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    Fabric from the Spirit of St. Louis

    Charles Lindbergh Signed Fabric from the Spirit of St. Louis. The aviator has written, "Original fabric from the Spirit of St. Louis. / Sincerely, / Charles A. Lindbergh / Dec. 25, 1928." Silver, stiffened fabric with minor soiling and an overall size of 3.25" x 2.5".

    The Spirit of St. Louis was a single-engine, single-seat aircraft specially made by Ryan Airlines of San Diego for Charles Lindbergh to fly non-stop from New York to Paris. By successfully making the flight, Lindbergh, only twenty-five years old at the time, earned the Orteig Prize of $25,000. A major concern about the flight was whether or not the plane would be able to carry enough fuel. To conserve fuel, the plane, which could reach a maximum speed of 133 mph, was aerodynamically shaped. But Lindbergh was also concerned about the weight of the plane, so he insisted that no unnecessary weight be included-he even went so far as to trim excess paper from his maps. The silver fabric skin that the plane was wrapped in provided a light, strong exterior to protect the plane from water and to strengthen its structure.

    After flying across the Atlantic Ocean for over thirty-three hours, Lindbergh landed near Paris on May 21, 1927, to a cheering crowd of about 100,000. But before he could crawl out of the tiny cockpit, he heard fabric tearing and knew that some in the crowd were gathering the fabric for souvenirs. This fabric, however, was not removed from the plane then; it was removed after Lindbergh flew it on its final flight from St. Louis to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., in April 1928. There it was renovated and this piece of the plane's fabric skin was saved and signed by the famous pilot in December 1928. The iconic plane is still on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    13th-14th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,885

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