This short, silent newsreel shows Charles Lindbergh and his new wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh arriving in Los Angeles by biplane. The purpose of this trip was to pick up their new Sirius monoplane, which they would then fly back to New York.
Lindbergh became the first true global celebrity—and sparked a worldwide craze for flying—with his 1927 nonstop solo flight from New York to Paris in the custom-built Spirit of St. Louis. With that plane donated to the Smithsonian Institution the following year, and with Lucky Lindy’s de-facto role as the global ambassador for aviation expanding by the month, he needed a new, more versatile plane to suit his expanding horizons. He turned to Lockheed which was already known as an innovative designer and manufacturer of some of the world’s finest and fastest aircraft.
Lindbergh wanted his new plane to be able to make a nonstop flight across the United States, as well as scout new air routes to China. It was up to Lockheed to invent the technology to meet his needs. Lindbergh’s list of custom touches included a tandem cockpit with dual controls and sliding canopy to accommodate him and his co-pilot—his seven-month’s-pregnant wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The fuselage needed to be big enough to allow for full use of parachutes in case they needed to make a mid-air exit. Room also had to be made for state-of-the-art navigation equipment and a small generator that could power the Lindberghs’ electrically warmed flight suits.
Lockheed chief engineer Gerard Vultee designed the Lockheed 8 Sirius based on Lindbergh’s specifications. Slightly smaller than the Spirit of St. Louis—just shy of 43 feet to the St. Louis’s 46—the Sirius was capable of traveling 185 miles per hour compared to the St. Louis’s top speed of 133 mph. It was delivered in April 1930, and within days Charles and Anne embarked from Los Angeles, arriving in New York City 14 hours, 45 minutes, and 32 seconds later—breaking the previous record by 3 hours.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com