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Wed, Jan 13, 2021

Spirit of St Louis TWO Is Flying

Will Someday Recreate Charles Lindbergh's 1927 Solo Flight From New York To Paris

An extraordinary effort reached a milestone this week... the first flight AND return of a painstakingly handcrafted replica of the Spirit of St Louis -- The Spirit of St Louis 2.

Piloted by Robert Ragozzino, the bird made a 15-20 minute first flight and returned to a hangar in Bethany OK, for a chance to debrief and 'desquawk' the bird before the resumption of the flight test program.

What's this about? The goal of the SOS2 project is to recreate Charles Lindbergh's 1927 solo flight from New York to Paris across the Atlantic Ocean. This flight will be completed in the aforementioned replica of the original Spirit of St. Louis aircraft -- a bird that may allow all of us to live the challenge, danger and triumph of aviation history’s greatest feat that took place nearly a century ago.

Ragozzino hopes to make the TransAtlantic flight himself. He's a professional pilot, aircraft builder, and aviation world-record holder, and joined the SOS2 project in 2002.

In 1994, he founded the Stearman World Flight Team, which produced a highly modified, Super 450 Stearman biplane which was flown around the world in 2000. That flight set a  record for what is reportedly the only solo open cockpit flight ever around the world.

In his 'spare time,' Ragozzino also serves the project in other capacities -- including aircraft specification and design, fundraising, marketing, general project management and board membership.

Ragozzino was enthusiastic after the inaugural flight, even though the aircraft flew pretty much like what one imagines a 100 year old bit of aviation technology should fly like... “It handles like a Mack truck with the power steering disconnected.”

Kudos to the SOS2 for this magnificent effort... we'll keep you apprised of their progress.

FMI: https://spiritofstlouis2.com/

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