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Heading South: 1929

Heading South: 1929

September 18, 1929. "Mr. & Mrs. Lindbergh." Aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, four months after they married, at Bolling Field en route to South America. Charles, the pioneering aviator, was probably the most famous person in America at the time; Anne would become an accomplished aviator in her own right, as well as one of the best-selling writers of the 20th century. Some three years after this picture was taken, the tragedy of their child's murder helped define the modern phenomenon of mass-media super-celebrity. From Anne's 2001 obituary in the New York Times: "Nothing, not even Lindbergh's 1927 landing in Paris, had prepared them for the carnival of reporters, photographers, con artists, curiosity-seekers, vandals and crazy people who invaded their lives after their baby was kidnapped. Americans would not experience a similar flood of publicity until the O. J. Simpson murder trial of the 1990s." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Re Aircraft Model

Washington Post, September 19, 1929.

Lindberghs Begin Pioneer Air Trip.

Stop Off in Capital.

The most famous flying couple in the world left Roosevelt Field this morning to chart air lanes between North and South America, and at 4:30 p.m. landed in Charleston, S.C., where they will spend the night as guests of Rear Admiral Newton A. McCully, commandant of the Charleston Navy Yard.

Charles Augustus and Anne Morrow Lindbergh took off at 8:55 just as Col. Lindbergh had skimmed down the same runway two years ago to make the first nonstop air crossing from New York to Paris.

The couple arrived by motor car shortly before 8 o'clock, ready for their long air cruise, but their plane, a Lockheed-Vega cabin monoplane, which had been borrowed from Morgan Belmont for the trip, did not reach the field until 8:15, owing to fog.

The colonel explained that he was making the flight to inaugurate the extension of air mail and passenger service of the Pan-American Airways from San Juan, Porto Rico, to Paramaribo, Dutch Quiana, which will take him to sixteen South and Central American countries. It officially begins at Miami Friday morning at 8:30 and will last about three weeks.

The plane in which they flew off from Roosevelt Field carried 180 gallons of gasoline, which will take it about 1,000 miles at an average cruising speed of 125 miles an hour. At Miami they will change for to a larger trimotored Fokker plane, which will carry them to San Juan, where they will make another change to a large Sikorsky.

During his stop at the Capital yesterday Col. Lindbergh conferred with Assistant Secretary White of the State Department, in charge of Latin-American affairs, and with Commerce Department officials. Mrs. Lindbergh went on a brief shopping tour. She was accompanied by Mrs. H.C. Davidson, wife of the Bolling Field commandant.


The Mrs. was with us until 2001? That would make her at LEAST 90 at death. Wow. Not bad for someone from that era.

[According to census figures, Anne Lindbergh was one of over 370,000 women aged 94 or older in the US in the year 2000.]

[Anyone in their 90s is "from that era." - Dave]

Trippe Legs

Maybe those legs and feet on the other side of the fuselage belong to Mr and Mrs Trippe.

As dry as the ground looks there sure seems to be an inordinant amount of mud on the tires especially since there is a paved surface visible in the background. Though I can't tell if that is a road or a taxiway as it appears too narrow to be a runway.

Charles Lindbergh was 6' 3" tall

Anne was much shorter. But she made up for it by living 22 years more than he did.

Maybe the Trippes

Standing on the Starboard side waiting for the photo-op to end.

Re Aircraft Model

It is indeed a Vega 5, a very capable aircraft that was flown on the first trans-Arctic flight and the first exploratory flight over Antarctica (Hubert Wilkins and Carl Ben Eielson in the Vega 1 X3903); the first solo transatlantic flight by a woman from Newfoundland to Ireland (Amelia Earhart in the Vega 5B NC7952); and the first solo round-the-world flight (Wiley Post in the Vega 5B The Winnie Mae). Most Vega photos show the engine cowling eventually added for streamlining and better cooling of the super reliable Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340 engine, as well as full aerodynamic covers for the wheels.

My info is that the Lindberghs' September 1929 trip began in a Ford Tri-Motor with Juan Trippe (founder of Pan American Airlines) and his wife. Maybe Lindy and Mrs. Lindy were chillaxin' waiting for the Trippes to arrive and someone posed them with the Vega. The Lockheed PR guy, maybe.

Aircraft Model

I believe it's the first model of the Lockheed Vega.

A rather large

aircraft for a single engine monoplane and Lindy was no short person.

Not together

They look a rather disjointed couple, facing in different directions and no sense of mutual feeling for each other.

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