The “Spirit of St. Louis” registration N-X-211 made the First Nonstop Solo Transatlantic Flight in 1927 and is on display at the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Milestones of Flight Gallery in Washington DC, USA.
Developing nation: United States of America.
Manufacturer/designer: Ryan Airlines Co., San Diego, CA, Donald A. Hall.
Number built: 1.
Type aircraft: Long-range aircraft (for record attempt).
First flight: 28 April 1927.
Retired: 30 April 1928, at the time of its retirement, the “Spirit of St. Louis” had made just 174 flights for a total of 489:28 flying time.
On 21 May 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh completed the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in history, flying his Ryan NYP “Spirit of St. Louis” 5,810 kilometers (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.
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. Lindbergh could not see directly ahead (fuel tanks were located ahead of the cockpit for safety in case of an accident), except by using a periscope on the left side or by turning the airplane and looking out a side window. Extra fuels tanks were added and the wing span increased to accommodate the additional weight. Any item considered too heavy or unnecessary was left behind. These included a radio, parachute, gas gauges, and navigation lights.
- Crew: One
- Length: 8.4 m (27 ft 7 in)
- Wingspan: 14m (46 ft)
- Height: 3m (9 ft 10 in)
- Wing area: 29.7 sq m (320 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 975kg (2,150 lb)
- Loaded weight: 1,310 kg(2,888 lb)
- Useful load: 1,703 l (450 gal)
- Max takeoff weight: 2,330 kg (5,135 lb)
- Powerplant: 1x Wright Whirlwind J-5C Single blade Standard Steel Propeller, 223 hp (166 kW)
- Maximum speed: 220 km/h (133 mph)
- Cruise speed: 160-175 km/h (100- 110 mph)
- Range: 6,600 km (4,100 mi)
- Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
Photos: Rob Vogelaar, ZAP16 Group