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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Lindbergh's historic flight recreated
Charles Lindbergh with his plane, photo courtesy of the Lindbergh Foundation
Charles Lindbergh stunned the world with his solo flight
The grandson of the pioneering pilot, Charles Lindbergh, has landed in Paris after recreating his grandfather's famous first solo flight across the Atlantic.

Erik Lindbergh's 17-hour flight from New York state took half the time of his grandfather's expedition, 75 years ago.

+ He arrived at Le Bourget airport outside Paris at 1130 local time (0930GMT) on Thursday.

Erik Lindbergh, courtesy of the X Prize
Erik Lindbergh: Raising awareness about rheumatoid arthritis
Charles Lindbergh became a celebrity with his non-stop flight across the Atlantic in the plane, the Spirit of St Louis.

"It was an amazing time, 1927, and I really wanted to celebrate the anniversary of my grandfather's flight," said Erik, after arriving in Paris.

Charles Lindbergh ushered in the age of aviation in the original Spirit of St Louis, which cost less than $10,000 to build.

The younger Lindbergh's plane, called the New Spirit of St Louis, cost much more than that - nearly $300,000 - but it flies twice as fast, cruising at about 300km/h (180mph).

"I've dreamed for years of retracing my roots and flying across the Atlantic," he said in a statement read out by one of the flight's sponsors before he set off.

"My journey is more of a celebration than a recreation of my grandfather's achievement."

Funds for charity

Charles Lindbergh would have just celebrated his 100th birthday if he were still alive today, and it was partly to commemorate this that his grandson followed in his footsteps.

But the younger Lindbergh also wants to raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis, which 15 years ago seemed to have dashed any hopes he had of flying.

Pioneering drug therapy helped him to overcome the disease and become a professional pilot.

Erik Lindbergh had already re-created the first two legs of his grandfather's journey: from San Diego to St Louis, and St Louis to Farmingdale, New York.

San Diego is where the original Spirit of St Louis was built.

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