New York- Paris: 21.05.1927

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Nov 9, 2005
On May 20-21, 1927 Charles Lindbergh made the first solo, nonstop New York to Paris flight in the Spirit of St. Louis. After the 3,610-mile, 34 hour, flight across the Atlantic, Lindbergh became an international hero, and the most famous man in the world. Today, his airplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, hangs in the atrium of the National Air and Space Museum.

On the morning of May 20, 1927, Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island. For food, he brought five sandwiches. "If I get to Paris, I won't need any more. And if I don't get to Paris, I won't need any more, either," Lindbergh noted drily. Fox Movietone captured his Ryan monoplane, loaded with 451 gallons of fuel, struggling and bouncing along the runway, barely clearing the telephone wires at the far end. After clearing St. John's, Newfoundland, the 25-year old aviator was hidden from the world. The world waited, spell-bound for word of Lindbergh. Rumors flew. (My Dad, eight years old at the time, recalled waiting for news of Lindbergh. His older brother "came stumping into the house and reported that Lindbergh had crashed. My mother broke down and cried. But of course it wasn't so." - SS) Encountering fog and sleet, he was compelled to fly blind part of the way at an altitude of 1500 feet. At times he flew only 10 feet above the waves. Sighting the coast of Ireland, he turned south towards France. He flew over England and the Channel, and sighted the lights of Paris at 10 o'clock. He shortly touched down at Paris' Le Bourget Field, 33 hours and 30 minutes after he left Long Island. He had covered a distance of 3,610 miles. By making the flight, Lindbergh collected Orteig's $25,000 prize.


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