The Spirit of St. Louis (formally the Ryan NYP, registration: N-X-211) is the custom-built, single-engine, single-seat, high-wing monoplane that was flown by Charles Lindbergh on May 20–21, 1927, on the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight from Long Island, New York, to Paris, France, for which Lindbergh won the $25,000 Orteig Prize.
Lindbergh took off in the Spirit from Roosevelt Airfield, Garden City, New York, and landed 33 hours, 30 minutes later at Aéroport Le Bourget in Paris, France, a distance of approximately 3,600 miles (5,800 km)
Officially known as the “Ryan NYP” (for New York to Paris), the single-engine monoplane was designed by Donald A. Hall of Ryan Airlines and named the “Spirit of St. Louis” in honor of Lindbergh’s supporters from the St. Louis Raquette Club in his then hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. To save design time, the NYP was loosely based on the company’s 1926 Ryan M-2 mailplane, the main difference being the NYP’s 4,000-mile range. As a nonstandard design, the government assigned it the registration number N-X-211 (for “experimental”). Hall documented his design in “Engineering Data on the Spirit of St. Louis“, which he prepared for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and is included as an appendix to Lindbergh’s 1953 Pulitzer Prize winning book The Spirit of St. Louis.
|Role||Long-range aircraft [for record attempt]|
|Designer||Donald A. Hall|
|First flight||April 28, 1927|
|Retired||April 30, 1928|
|Number built||1 (not including later replicas and reproductions)|
|Developed from||Ryan M-2|
|Owners and operators||Charles Lindbergh|
|Total hours||489 hours, 28 minutes|
|Preserved at||National Air and Space Museum|
NYP-2, an exact duplicate of the Spirit of St. Louis, was built 45 days after the transatlantic flight, for the Japanese newspaper Mainichi. The NYP-2 carrying serial number 29 was registered as J-BACC and achieved a number of record-breaking flights early in 1928 before a crash ended its career.
Although Ryan capitalized on the notoriety of the NYP special, further developments were only superficially comparable to the Spirit of St. Louis. An offshoot of the Ryan B-1 Brougham emerged as a five-seater with the same J-5 engine but modified with a conventional cockpit layout and a shorter wingspan. Under the newly restructured B.F. Mahoney Company, further development continued with the six-place Model B-7 utilizing a 420 hp engine and the Model C-1 with the basic 220 hp engine.
The Standard J is a two-seat basic trainer two-bay biplane produced in the United States from 1916 to 1918, powered by a four-cylinder inline Hall-Scott A-7a engine. It was constructed from wood with wire bracing and fabric covering. The J-1 was built as a stopgap to supplement the Curtiss JN-4 in production.