A grand display

After Charles Lindbergh made his solo Atlantic crossing in 1927 in the Spirit of St. Louis, he embarked on a national tour to display the Ryan. The aircraft would eventually be placed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. The first men to make the first transatlantic crossing from east to west had their aircraft put on display as well — at least temporarily — in Grand Central Station in New York.

Capt. Herman Koehl, Baron Von Huenefeld and Capt. James Fitzmaurice made the first westward flight in 1928. Flying a Junkers W 33 monoplane, they launched from Baldonnel Airport in Ireland April 12. The adventure nearly ended on take off when a sheep ran across the runway. They managed to avoid the animal and continued the flight. They planned to land in New York, but instead crashed in Labrador, Canada, after 37 hours. The unfortunate end to the flight didn’t stop New York City officials from giving the men a ticker-tape parade to celebrate their feat.

In 1929 the plane became part of a static display in Grand Central Station that showcased different modes of transportation.

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