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.
Dusty has flown thousands of miles crop dusting, and has always dreamed of being one of the professional racers. He has a history of racing, and his body has never been able to handle it. Dusty works with his partner Leadbottom when crop dusting. When Dusty decides to try out for Wings Around the Globe, Chug created the persona "Strut Jetstream" for Dusty. Dusty goes to Skipper for help with his flying. At first, Skipper denies his help, but eventually agrees to help him after seeing Dusty struggle. During their training, Skipper has Dusty race the shadow of an overflying plane to reach high speeds. Near the end of their training (and after some torque was added), Dusty manages to beat the plane and clocks at 317 MPH.
In Lincoln, Nebraska, the Wings Around the Globe rally took place. Over 125 countries came to qualify, but only 21 planes would be allowed to race. Upon his arrival, Dusty was shunned by his fellow racers. No plane thought he would be good enough to even qualify. Dusty ended up timing just below Fonzarelli, and did not qualify. Later in Propwash Junction, a Wings Around The Globe official named Roper arrives to inform Dusty that Fonzarelli used Nitroglycerin in his fuel, and was disqualified; making Dusty the final qualifier.
At JFK Airport, Dusty lands and begins to make his way to the area the racers are in before the race begins. There, he meets all the racers. He is still shunned by most, especially Ripslinger. When El Chupacabra and Dusty meet, they hit it off right away; becoming friends.
During the first race from New York to Iceland, Dusty's refusal to fly high causes him to finish in last place. The next race was from Iceland to Germany. Dusty saves Bulldog's life after his eyes get squirted with oil from his propellers. In Germany, Dusty met a car named Franz Fliegenhosen who can become a plane, but has two personalities. In Germany, Dusty had racing colors painted on himself, as well as a number 7. He also had his sprayer removed.
The next race was from Germany to an air base at Agra in India. In India, we see that Dusty likes Ishani. The next race was from India to Nepal. Ishani informed Dusty that he could follow the railroad to fly low through the Himalayas, so as not to spark his fear of heights. While following the railroad, Dusty finds that there is a tunnel and no way around it. Risking it, Dusty flies through the tunnel, barely making it; and nearly colliding with a train. Dusty is the first to arrive in Nepal, much to the surprise of the other racers. When speaking to Ishani, Dusty notices that she has a propeller that only Ripslinger's team produces, and realizes that she set him up to fail.
The next race was from Nepal over the Hump (the mountains between northeast India and south China) to Shanghai in China, where Dusty gets into first place again. There, Dusty manages to help El Chupacabra win over Rochelle with a romantic song, which works a little too well. The sixth leg is across the Pacific Ocean to Mexico. Ripslinger informs Ned and Zed that they need to take care of Dusty in this race. Over the ocean, Ned and Zed destroy Dusty's antenna, which causes him to lose communication with others and set him off course. Dusty eventually ends up being intercepted by Bravo and Echo, and is brought to the U.S.S. Flysenhower (a reference to the real-life aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)). While there, Dusty discovers that Skipper had only ever flown one mission, rather then the many stories he had heard about from Skipper. A storm soon begins to move in, and Dusty departs the ship. Soon after, he is caught in the storm and hit by a wave which causes his engine to give out, and he plunges into the ocean, frantically sending out a signal with his location. It is next shown that he was being rescued by what seemed to be the coastguard. Dusty is severely damaged and will not be able to complete the race. El Chupacabra shows up with the wings of a T-33 Shooting Star for Dusty to have, and many racers (excluding Ripslinger) arrive with new parts. As a final offering, Ishani gives Dusty her propeller that she received from Ripslinger.
The last race was from Mexico City to New York City. In this final race, Ripslinger attempted to kill Dusty in order to win the race, but is thwarted by the again-flying Skipper. Dusty is still behind Ripslinger as the race comes near a close. In order to win, Dusty faced his fear of heights and flew up to the clouds to use their tailwinds. As the race is about to end, Ripslinger does his signature tilt, which allows Dusty to fly past him, winning the race.
The final scene of the movie shows Dusty and Skipper on the Flysenhower, and Dusty now has naval paint and a US Navy Logo. He is now a Honorary Jolly Wrench.
Though nice and pleasant, Dusty can be a little bit arrogant and self-centered sometimes. He is also brave, courageous and daring but when he reaches heights, he is usually frightened, terrorized and scared.
Dusty has bright blue eyes and is colored in shades of orange, white, and later seems to also have a light blue stripe on both sides.
- Dusty is one of the Disney heroes to be racers.
- Dusty's racing number is #7, which some say is a lucky number.
- Jon Cryer was originally set to play Dusty, but was later replaced by Dane Cook.
- Dusty's cropsprayer is a M-5000 model.
- Chug's nicknames for Dusty are Duster, Dustmeister, and Dusterino.
- Dusty's wingspan is 23 feet (7 meters).
- Dusty is inspired by the Air Tractor AT-502, Cessna and the PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader. He has a horsepower of 680 1/2.
- In his turbo design, Dusty is equipped with a four-bladed Skyslycer Mark Five propeller, and two T33 wings.
- His flying style is keeping it nice and low, but keeping is speed up.