The goggles worn by Charles Lindbergh during his historic flight across the Atlantic in 1927 are now on display at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in honor of the flight’s 85th anniversary.
The goggles are a part of the museum’s current special exhibition, “How Things Fly,” a fun, hands-on exhibit exploring the forces of flight through four interactive zones.
In addition to the goggles, other rare artifacts have also been added to the exhibit, including Lindbergh’s Medal of Honor, a piece of fabric from the original Wright Flyer, and the Red Baron’s medals.
The goggles were given to the manager of the Le Bourget aerodrome in Paris, France, on May 21, 1927, by Charles Lindbergh in appreciation for concealing him from the huge crowd who came to the landing strip to see “Lucky Lindy’s” airplane land. The goggles were in the manager’s possession until 1979, when, through a lot of investigating, several aviation enthusiasts from San Diego, including members of the Board of Trustees of the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, went to Paris, bought the artifact from the manager of Le Bourget airport, and then donated them to the International Aviation Hall of Fame, which integrated with the museum in 1980.
Charles Lindbergh became interested in flying while a mechanical engineering student at the University of Wisconsin, leaving the school in 1922 to devote his life to aviation. Lindbergh joined the Army Air Service Flying School in 1925, after a year of barnstorming, and received his pilot’s wings. In 1926 he became an air mail pilot. Around this time Lindbergh heard of a $25,000 prize offered for the first non-stop New York to Paris flight. Intrigued by the challenge Lindbergh selected Ryan Aircraft in San Diego to build a custom aircraft for the flight, the Spirit of St. Louis. Ryan Aeronautical built the Spirit in 77 days and on May 20, 1927 Lindbergh took off from Long Island and landed in Paris on May 21. After this flight Lindbergh became a household name.
For more information: 619-234-8291 or SanDiegoAirAndSpace.org
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