Check out this series of four videos Win Perkins did on Charles Lindbergh's epic transatlantic flight in 1927. Aviation buffs and bloggers are buzzing about Perkins' work. With music and subtitles, the story as told in the videos is riveting.
They trace the preparation for the flight and the competition for the $25,000 Orteig Prize for the first aviator to fly from New York to Paris. It had laid unclaimed for eight years until Lindy's famous crossing.
Especially noteworthy is Part 3 where the Spirit of St. Louis and Lindy bounce into the air a thousand pounds overweight taking off from muddy Roosevelt Field on Long Island. That he didn't crush his fragile fixed landing gear was just as amazing that the Spirit of St. Louis ever got into the air.
No billions of dollar in NASA-like infrastructure for Lindy. He basically had three engineers from Wright Aeronautical helping out and he and the Spirit of St. Louis (built by Ryan Airlines) were constantly mobbed by the media and euphoric crowds. In fact, the plane was nearly destroyed by crowds tearing at its canvas just after it landed at Le Bourget Airport outside Paris.
No GPS or radar for Lundy, either. Just a magentic compass that helped him fly 36 "precise" compass routes over the Atlantic. I promise once you start watching this, you won't stop...nor will your admiration for Lindy who nearly feel asleep less than a third into the two day voyage.
Win Perkins is an appraiser of airports and aviation-related businesses...and a documentary producer, apparently.
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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com