Talk:Spirit of St. Louis

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I'm interested to know why the cowl of the plane is gold in color. When did that happen and why? The plane had a silver cowl (brushed bare aluminum) for transatlantic flight and AFAIK, replicas have stuck with that too.

The cowling became golden when the Smithsonian applied a "protective" substance to the metal. They were concerned about oxidization/protecting it. The substance unfortunately turned the silver colored aluminum golden. Rather than fix the error, they decided (perhaps after trying to correct it?) that it was best to leave it as it was. The last time I visited the museum, there was no explanation about why or how this historic error occurred. It should probably be addressed in Wiki since I too wondered about it for many years. This info was told to me by a museum director some years ago Virtualn 15:13, 20 April 2007 (UTC)virtualn

I've removed the following from the article because it doesn't fit at present, although it may at a future date as the article grows:

...such as ones at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport. The airport also had Lindbergh's original Curtiss JN-4D "Jenny", which miraculously survived a fire in a downtown Minneapolis high-rise in 1982. It's now at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island in New York.

Willy Logan 05:02, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I added material -- much of it from Lindbergh's 1953 memoir "The Spirit of St. Louis" -- to explain some of the unique characteristics of the aircraft. I also corrected its fuel load: designed capacity of 425 gallons, actual takeoff capacity 450 gallons. - Vince Crawley, August 7, 2006

Thanks for that, it looks good. In particular its good to mention that the plane had no windshield - I hadn't noticed that. -- Solipsist 08:47, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Aircraft Name[edit]

Should this aircraft not be known as the "Ryan NYP" first, and "Spirit of St.Louis" second? -- 01:18, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

No, according to WP:NAME:
Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things. --Wafulz 01:22, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Cross- section[edit]

I know I've seen a cross section of this aircraft somewhere, and I think it would be a great addition to this article. I cannot remember where I saw it, but I know it exists (if anyone feels like looking for it)RSido 02:18, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Added the Technical Preparations for the Spirit of St. Louis by Donald Hall in 1927 for the NCAA (currently available from the NASA website). It should help people that want to know the exact details of the airplane. -N.H.

Spirit of St. louis,the Book. Written by Charles lindberg.[edit]

Charles's book

Recently, while browsing through a local used-book store, I stumbled upon a copy of Charles Lindberg's original book of his flight to Paris. In it, it had a trove of specifications and such. The information was as precise as possible, which is understandible, since the author is the original pilot. Over the next few days, I plan to update the page as much as possible to keep this page maintained. Wish me luck! --Loseratlove 03:09, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

The Orteig Prize[edit]

The Orteig Prize was offered to the first aviator to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris,however, the Atlantic had been crossed in non-stop flights previously. Although Lindbergh was the first to fly solo from New York to Paris non-stop, he was not the first aviator to complete a transatlantic heavier-than-air aircraft flight. That had been done first in stages by the crew of the NC-4, in May 1919, although their flying boat broke down and had to be repaired before continuing. The NC-4 flights took 19 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The first truly non-stop transatlantic flight was achieved nearly eight years before by two British flyers, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown in a modified Vickers Vimy IV bomber on 14 June-15 June 1919, departing Lester's Field near St. Johns, Newfoundland, and arriving at Clifden, Ireland, (a shorter route than Lindbergh's). A total of 81 people had flown across the Atlantic prior to Lindbergh (questionable). However, his was the first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight.

The fact that the Spirit of St. Louis was used in a solo flight is what makes it unique. Others have the claim of being the first across the Atlantic in a non-stop flight. FWIW Bzuk 02:11, 10 July 2007 (UTC).

Just noticed that the Legacy paragraph has the statement (and coincidentally completing the first aerial mainland-to-mainland crossing) which is clearly wrong as Bzuk has stated. For example the LZ-126 crossed from Germany to New Jersey non-stop. Not sure why we have an emphasis on mainland-to-mainland, Lindberg is always been recognised as the first transatlantic solo-flight, does this not belittle the efforts of other fliers because they left from Ireland or England. And is not Long Island an island not the mainland! MilborneOne 20:21, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
MilborneOne- I agree, I was just trying to mollify another editor's constant reversions with a so-so statement but I have now removed the claim entirely as it really was not germane to the main contention that the Spirit completed the NY-Paris flight as a solo non-stop crossing. Thanks for the update. Bzuk 20:30, 15 July 2007 (UTC).
I agree that the statement about islands is not the best way to make the point I'm trying to make, and was sloppy. It seems that along with the solo aspect, Lindbergh should be credited with demonstrating the ability to fly non-stop from a major population center to a major population center, rather than from more obscure locations. It seems that this more than prevous attempts demostrated commercial viability of non-stop flights across the Atlantic. But it's not worth the animosity than the attempt is generating here. --Kevin Murray 22:50, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Lots of these flights did not go from the mainland of North America to the mainland of Europe. Newfoundland, Ireland, and Great Britain are not part of the mainland. Long Island is close enough to the rest of New York State to be part of the continental mainland, for all practical purposes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23 MAY 2008 18:22
Long Island is close enough to the mainland of New York and Connecticut to be part of the continental mainland for all practical purposes, and especially for aviation purposes. Long Island is close enough to Manhattan that they both connect to New York and New Jersey via highway and railroad bridges and tunnels. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23 MAY 2008 18:22


 : A later paragraph begins "A swastika was painted on the inside of the nosecone of the Spirit of St. Louis...” Reading this gave me a misleading impression of the extent of Lindbergh’s anti-Semitism and support of the nascient 3rd Reich at the time of his Atlantic flight. A photo of the nosecone’s inside (at the bottom of the page) shows it was a backward-swastika, with the hooks pointing to the left. Lindberg's complicated and ugly set of beliefs didn't bloom publicly until perhaps ten years later.

If others agree, would someone consider changing it to say "A backward swastika (left handed swastika) was painted on the inside of the nosecone of the Spirit of St. Louis..." (I'm not a User so it isn't appropriate for me to.) 18 December 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:41, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if the swastika is drawn in only one direction, I believe that the swastika (from Sanskrit svástika ◊Ë‘◊ˬ€≥ ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, can be in either right-facing (ô¬) or left-facing (ô¬) forms. The swastika can also be drawn as a traditional swastika, but with a second 90° bend in each arm. It has a wikilink to the appropriate Wikipedia article that explains the history of the swastika. FWIW Bzuk (talk) 03:48, 19 December 2007 (UTC).

I think the article is currently correct. The swastika was placed there as a good luck charm, as evidenced by the orientation in relation to the names. The swastika in that orientation is good luck, it's the swastika on its side that is a symbol of the nazis.--LWF (talk) 03:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
For Pete's sake, the Nazi swastika was always a clockwise one, rather than a counter-clockwise one, and before the Nazi era, it had an entirely-different meaning anyway. I have read that in old Germanic languages, it stood for the letter combination "th". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23 MAY 2008 18:22

It is important to note;the propeller spinner which on it's inside has the names of the builders of the Spirit of St. Louis as well as the American Indian good luck symbol was not used on the Spirit during the Trans-Atlantic flight. The good luck symbol painted in the spinner was not inspired by nor suggested by Lindbergh.Feedor (talk) 20:24, 26 June 2009 (UTC)See Ryan Aeronautical interview by Way Wagner of original Spirit builders(Ryan Aeronautical Library)(San Diego Air and Space Museum)et al.

the backwards/forward thing is mostly nonsense actually. The distinction didn't arise until after World War II. Prior to the rise of the Nazis both forms were used interchangeably, often as good luck charms (as in this case). -- (talk) 14:23, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


Even though the material being introduced on the books and films made about the Spirit of St. Louis are interesting, this is primarily an article about the aircraft and its history. The associated material is best placed in the story of Lindbergh or in the separate articles on the actor, film and books that resulted from the transatlantic flight. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 11:51, 12 May 2008 (UTC).

The two books and the film all directly relate to (and are named for) the aircraft, its history, and especially its very important place in American culture. The limited amount of material I have added to this article could (and probably should) be included in other articles to which it also relates, but I feel strongly that should not come to its exclusion from this SoSL article to which it applies most directly. I can really not think of any other aircraft, ship, train, or other vehicle that is a greater or more universally recognized cultural icon than the Spirit of St. Louis. Even after 81 years, this aircraft is still far more than a "machine" but is instead the living embodiment of a sea change milestone of how aviation as a means of transportation in the United States was viewed and supported. (Centpacrr (talk) 12:35, 12 May 2008 (UTC))
Regardless, the amount of material is far too detailed and is more related to the after-market products that resulted. A mention of the aircraft's iconic status with some examples should suffice. After that, the connection with the two flyers, James Stewart and Charles Lindbergh involved is inconsequential, whether two or a second account was published and received an award, is also peripheral to the story of the Spirit. If you wish to develop the history of the aircraft, then the focus should remain on the aircraft, mention its legacy but devoting too much emphasis brings up: Wp:Weight issues. Please consider a revision to cut down the section and incorporate the valuable information into the related articles that are more appropriate to the actual books and film that accompanied this historic aircraft's threading into the public psyche and mythology. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 12:44, 12 May 2008 (UTC).
I can't say that I ever thought of Lindbergh's two namesake books which represent his detailed personal accounts of the history of his airplane and his flight as being "after-market products", "inconsequential", or "peripheral", but be that as it may, as requested I have deleted the section. (Centpacrr (talk) 13:49, 12 May 2008 (UTC))
Please excuse my Baroque allusions, I sometimes speak/write faster than I think. The iconic nature of the Spirit has not escaped me, I dragged my family, kicking and screaming to see a recreation of Lindbergh's cross country air tour, when the EAA replica Spirit stopped in my city. I also made a pilgrimage to the NASM specifically to see the Spirit, which I understand was also at times, visited by Charles Lindbergh himself. One of the tour guides who noticed my reverential gaze, took me aside and explained that he closed the gallery from time to time after hours when CAL visited and let the aviator sit in the cockpit undisturbed. As to the Spirit's legacy, mention has to be made of its status as a piece of Americana with the detail about its connections to popular culture. My sole contention was that the comprehensive nature of the submissions about the books and film that transpired, may be better placed with the specific articles. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 14:02, 12 May 2008 (UTC).
As per your suggestion I have restored the section relating it to the "Spirit" as "a piece of Americana with the detail about its connections to popular culture."(Centpacrr (talk) 11:37, 13 May 2008 (UTC))
Some ancillary details revised, see above notes for clarification. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 13:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC).

I have to say that Bzuks revision was better and it was probably wrong to remove that text and re-insert another version. The lastest version has again added far more detail about the book and film which should be in the related articles and borders on original research or opinion rather than facts. I would suggest that we revert back to the version as amended by Bzuk and work on improving that. MilborneOne (talk) 11:19, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Tweaked the text to remove some of the extra text that does not relate to the aircraft. MilborneOne (talk) 12:40, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
While the two very brief footnotes relating to key similarities between Stewart and Lindbergh (age and background in military aviation) may not be strictly "pertinent" to the "Spirit of St. Louis" as a physical object or machine, they certainly are central to Stweart's casting in the film and how he and his "co-star" -- the Spirit -- interact with each other in the picture. The real life closeness in the ages, experience, and aviation backgrounds of the two aviators had a significant influence in how the "title character" is developed and portrayed in the film as Lindbergh's "partner" (i.e. "We"), and thereby materially affects how the film represents the plane. As this section of the article discusses the Spirit as it is related to and in popular culture, mentioning these two key relationships between Lindbergh and Stewart becomes neither out of place or irrelevant. (Centpacrr (talk) 07:24, 15 May 2008 (UTC))
That's a stretch, put information about the film with the film article. The casting of Stewart had much more to do with his affinity to Lindbergh and not the aircraft with which he was associated. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 12:29, 15 May 2008 (UTC).
I have added the information to the article on the film. I still feel strongly, however, that these two facts have significant relevance to the SoSL article as well for the reasons I stated, although as a concession I have moved them from my principal text to the footnotes. To me knowing about these particular similarities in the backgrounds of Lindbergh and Stewart has a material affect on how I view the film and evaluating Stewart's interaction with his "co-star" -- the Spirit. I find puzzling a philosophy that facts which are relevant to subjects referenced in more than one article can only be included in one article and must be arbitrarily excluded of all others to which they would otherwise apply. The two particular similarities between Lindbergh and Stewart that I included are clearly relevant to both articles in my view, and as such I subscribe to a philosophy of including such facts everywhere that they are relevant rather then arbitrarily excluding them simply because they appear someplace else as well. While others may disagree with me as to the extent of their relevance in the popular culture section of the SoSl article, their inclusion certainly does no harm. FWIW (Centpacrr (talk) 13:55, 15 May 2008 (UTC))
No need to make concessions. If there is not consensus, then the information is best presented where it is the most relevant. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 02:51, 18 May 2008 (UTC).


There is no need for a gallery of images when the WikiCommmons image gallery is linked. FWiW, the gallery is usually redundant in this case. Bzuk (talk) 02:51, 18 May 2008 (UTC).

Usage of "Airplane" vs "Aircraft"[edit]

Thread moved to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Aircraft(Centpacrr] (talk) 17:58, 23 May 2008 (UTC))


The introduction has recently been changed by User:Centpacrr from flown by Charles Lindbergh on the first non-stop solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris to flown solo by Charles Lindbergh on the first New York to Paris non-stop transatlantic flight I reverted but it has now been changed back by User:Centpacrr to the later version. Is not the fame attached to the flight because it was the first solo non-stop transatlantic crossing not because it was the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris. Did not want to revert it again without some other opinions on the matter. Just to quote the Smithsonian Milestone of Flight "Milestone: First Nonstop Solo Transatlantic Flight" which is what the article said before! MilborneOne (talk) 18:30, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The Orteig Prize was for the first "non-stop flight from New York to Paris" whether or not done solo. Lindbergh was the only one to try it solo, but that was incidental to winning the prize. Alcock and Brown flew nonstop across the Atlantic in June, 1919. (Centpacrr (talk) 19:22, 23 May 2008 (UTC))

Sorry I refer again to the Smithsonian "First Nonstop Solo Transatlantic Flight" as the milestone achieved or is the Smithsonian wrong? MilborneOne (talk) 19:36, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
He was the first to fly solo, but the Prize was for a non-stop flight from New York to Paris whether or not it was done solo. So it was the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris which also happened to be done solo, i.e., it was TWO firsts. (Centpacrr (talk) 19:43, 23 May 2008 (UTC))
Dont disagree about the prize but his fame (according to Smithsonian) is for the first solo. Perhaps we should change the intro to mention both. MilborneOne (talk) 20:21, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I have tweaked the intro to add the solo bit after the Orteig Prize. MilborneOne (talk) 20:27, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Centpacrr's image[edit]

I've removed links to this image. It's a copyright violation, it's poor quality, it's self-promotion, and it doesn't even fit the sentence in which it is used. To wit, the sentence discusses a replica made from a B-1. Centpacrr's image is a photoshopped image of Lindberg's plane. It would be far more appropriate to include not an image of the actual plane (no matter how re-worked), but rather, and image of a real B-1 from which the replica discussed was made. Rklawton (talk) 20:14, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

The page includes both the original Ryan Company publicity image and the digital "watercolor" illustration. G-AUIX, on the other hand, has nothing whatever to do with Lindbergh. (Centpacrr (talk) 20:39, 5 February 2009 (UTC))
The page contains two copyright violations. The section in which the image was linked was about replicas, and the particular sentence was about what replicas were made from. Your image was not about this - it was about the original. The image I found was specifically about the type of plane from which the replica noted in the sentence was made. Rklawton (talk) 20:48, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
I have already responded on the SoSL talk page. I do not, however, consider "If I were you, however, I'd drop the matter entirely." or your image is "crap" and "self promotion" to be much of a a civil invitation. If you review the histories of the SoSL and Lindbergh articles you will find that I have made more than 620 edits and contributions to these articles over the past year including providing many images if unique articles of Linberghiana from my collections. There was no image at all linked to this page until I linked them less than an hour ago. If you think that the image of G-AUIX has a greater connection to Lindbergh than his own B-1, then please make your case instead of just continuing to revert the original link and substituting an otherwise irrelevant one. (Centpacrr (talk) 20:57, 5 February 2009 (UTC))
Your link shows what the aircraft was converted to. We already have images of this. My link shows what the aircraft was converted *from*. And this was the point of the sentence. That a replica was created *from* a B-1. The article has no images of what a B-1 looks like, so the image link I provided does a lot of good. Your previous contribution are irrelevant in this matter. Rklawton (talk) 21:03, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, I see your point about the Lindberg image being that of a B-1. However, it's still a copyvio - and self-promotion. Whereas the link I provided is not a copyvio - and is still of a B-1.
I can see room here for compromise, though. Just provide a link to the image's authorized source rather than to your own web page. Rklawton (talk) 21:09, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Whatever is decided, please don't put the so-called 'watercolor' image up again. That one really sucked the life out of the far better, digitally refurbished monochrome image. Binksternet (talk) 21:28, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
My image is an original Ryan Co. publicity photograph of Lindbergh picking up the new B-1 the company gave him at the Ryan factory in San Diego, CA, in 1928. The source is an original period print of a Ryan Co. publicity image marked as being provided free to the press for reproduction at will and with no claim of copyright. I personally scanned the print which is a part of my large personal collection of Lindberghiana. I do not see how stating that on the page as being the source, however, is self promotion. The sources given for the two photographs on the page to which you have linked are the "John Hopton collection" and an otherwise unidentified "my own collection" but neither contains any copyright or original source information. As my image is of an original, unconverted B-1 which also has a direct connection to Lindbergh himself, I think it is a more appropriate illustration of what the replica was created from than an Australian registered B-1 that may well have already been modified for long distance flight. (Centpacrr (talk) 21:36, 5 February 2009 (UTC))
I've been "kind" to refer to your efforts to circumvent copyright law by posting a self-created derivative work as "self-promotion". Second, all images used on Wikipedia must either be "fair use" or be free for commercial use. There is no indication that the image in question is available for commercial use, and it's uploading on Wikipedia has already been challenged. Publicity images are typically "fair use", not copyright-free. And no, that doesn't mean that using that image in this article constitutes "fair use". Rklawton (talk) 22:04, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
I have removed the digital watercolor from the image page and left only the publicity photo. As it is no longer posted as a Wikipedia image file, however, but is instead now on an external linked page (as are the photos on the page you have linked which themselves include no copyright or original source information), the only question then is if either page is to be left linked, then which one is more relevant to illustrate what an unmodified Ryan B-1 looked like. I say the logical answer to that is Lindbergh's factory condition B-1, not the Australian one. If you disagree, then please make your case on those grounds as the others have been resolved and are now moot. (Centpacrr (talk) 22:33, 5 February 2009 (UTC))
Without prejudice to the argument about relevance, just thought I would mention that images from the edcoates collection have been deleted from wikipedia for copyright problems and the provenance of the G-AUIX image is not clear. So it is not acceptable as an external link (which should not be in the middle of the text anyhow) and probably would be deleted if uploaded to wikipedia or commons. MilborneOne (talk) 22:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


The headings in the section on specifications are inaccurate.

Here are the appropriate terms: Empty Weight--That is the weight of the aircraft plus any essential equipment permanently attached to the airplane, plus full engine oil tank, plus full hydraulic reservoirs, plus unusable fuel in the fuel tanks. This last is usually 1 or 2 gallons.,

Gross Weight--That is the maximum the aircraft can weigh under any circumstances, unless a special dispensation is provided by the FAA.

Useful Load--This is NOT the fuel capacity! This is simply the amount of weight that can be added to the plane up to its gross weight. It is calculated simply by subtracting the empty weight from the gross weight. It includes, fuel, passengers, baggage and any extra equipment.

"Loaded Weight"--No such technical term defined by FAA.

"Maximum Take-Off Weight"--Inappropriate in the context of this article. This figure is computed for any given set of conditions prior to each take-off, and may depend on temperature, length of runway, aircraft load, airport elevation and any other number of factors.

I tried to edit the article, but the format didn't come out right. Someone more familiar with the technique of editing should do this. The way the article reads now is wrong.Cd195 (talk) 18:47, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

You need to explain what is wrong rather than quoting defintions, the specification template is an agreed format if you have a problem with the definition in Template:Aircraft_specifications then you need to discuss it at the related talk page Template_talk:Aircraft_specifications#Discussion. As each of the figures in the specification has already been reliably sourced then you need to discuss each one of them here as to why you think it is wrong. Thank you. MilborneOne (talk) 19:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)


Thank you for the referral to the aircraft template page. I am not taking issue with the figures themselves, which are accurate. I am simply stating that the headings are not appropriate aircraft terminology. "Loaded Weight" is not a technical term found in any aircraft specification. "Useful Load" is not the fuel capacity, etc.Cd195 (talk) 03:38, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

See: Loaded weight. FWiW, the useful load on the Spirit might include a sandwich as well as fuel (LOL). Bzuk (talk) 03:50, 30 March 2009 (UTC).


I've entered a discussion in the template discussion page. Once again, thanks for the referral. I'm familiar with the publication linked to the last message. Please note that the term loaded weight is used descriptively in the text, as this is correct English, I suppose, and the meaning is clear in discussions concerning weight and balance. But note that in the charts and figures, the correct technical term for the maximum weight of the aircraft is gross weight. You achieve the gross weight by "loading" weight into it, but loaded weight is not the term used for the max weight. It is gross weight, and for this very reason, it avoids ambiguity.

Empty weight, as previously mentioned, is the aircraft plus permanently mounted equipment, plus full hydraulic reservoirs, full engine oil tank or sump, and unusable fuel. Gross weight is the maximum allowed weight under any circumstances, and useful load is the difference between those two. That difference can be made up by passengers, fuel, baggage, cheese sandwiches, or cargo, it doesn't matter what. With those simple definitions the terms become unambiguous.

I should reiterate that maximum take-off weight should not be on the template, as this is a variable number, computed for each take off. The max take-off weight can be less than the gross weight depending on airport elevation, temperature, runway length or surface, loaded weight and balance considerations, proposed flight profile, and other considerations. Since it's a different number for each take-off, it shouldn't be part of a template. If you want to mention what the max take-off weight was for the Spirit considering the temperature, humidity, runway length and condition, etc. on the day of the famous flight, it should be included in the text, I think, or clearly labeled as to the criteria for that specific weight being given.

I hope I'm helping here. Please let me know if I'm not presenting this clearly enough.Cd195 (talk) 04:08, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I suggest moving this discussion to the related talk page: Template_talk:Aircraft_specifications#Discussion as this issue concerns more than just the Spirit of St. Louis. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 04:27, 30 March 2009 (UTC).

Just wondering, under the design the weight of the fuel was around 2300lbs. what type of fuel did they use because fuel is right around 6lbs to the gallon.(450gallons*6lbs=2700lbs of fuel) **possible Mistake** —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


I have moved my discussion to the Templates page, however, I note that the Useful Load in this article still lists the fuel capacity. Somebody needs to change that. I think we all agree that Useful Load is the difference between the gross weight and the empty weight, NOT THE FUEL CAPACITY. (talk) 10:00, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

But specifically, what else would the Spirit be carrying? FWiW Bzuk (talk) 10:02, 4 April 2009 (UTC).


Useful load is a technical term. For the umpteenth time, IT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GROSS WEIGHT AND THE EMPTY WEIGHT! The dimensions of the Useful Load is POUNDS, not people, gasoline or cheese sandwiches! Geez! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cd195 (talkcontribs) 05:45, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, and the specs make no sense as they appear: # Empty weight: 2,150 lb (975 kg)# Loaded weight: 2,888 lb (1,310 kg). The weight of 450 gallons of gasoline is 2,812.5 pounds (more or less, depending on temperature etc.)! In fact, the Spirit seems to have weighed 5,250 pounds on takeoff from Roosevelt Field (Thomas Kessner, The Flight of the Century, 2010, p.85). Cubdriver (talk) 15:59, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Similar images[edit]

How many images taken from similar vantage points do we need? Binksternet (talk) 14:07, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I have to agree here, the last two images in the gallery are superfluous. FWiW Bzuk (talk)
Done. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:23, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Reproductions -- clarification needed[edit]

The opening of the "Reproductions" section is tagged for clarification and rightly so since it is confusing:

The 1938 Paramount film Men with Wings... featured a reproduction of the Spirit of St. Louis fashioned from a Ryan B-1 "Brougham" similar to one presented to Lindbergh by the manufacturer, the Mahoney Aircraft Corporation, shortly after the Spirit was retired in April 1928. All three [clarification needed] reproductions survived with B-153 on display at..., B-156 is..., and B-159 belongs to... not far from the site of Roosevelt Field from which the original departed in 1927. Reputed to have been flown by Lindbergh during the film's production, the connection to Lindbergh is now considered a myth.

Puzzling this out, it sounds like three reproduction aircraft were made for the film, B-153, B-156, and B-159. Is this correct? This seems rather extravagant, but I suppose it's possible. Anyway, if this is the case, it needs to be spelled out.

The ref for all is this the Cassagneres book (Cassagneres, Ev. The Untold Story of the Spirit of St. Louis: From the Drawing Board to the Smithsonian. New Brighton, Minnesota: Flying Book International, 2002. ISBN 0-911139-32-X) which I don't have, so I'm asking an editor who does or has access to other material to help figure this out, thanks.

It doesn't help clarity that the replica presented to Lindbergh is interpolated in with the ones for the film further muddying what "three" are being referred to. I'd write it something like this:

Shortly after the Spirit was retired a reproduction fashioned from a Ryan B-1 "Brougham" was presented to Lindbergh by the manufacturer, the Mahoney Aircraft Corporation. The 1938 Paramount film Men with Wings starring Ray Milland also featured a reproduction based on the Ryan B-1; three were constructed for use in the film. All three survived...

But of course I don't know if that last bit is actually true. Herostratus (talk) 17:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Agree. So unless someone comes forward with correct quotes & clarifications from the source(s), the proposed text should go in there. Minor note: maybe write ... the manufacturer of both, the Mahoney ..., because two planes are topical in the proposed text. We know Ryan and MAC are the same company over time, but their names don't show that. -DePiep (talk) 09:53, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Found another source in The_Spirit_of_St._Louis_(film)#Production (ref #8):
  • Phillips, Gene D. Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder (Screen Classics). Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8131-2570-1. It's index looks promising.
Our article says that there were planes for each location (lol they couldn't fly across the US then?). -DePiep (talk) 10:11, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the Reproductions deserve their own article? I count fifteen now. They are of encyclopedic interest (their own history, their resemblance & differences), but now they take a large part of the articvle (while the original one has still more to say). -DePiep (talk) 10:20, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds perfectly reasonable. I suppose there are written guidelines "when to split an article" somewhere, but I wouldn't overthink that, common sense tells me it's reasonable.
So now wait. This article ascribes the three reproductions to Men with Wings not The Spirit of St. Louis (film). This looks to be an error. I note that Men with Wings#Aircraft used in the film does not include the Spirit (or Ryan NYP), although it says "aircraft used include..." which means the list is non-exhaustive so that's not proof. The ref there is to: Hardwick, Jack and Ed Schnepf. A Viewer's Guide to Aviation Movies. The Making of the Great Aviation Films, General Aviation Series, Volume 2, 1989, page 59. Herostratus (talk) 13:21, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
It's in Wikipedia:Splitting. Size itself is the least issue, but the "out of proportion", especially since it is diverted-from-topic. No big deal I guess, we both have the same common sense ;-). As for the sources & films, I'm out of the league from here. -DePiep (talk) 13:30, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No objections forthcoming, I've pulled the trigger on this and made the proposed change, not having the sources at hand and hoping its correct. It still seems odd to me that they they made three fully-operational copies for a film which was a broad history of early aircraft and presumably featured much else besides Lindbergh and since the article Men with Wings does not even mention the Spirit in the list of aircraft used in the film. But my best guess is that this is most likely correct. Herostratus (talk) 02:30, 6 October 2014 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I was the editor who researched this section and have the original source material. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 02:53, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Well but the passage makes no sense. What are the "all three" referred to? There is no mention of any "three" of anything, then the phrase "all three" pops up. Intermixing the Mahoney Aircraft with the Men With Wings aircraft is also poor writing. I didn't change any meaning I don't think. If you don't want me to clarify this then do so in your words. The current construction is not optimal. Herostratus (talk) 03:13, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Another example of the "too many cooks" syndrome- now, re-written. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 13:50, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The curious inclusion of the myth of Lindbergh flying one of the Warner Bros. reproductions is mentioned, yet the true, but unverified story of Lindbergh visiting the NASM to sit in the Spirit, is not mentioned. I found out from the curator at the time, that Charles Lindbergh asked to sit in the aircraft. He appeared after hours, and since the aircraft is on an overhead display, museum staff assisted him in getting into the cockpit where he reputedly sat silently for a lengthy time. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 14:14, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's much better now. Too many cooks spoil the broth, but many hands make light work (it is not for nothing that that I am known at Casa Herostratus as Master Of Platitudes). Looks great, and glad to get the mixup between the films cleared up, as well as more clearly differentiating between flying and static reproductions. Thanks!
Not to look a gift a horse in the mouth (let alone imply that I'm wary of Greeks bearing gifts), but since he who hesitates is lost and we want to strike while the iron is hot, a couple of other things:
  • I'd put the first sentence in time order: one was presented to Lindbergh; a similar one was used in the movie...
  • Lindbergh supposedly flying the repro... since it's not true is it worth mentioning. It is if was a notable legend or rumor only, maybe. Herostratus (talk) 18:06, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The Ryan Brougham is really a different design, only superficially looking like the Spirit. The resemblance was close enough that Frank Hawks flew a Brougham around the United States, advertising himself as flying an aircraft "like the one Lindy flew." The myth around Lindbergh is powerful enough to have survived till now. You know what they say about myths and legends; when the legend is more powerful than the truth, tell the legend. Much in the way that "Billy the Kid", the "Left-handed gun fighter" was not left-handed (it was a photographer reversing one of the only known photographic negatives, and printing the photograph backwards that people thought he was left-handed); he also wasn't a "Billy" and probably was more of a cold-blooded killer than the romantic figure portrayed in films. See the changes I have made to the sections in the article. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 02:32, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Engine time[edit]

The article states the engine was supposed to have a useful operating life of 9,000 hours. This seems excessive. Not even modern aircraft engines go that long between overhauls. Most modern piston aircraft engines have TBO (Time Between Overhauls) of around 2,000 hours. Would the correct figure be perhaps 900 hours?

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Spirit of St. Louis/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Top="a custom airplane used by Charles Lindbergh to make the first solo, non-stop trans-Atlantic flight on May 20 and May 21, 1927."

Last edited at 01:03, 5 September 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 06:43, 30 April 2016 (UTC)