Erik Lindbergh in New York City, September 2002
|Born||1965 (age 50–51)|
|Alma mater||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University|
|Occupation||Aviator, artist, Professional Speaker|
Erik Lindbergh (born 1965) is an aviator, a promoter of space tourism, and an artist. The grandson of pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, who was the first person to fly non-stop between New York and Paris in 1927, in 2002 Erik Lindbergh honored the 75th anniversary of his grandfather's historic flight by retracing the journey in his own single-engine aircraft. The journey was documented by the History Channel, raised over one million dollars for three charities, garnered half a billion media impressions for the X PRIZE Foundation and prompted a call from United States President George W. Bush for inspiring the country after the tragedy of September 11.
In May 2002, Erik Lindbergh honored the 75th anniversary of his grandfather's historic flight by re-tracing the flight across the Atlantic in a small single engine aircraft, a Lancair Columbia 300 dubbed The New Spirit of St. Louis which cost USD $289,000. Leaving from San Diego, he flew to St Louis, then Farmingdale, New York, and then the most famous portion, the non-stop flight from Republic Airport on Long Island to Le Bourget Airport in Paris on May 2, 2002. The last portion of the flight was completed in 17 hours and 7 minutes, roughly half the time as the original (33 1/2 hours), but still a challenge as Lindbergh suffers from disabling rheumatoid arthritis and has two artificial knees. The "Mission Control" for the flight was located at the Saint Louis Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri, which as of 2011 maintains multiple exhibits about the flight.
After his anniversary flight, Lindbergh participated in the Flight Across America project, speaking during the opening ceremonies at Paine Field, Everett, Washington on August 11, 2002 and then participating in the closing ceremonies in New York City on the deck of the USS Intrepid on September 8, 2002.
Son of Jon Lindbergh and Barbara Robbins, Erik Lindbergh is the grandson, by his father, of the pioneering aviators Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. He obtained a degree in Aeronautical Science from Emery Aviation College, became a commercial rated pilot and flight instructor, owns the Lindbergh Gallery, and is the founder and principal in the marketing firm Gusto! LLC. He also serves on the board of directors of Aviation High School in Seattle, Washington. Lindbergh’s sculptures have been used for the Promax Rocket award, The Lindbergh Award and the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award. He lives in a straw bale house which he built in the Pacific Northwest.
He serves on the board of the X PRIZE Foundation, which administered the Ansari X Prize for the first non-governmental reusable crewed spacecraft, in addition to serving on the NatureBridge Olympic Board of Directors. The X Prize is seen as a major boost for the cause of space tourism, and of private spaceflight in general. It is fashioned after the Orteig Prize, the aviation incentive prize won by Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight in 1927.
In June 2012, Lindbergh became a brand ambassador for global aircraft charter provider, Air Charter Service. The company's founder and chairman, Chris Leach, was quoted as saying: “It is a great honour to have Erik on board as our Brand Ambassador – his pioneering work in the world of aviation is inspiring and he shares our visions for the future of how we travel around the planet.”
In May 2008 Lindbergh was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws degree from Molloy College in NY for outstanding service to humanity.
- "Time machine: Lindbergh flies again" (pdf). History Channel. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- "Erik Lindbergh Biography". charleslindbergh.com. Retrieved November 16, 2004.
- Sampson, Pamela (May 3, 2002). "That's the Spirit! Erik Lindbergh flies to Paris in half the time of his grandfather's 1927 feat". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Sharpe, Rochelle (April 24, 2002). "Lindbergh spirit flying high again". USA Today. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- Cole, Jackie (2002). "The legacy of Lindbergh's flight". Boeing Frontiers Online. Boeing.
- Dubbs, Chris; Paat-Dahlstrom, Emeline; Walker, Charles D. (2011). Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight. University of Nebraska Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-8032-1610-5.