Charles Lindbergh Book Report

This essay has a total of 1773 words and 6 pages.

Charles Lindbergh


The flight of Charles A. Lindbergh was actually three phases. The preflight that was step
of obtaining the plane, the arrangements of sponsors, and making a list of land marks.
Probably the most important phase out of all was the actual flight from New York to Paris,
France. The final phase would consist of a man turning into a hero when he finally reaches
Paris.

The preflight arrangements for Charles A. Lindbergh's flight began in early 1927. Charles
A. Lindbergh presented his proposal to Knight, Bixby, and other St. Louis businesspersons
whom were impressed with Lindbergh's confidence and agreed to sponsor his flight.
Lindbergh had setup a $15,000 budget and $2,000 of which was Lindberghs. A name, the
Spirit of St. Louis, was established. Lindbergh was to choose the plane and decide on all
other aspects of the proposed flight. According to Lindbergh, a single-engine plane,
rather than a multiengine plane increased the chance of success. His theory was the less
weight, the more fuel, the greater range. The experts would say that a solo flight across
the Atlantic was simply suicide. The burden on the pilot was considered too great—he
would have to stay awake for over thirty hours, enduring constant stresses. Immediately,
Lindbergh began searching for the right plane at the right price. He contacted a number of
aircraft companies. Some did not respond and some turned him down. Things were not looking
good for Lindbergh. In early February 1927, the Ryan Airlines Corporation of San Diego,
California, had responded within twenty-four hours of receiving Lindbergh's telegram
regarding a plane for his proposed transatlantic flight. Yes, they could produce a plane
that could fly nonstop from New York to Paris. It would cost $6,000 not including the
engine, and would take three months to build. The Ryan workers worked on the Spirit of St.
Louis morning, noon, and night, seven days a week. Voluntary overtime became a normal
operating procedure, and work on most other planes had nearly stopped. After meeting with
the company's president, they decided to modify an existing Ryan model by outfitting the
plane with extra fuel tanks and increasing the wing area, thus would give the plane a
maximum range of 4,000 miles, more than enough to reach Paris. In the picture to the
right, it shows how the main fuel tank in the front of the Spirit of St. Louis blocks
Lindbergh's forward vision. Designed to fit Lindbergh perfectly, the plane utilizes every
inch of space. You would think that a person would want to see straight forward, but in
Lindbergh's case he said that many mail pilots would actually paint their forward window
black to cut back on glare. Although he tried to keep things as light as possible, such
as, the shoes that he had designed especially for the flight, he did bring items which he
considered sensible: an inflatable rubber raft, a hunting knife, a ball of string, two
fishhooks, a large needle, a small flashlight, matches, and a hacksaw blade. On the plane
his instrument panel included: a speed and drift indicator, an airspeed indicator, a
tachometer, an altimeter and an oil pressure gauge, an earth inductor compass, bank and
turn indicators, a temperature gauge, and a clock. There was also a cut-down wicker chair
for him to sit on. The plane was equipped with a reliable 220-horsepower, air-cooled,
nine-cylinder Wright J-5C 'Whirlwind'; engine. On May 10, 1927, Charles Lindbergh,
piloting the Spirit of St. Louis, took off from San Diego headed for St. Louis, en route
to New York and Paris. Lindbergh set records for the San Diego-St. Louis leg, and on May
12, 1927, landed at Curtis Field, Long Island, setting a record for the fastest
transcontinental flight.

On May 20, 1927 Lindbergh put on his flight helmet, lowered his goggles, gave the signal
to start the propeller and release the wheel chocks, opened the engine full-throttle, and
guided the plane down the muddy runway as workers pushed. The Spirit of St. Louis labored
to extricate itself from the muddy runway, passed the point of no return, lifted off,
cleared the wires by only twenty feet, and was airborne at 7:52 A.M. At 8:52 A.M. his
altitude is 500 ft. with a wind velocity of 0 mph. He is currently over Rhode Island.
Except for some turbulence, the flight over Long Island Sound and Connecticut was
uneventful. He only has 3,500 mile to Paris. At 9:52 A.M. Boston lies behind the plane,
Cape Cod is to the right; his altitude is 150 ft. Airspeed is 107 mph. 10:52 A.M. There is
a breeze blowing from the NW at 10 mph. Lindbergh begins to feel tired, although only four
hours have passed since leaving New York. He descends and flies within ten feet of the
water to help keep his mind clear. 11:52 A.M. He is currently four hundred miles from New
York. His altitude is 200 ft over Nova Scotia. After flying over the Gulf of Maine, the
Spirit of St. Louis is only six miles off course. 12:52 P.M. Wind velocity has increased
to 30 mph. Lindbergh flies over a mountain range and clouds soon appear and thicken as the
Spirit of St. Louis approaches a storm front. 2:52 P.M. His current altitude is 600 ft.
His air speed is 96 mph and his course takes him away from the edge of the storm. 3:52
P.M. The eastern edge of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island lies below. In minutes,
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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