The Spirit of St Louis


I owned the world that hour as I rode over it …
free of the earth, free of the mountains, free of the clouds,
but how inseparably I was bound to them.”
Charles A. Lindberg

On May 21, 1927 almost seventy five years ago, Charles A Lindberg, a quiet young airmail pilot from Minnesota made history when he landed his monoplane at the Paris’ Le Bourget airfield. Lindberg was inspired when he first learned of the $25,000 Orteig reward for the first non-stop flight between New York and Paris.  The Orteig Prize had been offered by Raymond Orteig, a New York hotel business man, since 1919.

A small aircraft company in San Diego, Ryan Airlines, agreed to build him an aircraft. The aircraft, Ryan NYP, was later christened “The Spirit of St. Louis”, in honor of Lindbergh’s friends and associates in Missouri who financed the flight. The flight spanned 3,610 miles and after 33 hours, 30 minutes and 29.8 seconds of flying through fog, icy weather and fighting drowsiness,  Lindberg finally arrived in Paris to be greeted by an  overwhelming crowd of  150,000 well wishers.
On April 14th, Erik Lindberg, grandson of Charles Lindberg, will attempt to recreate the original 1927 flight. He will trace the original flight plan, leaving San Diego Lindberg airport to reach St Louis, from there on to Farmingdale, New York and then non-stop to Le Bourget, Paris.
A show chronicling this flight is scheduled to air on May 20th on the History Channel celebrating the 75th anniversary of the historic Lindberg flight. More information about this flight can be found at http://www.xprize.org.
Further events planned to commemorate this historic event can also be found at http://www.lindbergspirit.com .
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Lindberg’s birth. He was born on February 4th, 1902 in
Detroit, Michigan.