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the Spirit of St. Louis

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Have you seen this movie with James Stewart ?      great picture for a OLD car guy   ----- Stewert plays CHARLES LINDBERGH ,,,,,,,,and presents technical info about planes of the day  ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and depicts the way the country was in the 20s

 

Lindbergh was a interesting person,,,,,,,have a book ,,,,,CRIME OF THE CENTURY by Gregory Ahlgren and  Stephen Monier.  the authors make the case that Lindbergh may have been responsible for the death of his son and let Houptmann take the fall 

 

Now reading the  book about the transcontinental flight  copy right  1953  penned by Lindbergh   seems the picture was taken from this chronicle another great read !!

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The spot is marked here on Long Island where he took off from, unfortunately the site is lost in an industrial park where Mitchell Field was located 

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Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg is probably the definitive biography on the Lone Eagle. I have a photo of the Spirit of St. Louis which was taken by my grandfather when Lindbergh visited Santa Fe, New Mexico on his tour of the capital cities. I also have a photo of me with the airplane in the background which was taken at the Smithstonian. JWL

 

Edited by JWLawrence
to add text (see edit history)

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The Berg book is good. Lindberg's book The Spirit of St. Louis is also very good and I re-read it from time to time.

 

Been a long time since I saw the movie version with James Stewart but I recall it being pretty good. James Stewart got a pilots license in the 1930s and was in the the Army Air Corp and later the Air Force so he not only could act the part but had actually lived it to some extent. I think it was in Berg's book that I read that when Anne Morrow Lindberg took their children to see the movie that at some point one of her kids asked her about the movie "will Daddy make it?" Apparently Stewart did such a good job that it was enough to fool his children.

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Lindberg's life was certainly interesting and easily movie-worthy. 

However Jack Warner made a few errors in judgement with this version. The first was hiring the aged Stewart to play a young man's part. Lindy was only 25 years old when he made his famous trip but Stewart was almost 50, twice the aviator's age when he portrayed the him. And don't think the critics and the public didn't notice this. With a bloated budget of 6 million dollars the movie ended up as a box office flop.

I wonder how different that might have been had the lead role been given to one of the younger stars of the time like Curtis, Clift or even Lemmon?

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I always thought Stewart was great in the role but always wondered about flying across the Atlantic in the 20s with a single engine plane.

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I think about that quite often,  Padgett. Here is another relic from 1927. Everyone has seen the color pics, but the B&W might be better to compare the technologies. When this old thing goes slowly droning down the line, hour after hour, day after day, the dual glaspacks sound a bit like a low r.p.m. aircraft engine. This is A VASTLY more complex machine than some brakeless, air cooled, kite with bellcranks and cables, the simple radial slowly twisting an incredibly efficient prop as it screws through the air. There were no flies on 1927 Cadillacs (please excuse the Cadillac-Johnson Carb), fewer less on simple air cooled aircraft radials. Of course multi engine aircraft with multi folk at the controls had made the hop earlier, but the endurance of the brave young solo pilot is probably more remarkable than that of the machinery of 1927. I go out solo lone wolf long distance cruising in this unmolested, unrestored, original, well lubricated veteran, but I do carry my cell phones and Triple A card. 'Course you can't pull over to the shoulder in the airplane, but being an old man, I shoulder my ride from time to time almost always for hydraulic imperatives. And I'm not talking about the brakes. They are mechanical, and in and of themselves, most likely more complex than the entire Spirit'.   -  Carl 

 

 

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Edited by C Carl
To correct that impertainent (sp ?) spell check. (see edit history)
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Lindbergh was a man of great accomplishment and also one of great controversy. His heroic deeds are well documented as are his Nazi sympathies. To his credit, after the attack by Japan, he applied great effort to the American cause in the pacific. It seems history only favors winners and then only if they are politically correct. Examples: hero Nolan Ryan, not Pete Rose---both fantastic ball players. Hero Chuck Yeager, not Hannah Reitsch, probably the best pilot ever. As Bill Shakespeare said: the evil men do long lives after them while the good is oft interred with the grave.

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C Carl,

             The black and whites are great.

Is the second pic in the California desert?

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It sure is, Greg. 127 Northbound out of Baker. Temp at midday is still rather cool, not quite triple digits, as it was early April. Up over the pass through the gap slightly to the left ahead. Turned East past Tecopa, later up over a steep pass where the reliable 1927 technology at last got up to operating temperature. Last leg, I hit the highway over Blue Diamond to 'Vegas climbing at about 35-40 in top gear. Here you go

 

 

 

 

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Edited by C Carl (see edit history)
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I should have included to further make my point about the reliability of machines, both simple and complex in the late '20s  : the simplicity of the airplane is even more obvious when you consider the absence of clutch (multiple plate clutch pack in the Cad) and transmission. Direct coupling between engine to fixed pitch prop could not possibly be less complicated.  I want to fly a simple Jenny. Anyone have one? I am a licensed pilot. If one of you lets me fly your simple "kite", I'll let you drive my complicated 1920s Cadillacs. Heads up though. These ancients are closing in on 100 years old. Unrestored without having a need for an air worthiness certificate, they do have their quirks.  Thanks ,     -  Carl 

 

 

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Edited by C Carl (see edit history)

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10 hours ago, C Carl said:

I want to fly a simple Jenny.

Well, the airplane might seem simple, but I can tell you that the OX-5 engine that powers a Jenny is ANYTHING but simple.  A very convoluted and complicated piece of engineering, with hundreds of parts, any one of which failing can send you spiraling to your death.

 

Remember that, when the Jenny was used in combat, life expectancy of the airplane and the pilot was measured in hours, so they didn't have to be built to last, they just had to be built to run for a little while.  A good friend has rebuilt a few OX-5 engines, and he agrees that they are not "simple"!!

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And, as my friend says, a Jenny may sound simple, but mastering it's many idiosyncrasies is difficult.

 

And, the framework of a Jenny is composed of a lot of different pieces, turnbuckles everywhere....

 

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