Charles Lindbergh


Before he began his transatlantic flight, Charels Lindbergh first had to fly across the United States since he had been conducting test flights of the Spirit of Saint Louis in southern California. Flying from San Diego to New York with a brief stopover in St. Louis for fuel, Lindbergh arrived at Curtiss Field on Long Island in less than 22 hours thereby setting a new coast-to-coast record. However, weather delayed Lindberg's departure from Long Island until 20 May 1927.

On that day, Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in his Ryan NYP with 451 gallons of fuel and five sandwiches to sustain him on his journey. Despite fog and sleet that obsucurred his visibility and forced him to fly at altitudes as low as 10 feet, Lindbergh arrived over Paris at about 10 PM local time. He landed at Le Bourget Field 33 hours and 30 minutes after leaving New York thereby winning the $25,000 Orteig Prize and becoming the first pilot to fly from America to Europe nonstop. The flight covered over 3,610 miles (6,810 km) at an average speed of about 105 mph (175 km/h).

Although Lindbergh had wanted to fly the return trip, US President Calvin Coolidge refused to let him do so fearing that the new world hero would be lost if something were to go wrong. Lindbergh then returned to New York City aboard the Navy cruiser USS Memphis where he was honored with the largest ticker-tape parade in history.
- answer by Jeff Scott, 27 May 2001


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