The $25,000 Flight by Lori Haskins Houran
All achievements start with a dream. Ten-year-old Charles Lindberg was no exception.
In the early 1900s, the airplane was invented. Flying, however, at that time was only for risk takers. Contests were set-up to push the limits of both the airplanes and the pilots.
Raymond Orteig, a very successful businessman, decided to come up with a prize of his own. In 1919, he offered a reward of $25,000 to the first pilot to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. This was a huge undertaking at the time, as the most current challenge was to fly 1900 miles and this one was 3600!
Enter Charles Lindberg. After flight school, Lindberg had taken a job as a barnstormer. He lived up to his nickname, Daredevil Lindbergh, with daring moves such as walking out onto a wing of a plane and staying on it while it flew a loop-de-loop.
After a few years, Lindberg left his stunt days behind him. He joined the army and eventually took a job with the airmail service. Throughout his career, he dreamt of the Orteig Prize. He started planning but wasn’t able to find a company to back him.
Finally, he found a company to back him that exceeded his expectations. He pored over charts of the Atlantic Ocean and read every book he could on navigation. He charted his course and planned for other issues he may face – weight, fuel, etc.
With his plane, Spirit of St. Louis, finished, tested, and ready, Lindbergh made his way to the starting line. On May 20th, 1927, Lindbergh left New York.
After roughly 33 hours, pressing through sleep deprivation, fog, ice clouds, storms, and more, Lindbergh landed in Paris.
Charles Lindbergh was celebrated, praised, and rewarded throughout the world.
What a legend and what a book! I strongly recommend picking this one up.
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