You may remember the tornado that hit Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in April, 2011, causing millions of dollars in damage.
The repair bill might have been much more had not Charles Lindbergh’s plane – a 1934 Model D-127 Monocoupe which had hung in Terminal 1 over the C Concourse checkpoint since 1979 – been moved to a storage hangar just a few weeks earlier in preparation for terminal renovations.
According to the Missouri History Museum, which received the plane in 1940, Lindbergh flew this airplane regularly, but didn’t really love it. And even though he’d had it personalized extensively, he wrote that “it is one of the most difficult planes to handle I have ever flown. The take-off is slow…and the landing tricky…[it] is almost everything an airplane ought not to be.”
During the 30 years the airplane had been suspended from the STL ceiling it gathered a great deal of dust and was subject to a great deal of stress. So while the monocoupe was in storage, the museum gave it a conservation make-over and on Sunday, October 20, 2013 returned the plane to its original spot in the airport.
The nine-hour installation process is documented in this time-lapse video.