Ryan NYP – Spirit of St. Louis
- : United States
- : 1927
- : Wright Whirlwind J-5
- 46 '
- 112 mph (180 km/hr)
- 5135 lbs (2329 kg)
- : Active
- : Reproduction
On May 21, 1927 Charles Lindbergh made history by becoming the first to fly an aircraft non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean in his Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh made the trip in 33 hours and 30 minutes and altered the way the world perceived aviation. He became an instant international hero and to this day is considered one of the most significant figures in aviation history.
The original Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) was built in just sixty days by the Ryan Airline Company specifically to make the transatlantic crossing. It was a modification of an existing design of the company’s Ryan M-2.
Lindbergh was competing for the $25,000 Orteig prize, offered to the first aviator to successfully make the trip across the Atlantic non-stop. He faced much larger and better financed competitors. Several previous attempts were made and many lives were lost.
Our reproduction was started by Cole Palen, who long wanted a flying Spirit at the Aerodrome. The vast majority of the work was completed, in tribute to him, by Ken Cassens with some help from volunteers and generous donations from the public. The Spirit made its first flight on December 5, 2015. It is an extremely accurate reproduction, missing only the long range tanks–we don’t want to be tempted.
We were very grateful for the cooperation of the Smithsonian Institution, for allowing us the unique opportunity for access to the original aircraft for measurements and to take photographs of the structure. The Smithsonian also donated original instruments for use in the project.