Propeller / Spinner Nose Cone, Spirit of St. Louis, C.A. Lindbergh, NY-Paris

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    Spinner Nose Cone, Spirit of St. Louis

    Aluminum bowl-shape with swirls; 15.25in. diameter x 6.25in. high; 1 hole at nose; original nose cone Spirit of St. Louis; signature of builders inside.

    1 of 2

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Spinner Nose Cone, Spirit of St. Louis

    Aluminum bowl-shape with swirls; 15.25in. diameter x 6.25in. high; 1 hole at nose; original nose cone Spirit of St. Louis; signature of builders inside.

    2 of 2

This is the original nose cone from Charles Lindbergh's Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis." It was signed by the men and women from Ryan Aircraft who helped manufacture the "Spirit" in 1927. The names include B. F. Mahoney, the president of Ryan Airlines, and William Hawley Bowlus, the Ryan factory manager and a well-known airplane designer. The Swastika in the center of the nose cone was meant as a good luck symbol. (This was well before the Nazi party adopted the Swastika as its official emblem).

While Lindbergh was flying the "Spirit" on its maiden flight from San Diego to Long Island on May 12, 1927, a crack developed in the aluminum behind the propeller, forcing him to replace the propeller spinner and nose cone just before his historic flight from New York to Paris. The technicians at Curtiss Aircraft who serviced the "Spirit" saved the original parts because they knew they would become valuable if Lindbergh succeeded in becoming the first person to fly nonstop and solo from New York to Paris.