Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis"

Flight Notes - how to fly the Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis"

There is nothing to say that hasn't already been said about Lindbergh and his historic plane. Today the Spirit of St Louis hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. where millions of visitors see it each year. Those who know the story marvel at the thought of one person making such a daring flight, but most don't know how very difficult it really was because of the instability of the airplane.

This is an airplane that can never be left to its own inclinations. It must be constantly managed in all axes as it is very unstable. The ailerons feel very heavy in the Spirit of St. Louis. Takeoff when full of fuel requires a long runway and steady nerves. Once off the ground it climbs slowly and settles easily if you're not paying attention. If you think you're up to Lucky Lindy's mettle, try a long flight in real time. You'll gain a whole new respect for the man and his flying accomplishment.


U.S. Metric
Maximum Speed 129 mph 208 km per hour
Cruise Speed 117 mph 188 km per hour
Engine One Wright Whirlwind J-5, 223 horsepower
Propeller Hamilton Standard, Two-bladed, fixed pitch
Maximum Range 4,000 miles 6,437 km
Service Ceiling Unknown
Fuel Capacity 450 gallons 1,703 liters
Empty Weight 2,290 pounds 1,039 kilograms
Maximum Gross Weight 5,250 pounds 2,381 kilograms
Length 27 feet, 8 inches 8.41 meters
Wingspan 46 feet 14 meters
Height 9 feet, 10 inches 3 meters
Seating 1