An Oklahoma group has flown an almost precise duplicate of the Ryan NYP that carried Charles Lindbergh on his historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris and is setting its sights on a reenactment. The Spirit 2 has been under construction for 18 years in Bethany, Oklahoma, with almost every piece and component a handmade replica of the original equipment on the purpose-built aircraft. The aircraft is faithful in every detail but the FAA has mandated some modern additions. The aircraft took a 15-minute hop from Wiley Post Field on Jan. 12 with project spearhead Robert Ragozzino in the wicker seat of the replica. The original hangs from the main hall of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
The first flight was uneventful with the plane performing as expected. “It’s going to take some practice,” Ragozzino said. “It handles like a Mack truck with the power steering pump disconnected.” The group has not set a date for the reenactment flight. The route covers 3,600 miles, mostly over the Atlantic, with the last landfall over Newfoundland and first sight of Europe over Ireland. It took 33 hours. Ragozzino will be at the controls for the big flight and he has some experience at those kinds of endurance tests. In 2000 he flew a modified Stearman around the world in the only solo circumnavigation of an open-cockpit aircraft.