Skip to comments.Lindbergh's Grandson Arrives in France After Repeat of Historic 1927 Solo Flight
Posted on 05/02/2002 6:23:49 AM PDT by Pharmboy
LE BOURGET, France (AP) - Erik Lindbergh, two generations later, replicated his grandfather's groundbreaking 1927 solo Atlantic air crossing, landing in Paris on Thursday in half the time it took the aviation pioneer to make the historic journey. Lindbergh's Lancair Columbia 300 - dubbed the New Spirit of St. Louis - landed at Le Bourget airport outside Paris shortly before 11:30 a.m., 17 hours after taking off from Farmingdale, N.Y.
Visibly fatigued, wearing his blue pilot's jumpsuit, Lindbergh addressed his sponsors and about 100 reporters who met him at the small airport.
"It was an amazing time, 1927, and I really wanted to celebrate the 75th anniversary of grandfather's flight," Lindbergh said.
The re-creation was part of anniversary commemorations of Charles Lindbergh's May 20-21, 1927 voyage, the first nonstop solo run from New York to Paris.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took five sandwiches with him on the journey but ate only a bite. His grandson brought six sandwiches along and ate one and a half.
"I did it in half the time and ate twice as much," Erik Lindbergh joked. His grandfather's flight time was 33 1/2 hours.
Lindbergh had taken off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale at 12:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday. He already has duplicated the first two legs of his grandfather's journey: from San Diego to St. Louis, and St. Louis to Farmingdale.
Lindbergh said his interest in planes didn't really stem from his grandfather.
"Becoming a pilot was almost accidental," he said. "I didn't really think about it until I was 24 and took a flight with a friend."
"It was sort of accidental," he said. "Not many members of the family fly."
The voyage was designed to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis, which disabled 37-year-old Lindbergh for 15 years before drug treatment helped restore his movement.
Organizers also hope the journey will promote the X Prize Foundation, a St. Louis-based nonprofit group that is offering $10 million to the first private group that can build and launch a manned spacecraft into space, then repeat the feat within two weeks.
"I'm trying to open up space flight for everyone, so that in the near future people like you and I can go and buy a ticket and fly into space," Lindbergh said.
Lindbergh's $289,000 aircraft, made of a glass and carbon composite, has an average cruise speed of 184 mph, compared with the 108 mph of the original Spirit of St. Louis, built for $10,580.
The single-engine plane uses a Global Positioning System navigation device to chart its exact location. In comparison, Charles Lindbergh used deduced reckoning - basically, "holding a compass and guessing at the wind," as his grandson has described it.
We'll probably never know how many did not make it all the way across....RIP.
Thanks Lindy, you're still inspiring young pilots.....and you married well!
Older but not bolder
Do you have a source for this allegation?
He liked to kibbitz with the younger local set that hung around the hangar there.
My mom and her boyfriend (later to be my dad) loved Lindbergh and mom said he was great fun.
I scoured the fading photos in the family album from that time, but, alas, no pictures of Lucky Lindy.
According to the hangar flying around here right now, his actual flt distance was 3300 mi.
Two other major accomlishments:
1. Staying more or less awake and coherent, even with the comforts of that nice Lancair, and
2. Getting FAA license after his wheelchair arthritis.
Gossip says he's taking a com'l flight home, with some lucky s.o.b. flying the Lanc back to the states.
Some who knew Lindy's contemporaries say that Lindy was what we might now call an isolationist. At his time, many said out loud that we should keep our troops home and not send 'em to Europe again to die over there.
Thus, that era's crop of antagonistic divisiveness converted that to "oh, therefor you must be pro-nazi, therefor anti-semitic.
That's my opinion.
Yeppers. We'll be reading it next month for school. :o) The movie based on the book, with Jimmy Stewart playing Lindbergh, was recently on the Old Movie Channel. Wonderful.
"If any one of these groups--the British, the Jewish, or the administration--stops agitating for war, I believe there will be little danger of our involvement."
Charles Lindbergh- September 11, 1941
On September 11, 1941, Charles Lindbergh appeared in Des Moines, Iowa, to speak on behalf of the isolationist America First Committee. The famous aviator criticized the groups he perceived were leading America into war for acting against the country's interests. He expressed doubt that the U.S. military would achieve victory in a war against Germany, which he said had "armies stronger than our own." The Des Moines speech was met with outrage in many quarters, and Lindbergh was denounced as an anti-Semite. In his hometown of Little Falls, Minnesota, his name was even removed from the town's water tower.
Six years earlier, Lindbergh had moved to England with his wife to escape the publicity surrounding the kidnapping and murder of their infant son. In 1936, he inspected Germany's military aviation program on behalf of the U.S. government, and in August attended the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin as a guests of Nazi Hermann Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe. Impressed by German industry and society under Adolf Hitler, the Lindberghs considered moving to Berlin.
In 1938, Goering presented Lindbergh with the Service Cross of the German Eagle for his contributions to aviation. Returning to America in 1939, Lindbergh became an advocate of American isolationism, but was criticized for his Nazi sympathies and anti-Semitic beliefs.
On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and debate over U.S. war policy came to an end. Lindbergh, who had resigned his military commission in 1939, asked to be reinstated, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt refused. The middle-aged Lindbergh later made it to the Pacific as an observer, and eventually ended up flying over two dozen combat missions, including one in which he downed a Japanese aircraft.
Well, she did the next best thing. She married my dad who was also named "Charles", heheh.
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