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Charles Lindbergh one of the worlds aviation heroes and an American hero was the first person to make a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic He was born on February 4 1902 in Detroit He went to school at the University of Wisconsin for two years but dropped out to attend a flying school in Nebraska He first started flying in 1922 Within four years he was piloting a mail plane between St Louis and Chicago In 1919 Raymond Orteig from France offered 25000 to the first person to cross the Atlantic nonstop between Paris and New York His offer was set to expire in five years but nobody even tried In 1926 he extended his offer another five years By this time technology was to the point where a flight across the Atlantic might actually be possible Lindbergh was one that thought it could be done After securing 15000 from the head of the St Louis Chamber of Commerce Lindbergh started searching for a plane to make the transatlantic journey Rather then go with a multi-engine plane like many other aviators were going with he felt that it only increased the chance of an engine failing He also wanted the plane to weigh as little as possible thus increasing the flight range This also meant he would be going alone By 1927 Ryan Airlines offered to build him a single-engine plane that met his specifications for only 6000 excluding an engine Lindbergh met with them and despite the unimpressive headquarters he walked away impressed Lindbergh wanted the plane done in two months rather then the three months Ryan Airlines had wanted but after much overtime they finished the Spirit of St Louis by the deadline Because it was being built customized for Lindbergh the single goal of the Spirit of St Louis was to reach Paris Wingspan was increased to hold the extra fuel tanks that would be needed This would
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