ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
May 21, 1927
Charles Lindbergh Completes the First Non-Stop
Solo Flight Across the Atlantic Ocean
On this day in 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly a non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic
from New York to Paris.
The key words here are "non-stop" and "solo" because the trip had been made before, more than
once. The first flight accross the Atlantic was made by Albert C. Read and five crew
members in a Curtiss NC flying boat. It was supported by numerous ships and required repairs along
the way. They left New York on May 8, 1919, made stops in the Azores Islands and Portugal and arrived in
England on May 19.
The first non-stop flight was done in June of 1919 by British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Whitten
Brown. They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy British heavy bomber. They left St. John's
Newfoundland on June 14, 1919 and landed in Clifden, Ireland on June 15.
Charles Lindbergh's non-stop solo flight was made in a custom built single-engine single-seat monoplan called
the Spirit of St. Louis. He left New York on May 20, 1927 and landed in Paris on May 21 winning the Orteig
Prize of $25,000 (approx $340,000 in 2014 dollars) offered by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first
allied aviator (or aviators) to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris or vice-versa.