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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!