21, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh completed the first solo non-stop
transatlantic flight in history, flying his 5,810 kilometres
(3,610 miles) between Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, and Paris,
France, in 33 hours, 30 minutes. With this flight, Lindbergh won the
$25,000 prize offered by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first
aviator to fly an aircraft directly across the Atlantic between New York
and Paris. When he landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, Lindbergh became a
world hero who would remain in the public eye for decades.
The aftermath of the
flight was the "Lindbergh boom" in aviation: aircraft industry stocks rose
in value and interest in flying skyrocketed. Lindbergh's subsequent U.S.
tour in the "Spirit of St. Louis" demonstrated the potential of the
airplane as a safe, reliable mode of transportation. Following the U.S.
tour, Lindbergh took the aircraft on a goodwill flight to Central and
South America, where flags of the countries he visited were painted on the
"Spirit of St. Louis" was
named in honour of Lindbergh's supporters in St. Louis, Missouri, who paid
for the aircraft. "NYP" is an acronym for "New York-Paris," the object of
The "Spirit of St. Louis"
was designed by Donald Hall under the direct supervision of Charles
Lindbergh. It is a highly modified version of a conventional Ryan M-2
strut-braced monoplane, powered by a reliable Wright J-5C engine. Because
the fuel tanks were located ahead of the cockpit for safety in case of an
accident, Lindbergh could not see directly ahead, except by using a
periscope on the left side or by turning the airplane and looking out a
side window. The two tubes beneath the fuselage are flare dispensers that
were installed for Lindbergh's flights to Latin America and the Caribbean.
||14 m (46 ft)
||8 m (27 ft 8 in)
||3 m (9 ft 10 in)
||2,330 kg (5,135 lb)
||975 kg (2,150 lb)
||Ryan Airlines Co.,
San Diego, Calif., 1927