SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS: Ryan Monoplane (1927)LEO MARRIOTT Book Number: 92699 Product format: Paperback
Charles A. Lindbergh's transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in his Ryan monoplane is given the Owners' Workshop Manual treatment in this comprehensive account of the flight, the plane, the context and the personalities. The first non-stop Atlantic crossing had been achieved in 1919 by Alcock and Brown in a Vickers Vimy bomber, winning them a Daily Mail prize of £10,000. This prompted Raymond Orteig to offer a bigger prize for the first flight from New York to Paris, and the race was on. A German airship made a transatlantic flight in 1924, though it did not quality for the prize, and in 1926 Sikorsky pilot Rene Fonck attempted a crossing which ended in tragedy for two of his crew as the overloaded plane crashed on take-off. In the following year Lindbergh finally claimed the prize, only just beating his rival Charles Levine whose Wright Bellanca was grounded by legal wrangles. Several other transatlantic flights quickly followed, including Ruth Elder's attempt which ended in her ditching in the Atlantic, but Lindbergh's is the name that has passed into history. Lindbergh had entered the US Army Air Service aged 22, and in 1926 took a job with the newly formed Air Mail, which entailed navigating at night over poorly marked routes, an experience which stood him in good stead on the transatlantic crossing. In the run-up to the flight, Ryan airlines met Lindbergh's deadline of a 60-day construction period for the Spirit of St Louis, which had a wider wingspan and undercarriage than its prototype. The construction process is illustrated by archive photos and also numerous shots of a reconstructed model. On the flight Lindbergh had to contend with storm clouds cutting off his vision and above all the urge to sleep, but the final touchdown at Le Bourget entered the history books. Lindbergh's later life was complex and tragic, including the sensational murder of his son in 1932. 180pp, numerous photos in black and white and colour, diagrams, maps.
Published price: £22.99
Bibliophile price: £11.00