty as a tourist before Windlifter identifies him as the new trainee. Maru then operates on him, giving him pontoons to firefight. Subsequently, Dusty begins to struggle under Blade's tutelage, hesitating to increase power to his gearbox during training sessions. During one exercise, Dusty mistakes a campfire started by a few campers as a spot fire, and extinguishes it, prompting the RVs to send a complaint to superintendent Cad Spinner. Cad drives into the base to pass on the complaint, but then takes note of Dusty and invites him to his party at the Grand Fusel Lodge. As Cad drives off, he remarks that Dusty is more famous than "Blazin' Blade". Later, the rest of the firefighters reveal to Dusty that Blade was once a television star on CHoPs (parody of CHiPs).
As the firefighters take on a forest fire caused by overnight lightning, Dusty disregards Blade's orders, extinguishing a fire trapping Dynamite's team instead of letting Dipper do it. Back at base, Blade admonishes Dusty for nearly getting himself killed. Dipper tries to reassure Dusty that it is Blade's way of saying thanks.
Dusty then takes Dipper, Windlifter and Maru to Cad's party at the Fusel Lodge. Upon entering, Dusty is recognized by a fan, who has him record his voicemail, before Cad rudely shoves off the little forklift. Cad starts talking to Dusty before getting distracted by the arrival of Boat Reynolds. Dusty then gets formally introduced to Winnie and Harvey, and along with his colleagues, have a discussion about firefighting being a second job for him. The next morning, Dusty gets a call from Skipper and Chug who tells him that the gearbox that came in was the wrong one. A depressed Dusty suddenly realises that his racing career is over and is forced to return to his old career.
As a result of Cad's VIPs flying in too low, air eddies blow embers about, creating a larger fire, and thereby forcing the need for an evacuation. While on the mission, Dusty still upset that all attempts to fix his gearbox have failed doesn't listen to Blade's orders and attempts to refill his pontoons, only to be caught in the rapids. Blade saves him from going down the big waterfall, but does not understand why Dusty did not listen to orders, to which Dusty replies that he cannot fly fast because his gearbox is broken. Blade tells him that while life does not always go the way he expects, he cannot quit otherwise he may lose a chance to save lives in the future. Dusty and Blade then take shelter in an abandoned mine as the fire continues to spread. Blade then uses his body to shield Dusty from the flames, and is temporarily grounded for repairs. While Blade recovers, Maru reveals to Dusty of how Blade's co-star on CHoPs was killed during a stunt gone wrong on set that Blade was helpless to stop, so he decided to become a firefighter to save lives for real.
As the fire had spread to the main road and blocked off the evacuees, Windlifter takes de facto command and orders everyone to head out. However, Cad had selfishly diverted the water supply to the lodge's rooftop sprinklers, forcing the firefighters to go with their pre-existing tanks. Dusty uses his supply to extinguish the flames on a fallen trunk blocking the railroad. They then receive a radio from Patch, informing them that Winnie and Harvey are trapped on a bridge in Augerin Canyon. With Windlifter's permission, Dusty heads off to save them. As Blade arrives on scene and uses his hook to keep the two RVs from falling, Dusty puts his engine into the red zone as he climbs the falls to refill his pontoons, before diving down to extinguish the flames blocking the couple's exit, allowing the campers to escape just before the bridge collapses, but his overstressed gearbox fails completely and his engine stalls.
Dusty is airlifted back to base, where Maru tends to him for five days. When he wakes up, he learns that Maru made him a better gearbox to allow full performance. Suddenly, he discovers that Jammer had replaced Cad as superintendent due to his misconduct during the crisis. Impressed at Dusty's skill and heroism, Blade certifies him as a firefighter.
Dusty then returns to Propwash Junction with his firefighting colleagues, and becomes the airport's second firefighter, enabling Propwash's reopening, just in time for the Corn Festival. Chug then drives up, announcing that he was elected official Corn Colonel, and asks if he could wear his hat to his race next Saturday. Dusty consents and asks Mayday if he can have time off, to which Mayday complies. Dusty and his firefighting colleagues then perform an aerial show for all of Propwash.
In the short, Dusty performs in Leadbottom's show called the Vitaminamulch Air Spectacular. He has since regained his sprayer, which is used to release Vitaminamulch during the show. Two daredevils named Air Devil Jones and Vandemonium are supposed to come, but Dusty soon learns that they cannot due to being fogged in. To try and not get an angry crowd, Leadbottom paints Dusty and Chug like the two daredevils.
In their act, Dusty has to do Air Devil Jones' usual trick of doing a loop and landing on Chug while he is moving. However, just as he is about to land, Chug mentions that he is using highly flammable avgas, causing Dusty to freak out. Meanwhile, the crowd is already not impressed, and begins booing at Leadbottom. One of the Vitaminamulch bags lands on the runway, causing Chug to skid into Sparky, and the balloons he was holding float up into Dusty's way. He soon cannot get one of his ailerons to move, because a balloon is tangled around it, and he immediately notices that Chug's fuel is leaking and is on fire. Throughout the mayhem, the inflatable Corny balloon falls on top of a lit firework and pops, with one of the pieces covering Dusty's air vent, causing his engine to stall. Before he can hit the ground, the balloon piece comes off, making Dusty able to restart his engine. After he ascends, Dusty's landing gear pulls Chug and Sparky along, and they all drive over a ramp and land in a Vitaminamulch model representing Leadbottom. A box of fireboxes causes the model to go high up in the air, while Dusty, Chug and Sparky are all forced out, and the fireworks explode, causing pieces of mulch to land everywhere. All of the crowd cheers, having enjoyed all of the mayhem, and Leadbottom expects Dusty, Chug and Sparky to perform for the 3:00 show, leaving them all completely shocked.
Dusty is one of the playable characters in the Planes video game. In "Training Mode", Skipper trains him to do tricks and find several destinations with his navigation strobes. In "Trouble in Propwash", Propwash Junction gets damaged, and Dusty has to help clean it up by getting rid of the rubble piles Ripslinger had put over the river, spraying Vitaminamulch onto the crops, and repainting the barns. In "Himalayan Hero", he has to help villagers in Nepal following an avalanche. First, he has to plow the snow piles, then light the fire pits, and finally rescue various forklifts in the snow. In "Ripslinger's Revenge", Dusty searches for a sponsor in Dubai, only to be challenged by Ripslinger to a race. In "Blown Out of Proportion", Dusty heads back to Propwash Junction to find the town in danger of tornadoes. To save the town, Dusty has to use a magnet to take four tractors back to Pete's field, and use the De-Tornadofier to get rid of the tornadoes. Finally, Dusty has to make a safe landing on the town's runway.
Dusty is playable in his original Propwash Junction paint job in all versions of the game, with his Racing and Turbo paint jobs available in the console versions, and his Jolly Wrenches paint job and modifications in the handheld versions.
Dusty is one of the playable characters in Planes: Fire & Rescue: The Video Game, in his firefighting paint job. In the game, Dusty helps out the Piston Peak Air Attack team by keeping a lookout for any emergencies, spraying water over fires, and calling the rest of the team to help complete the missions, such as calling Blade to pick up a stranded tourist.
- Dusty's racing number is #7, which some say is a lucky number which could based on late NASCAR driver Alan Kulwicki racing number #7 who won 1992 NASCAR Cup Series drivers and owners championship famous for Polish victory lap who had passed away in 1993 whiling traveling to Bristol.
- His flying style is keeping it nice and low, but keeping his speed up.
- Although Jon Cryer did not voice Dusty in the final version, he did additional story material with Roberts Gannaway for the first film. Cryer's voice however, can still be heard in the original 2011 tease trailer.
- Dusty's crop sprayer is an M5000 model.
- Dusty's wing span is twenty-three feet.
- Dusty Crophopper is the only character whose promotional short isn't a music video, a backstory or commercial.
- 'Planes' Official Character Descriptions, Casting and Character Poses (Hi-Res)
- Meet the Characters from Planes: Fire & Rescue
- Jon Cryer cast in 'Planes'
- Disney Sets Theatrical Release Date for 'Planes'
- Dane Cook Leads the Voice Cast for Disney's Planes
- Disney's 'Planes' Hi-Res Stills, Fun Facts and Activity Sheets