AVIATION: Claude's Climb

Back in 1927, T. (for Tubal) Claude Ryan got a telegram that seemed to ask the impossible: Could he build a plane that was capable of flying nonstop from New York to Paris? Ryan, a happy-go-lucky ex-barnstormer and head of a tiny airplane plant in San Diego, casually wired back that he could. A few days later, a lanky pilot named Charles A. Lindbergh walked into his hangar, offered him $15,000 if he could do the job in 60 days. Two months later, the Spirit of St. Louis was completed.

Lindbergh's flight, and...

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