Pop Quiz: Do you know where the original Spirit of St. Louis airplane is located?
- Paris, France
- National Air and Space Museum
- San Diego International Airport
- San Diego Air & Space Museum
If you guessed B, you are correct! Charles Lindbergh himself presented the aircraft to the museum in 1928.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum earlier this year. Check out the photos I took! Located in Washington, DC, the museum houses an incredible collection of aviation and space artifacts, such as the Apollo 11 Command Module that took Neil Armstrong to the moon in 1969 and SpaceShipOne, the first privately developed, piloted vehicle to reach space in 2004.
The Spirit of St. Louis hangs in the grand entry hall as a part of the Milestones of Flight display, reserved for some of the most notable pieces of the museum’s collection due to their epic achievements in flight. It hangs in this place of honor thanks to Lindbergh’s notable first nonstop solo transatlantic flight in the machine on May 21, 1927.
As most Goodwill Ambassadors will recall, the airplane was built in San Diego by the Ryan Airlines Corporation. Lindbergh picked up and tested the aircraft here before starting his journey to St. Louis, then on to New York and ultimately across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris to make history. Of course, these ties to San Diego then led to our airport being called Lindbergh Field.
To read more about the history of the Spirit of St. Louis, visit the Museum’s collections database.
Did anyone guess C or D? Well, there is a full scale reproduction of the Spirit of St. Louis right here at San Diego International Airport, poised above the Terminal 2 baggage claim area. Another, created by volunteer artisans right here in San Diego, is located at the San Diego Aerospace Museum.