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To commemorate what would have been Charles Lindbergh’s 100th birthday this week, Erik Lindbergh announced that he will recreate his grandfather’s historic Spirit of St. Louis flights.
The New Spirit Flights, including his non-stop, solo flight across the Atlantic, scheduled for spring 2002, are a project of the X PRIZE Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri.
“I am making these flights for three reasons,” said Lindbergh: “to promote the X PRIZE competition and the future of space travel; to support the development and access to new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis; and to honor the legacy of innovation made famous by my grandfather.” The New Spirit of St. Louis flights will benefit the X PRIZE Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Lindbergh Foundation.
Beginning April 14th, Erik Lindbergh will depart San Diego’s Lindbergh Field and follow the “Lone Eagle’s” 1927 flight plan from San Diego to St. Louis to New York. During the first two weeks of May, 75 years after his grandfather took off from Roosevelt Field, NY, Erik will lift off, flying non-stop across the Atlantic to Le Bourget Airport, outside Paris. He will fly solo, in a single-engine, composite Lancair Columbia 300.
The History Channel, linking the past to the present, will follow Erik as he traces his grandfather’s footsteps, in a two-hour documentary special scheduled to air May 20, the 75th Anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s takeoff from New York to Paris. The program, entitled LINDBERGH FLIES AGAIN, will include historic footage of Charles Lindbergh and his mythic accomplishment alongside the present day mission of his grandson, Erik. The History Channel will follow the 2002 flight of the New Spirit of St. Louis, from the building of the aircraft, to Erik’s training for the flight, to the drama of the flight itself to his landing in Le Bourget.
“I have dreamed for years about retracing my roots and flying across the Atlantic,” said Erik Lindbergh. “Until recently, I was unsure I would be able to make this dream a reality, but this year, I will be flying the New Spirit of St. Louis because I can.”
Erik’s story is not only one of recreating history, but also one of courage, tenacity and perseverance. Fifteen years ago, Erik Lindbergh was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a debilitating and often disabling disease, making it difficult for him to perform simple, everyday tasks and pursue his love of flying. Today, with the help of a breakthrough biotech drug, Erik is able to again live his life and pursue his passion and grandfather’s legacy.
Erik Lindbergh serves as a Trustee and Vice President of the X PRIZE Foundation an organization offering a $10 million prize for the first private team to fly to space in a privately-built spacecraft, return to Earth and fly again within two weeks. The X PRIZE is modeled after the “Orteig Prize,” the $25,000 prize that Charles Lindbergh won for his 1927 transatlantic flight.
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