“Spirit of St. Louis”
September 17, 2014 in Aviation
In 1926 Charles Lindbergh, as a young airmail pilot for Robertson Aircraft Corporation, dreamt of flying the Atlantic in order to capture the elusive Orteig Prize of $ 25 000. This prize was sponsored by the prominent New York Hotel businessman Raymond Orteig for the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris.
Lindbergh wanted to prove that aircraft could link the US with Europe and thus give great credibility to civilian pilots and commercial aviation as a whole. He tried to finance his endeavour using his own savings but due to the costs involved he had to seek sponsors. A number of St. Louis businessmen came to his rescue.
After attempts failed to buy a suitable airplane, Lindbergh travelled to San Diego and Ryan Airlines was subsequently tasked to produce an aircraft for the epic flight in only 60 days!
Lindbergh and Chief Engineer, Donald Hall designed the Ryan Monoplane. Dubbed the “Spirit of St. Louis”, she first took to the air on 28 April 1927 for flight testing. On the 20 May 1927 at 7.52 am Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island. Less than 35 hours later “Lucky” Lindy landed in Paris and forever entered the pages of history.
This is Revell’s 1/48 scale offering of one of aviation’s most iconic aircraft. This is a real gem of a kit that needs no aftermarket detail. However, I believe that by adding more detail to a kit you create a more authentic looking rendition of the real thing.
The kit’s Wright J-5C engine is quite accurate but the push-rods are too thick. This was replaced with copper wire. Spark plugs were added to each cylinder using stretched sprue for the spark plugs and copper wire to replicate plug wires. The three air vents on top of the wing were fashioned out of copper wire. The cups on the rotor head of the Earth Inductor Compass were hollowed out. Aileron and elevator cables were replicated with stretched sprue. A tyre valve for each wheel was replicated using copper wire. The cockpit also received attention with Evergreen styrene bits and pieces to replicate the structure of the airframe. The decals for this kit needs a round of applause! The complex decal for the machine turned nose section is superb and conformed well using decal setting solution from Model Master. The instrument panel in the cockpit is VERY detailed!.
I sprayed the model with a mix of Model Master Flat Aluminum and Flat White. Weathering was kept to an absolute minimum.
35 additional images. Click to enlarge