Model Airplane News
March, 1934

Model Airplane News Cover for March, 1934 by Jo Kotula Charles Lindberghs Lockheed Sirius

Charles Lindbergh's Lockheed Sirius
Model Airplane News Cover Art for March, 1934
by Jo Kotula
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he Lockheed 8 Sirius was single engine, propeller driven monoplane designed and built by Jack Northrop and Gerard Vultee while they were engineers at Lockheed in 1929, at the request of Charles Lindbergh. Two versions of the same basic design were built for the United States Air Force, one made largely of wood with a fixed landing gear, and one with a metal skin and retractable landing gear, designated Y1C-25 and Y1C-23, respectively. Its basic role was intended to be utility transport.

 The Charles Lindberghs Lockheed Sirius

Lockheed Sirius (Landplane version...)
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The first and best known Sirius was bought by Lindbergh, and in 1931 was retrofitted to be a sea plane. He and his wife, Anne, would fly it to the Far East, and she would write a book about their experiences there entitled "North to the Orient".

 The Charles Lindberghs Lockheed Sirius

Charles Lindbergh's Lockheed Sirius
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In 1933, the Lindberghs set out again with the plane, now upgraded with a more powerful engine, a new directional gyro, and an artificial horizon. This time their route would take them across the northern Atlantic, with no particular destination, but primarily to scout for potential new airline routes. While at a refueling stop in Angmagssalik, Greenland, the Inuit of the area gave the plane a nickname, "Tingmissartoq" or "one who flies like a bird". They continued on their flight and travelled to many stops in Europe, Russia, then south to Africa, back across the southern Atlantic to Brazil and appeared back over the skies of New York City at the end of 1933, after 30,000 miles and 21 countries, where droves of people turned out to greet them as they landed.

The aircraft was in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City until 1955, when ownership of it was transferred to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. It was given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1959, and it went on display at the National Air and Space Museum when the original facility opened on the National Mall in 1976.

Here is a video of the Charles Lindbergh's Lockheed Sirius in action:

Click Here for more information about the Lockheed "Sirius".

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