Lindbergh Crosses the Atlantic


On May 21, Charles Lindbergh arrived in Paris after completing the first non-stop flight between New York and Paris. The flight was 3,600 miles long and took Lindbergh 33 and a half hours. Lindbergh received a prize of $25,000 for his feat.

In 1919 French hotelier Raymond Ortega put up a $25,000 prize for the first person to fly nonstop New York Paris. The award was supposed to be for five years, but when no one claimed it, he agreed to extend the prize deadline. Three people tried but failed. Charles Lindbergh, a relatively obscure airmail pilot, was convinced he could do it. He was able to get a number of St Louis businessmen to put up $15,000 towards the venture. Lindbergh added another $2000 of his own and $1000 more donated by a flying club. With the money in hand, Lindbergh went to the Ryan Aircraft Company where he worked together with Ryans chief engineer and designed a plane called the Spirit of St Louis. It was a single engine single seat monoplane. The aircraft was ordered on February 25, 1927and two months later it was ready for its first flight.

After a series of test flights Lindbergh flew the plane first to St Louis and then from there to Roosevelt Field on Long Island in New York. Earlier in the morning of May 20, 1927, he set off in the Spirit of St Louis for Paris. His fully loaded plane weighed 5,135lbs Lindbergh flew the plane for 33 and half hours overcoming many obstacles. Finally at 10:22 PM on May 21st Lindbergh landed the place at Le Bourget Aerodrome outside Paris. 150,000 people were there to greet him turning him into an international hero.