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Author Topic: White Bird (Nungesser and Coli)  (Read 18222 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: White Bird (Nungesser and Coli)
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 04:25:57 PM »

There's a lot of confusion over the significance of the Nungesser/Coli flight.    L'Oiseau Blanc is, in my opinion, history's most important missing aircraft - far more important than Earhart's Electra - but not for the reasons most people think. Nungesser and Coli probably did succeed in crossing the Atlantic.  The evidence that they got as far as Newfoundland is very strong, but the Atlantic had been crossed by air many times before. Alcock and Brown did it first in 1919.  What Nungesser and Coli were trying to do, and what Lindbergh succeeded in doing, was win the $25,000 Ortieg Prize for the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris, in either direction.  Wherever N and C ended up, their flight was not a success and did not set any kind of record.

The historical significance of the White Bird is that, if it had arrived in New York as everyone including Lindbergh was quite sure it would, Lindbergh would not have flown the Atlantic and everything that happened because he did would have happened differently. 
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Alan Harris

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Re: White Bird (Nungesser and Coli)
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 04:57:55 PM »

The historical significance of the White Bird is that, if it had arrived in New York as everyone including Lindbergh was quite sure it would, Lindbergh would not have flown the Atlantic and everything that happened because he did would have happened differently.

I'm not arguing with that, but I'm interested to hear your reasons for saying it.  Of course the historical impact would be quite different, but might not Lindbergh have flown anyway?  Two other Orteig-competing groups went ahead and flew after Lindbergh (Chamberlain's and Byrd's).  Also, Lindbergh could still have claimed the first solo Atlantic flight, and thus salvaged something from the money already spent by his backers.  Or perhaps a different challenging flight might have been selected . . . it's interesting to speculate.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: White Bird (Nungesser and Coli)
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2013, 09:11:02 PM »

Lindbergh was still in San Diego testing the Spirit of St. Louis when he got word that Nungesser and Coli had succeeded in taking off with enough fuel to reach New York.
"I spend most of the day studying charts and data I've assemble for the westward, Pacific flight." (The Spirit of St. Louis, page 129)  Contrary to the 1957 Jimmy Stewart movie, he didn't leave for New York until it was clear that Nungesser and Coli were missing.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: White Bird (Nungesser and Coli)
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2013, 07:27:16 PM »

My 2 cents. If TIGHAR is going to be held to the "any idiot artifact" standard with regards to a certain Electra, why no hold Mr. Decre  to a similar standard? *waits for the howls of "That's different!" to errupt*

LTM, who has enough trouble with the idiots in his own head,
Monty Fowler, TIGHER No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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