Season four of the Lindberghs Podcast is made possible by:
About this Episode
Hi friends, its Erik here. This interview with Robert Ragozzino really struck a cord with me. I had retraced my Grandfather’s flights in 2002 on the 75th anniversary so I know a fair amount about flying across the Atlantic in a small single engine airplane. Maybe I know too much.
During my preparation and flight training people asked me if I was flying in a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis. I said no, that would be crazy! And besides that, some guy did it 75 years ago. But now we are approaching the 100th anniversary and Robert Ragozzino has built a flyable near exact replica of the Spirit of St.Louis. He is in flight testing and planning to fly it across the Atlantic soon!
I could say Robert is crazy. I’m qualified to say that because I too was crazy enough to do such a flight. However, Robert is imminently qualified. He flew an open cockpit biplane around the world. Roberts personality, candor, and humor shine in this podcast.
There are those that don’t want Robert to do the transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis 2 (SOS2) and there are some who are concerned about the risk. My Grandfather faced the same pressure and criticism. The XPRIZE faced a very similar conundrum where the CEO’s and marketing people in a company saw huge potential, but the lawyers could only see their company logo on an experimental rocketship that could explode and damage their reputation. I hate this kind of mentality. We need to be able to take risks in this world or we become complacent and stagnant. I really appreciated getting to know Robert and am behind him one hundred percent.
We hope you enjoy this episode with Robert Ragozzino as much as we did.
Our Favorite Quotes from this Episode
We are handcrafting a near exact replica of the Spirit of Saint Louis.
We all know that crossing the Atlantic in an antique plane is risky. Only a fool would cross the Atlantic in an exact replica.
I took six and a half years to build a 450 Super Stearman and I flew it solo around the world. This is the only solo open cockpit flight around the entire globe. 24 Countries, 54 fuel stops, every ocean, desert, jungle and polar region. Every leg was a challenge, whether it was weather, or maintenance, or machine gun toting guards in Pakistan, or generals sitting behind a desk glaring at you. The bottom line is the world treated me very well. When you show up in a red and white painted plane I was treated very well. It was an unbelievable experience.
The lower you fly [in elevation] the more engaged you are.
The only way to do it is to forge ahead against all odds. You wrestle it and in the end you have a beautiful crafted plane.
At this point in the project I'm very familiar with the risk and the challenge. But the bottom line is, it's The Spirit and we love it.