Debut Flight of Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome’s Spirit of St. Louis — with video

Debut Flight of Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome’s Spirit of St. Louis — with video

May 21, 2016, at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, NY, the most accurate replica of the 1927 Spirit of St. Louis flying today, took off in front of hundreds of well wishers, many dressed in period garb. Piloted by Ken Cassens, the aircraft has been under construction for decades and is a tribute to the ORA’s founder Cole Palen.


Taking off to the South, the Spirit’s engine echoes throughout the valley.

After a successful 25 minute flight, with the aerodrome’s Curtiss Robin flying as a safety spotter plane, (the Spirit has limited pilot visibility and no radio), the Spirit of St. Louis landed safely to the cheers of the crowd.


This event also took place on the 89th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic solo, (NY to Paris), flight across the Atlantic. Lucky Lindy’s grandchildren were on hand for its debut flight and the Gala celebration which was held in the Spirit’s hangar after it landed.


Here is pilot, Ken Cassen’s office in the Spirit of St. Louis! It is authentic in every detail to the NYP plane, even down to the periscope, a borrowed compact mirror to read the compass overhead, and a St. Christopher medal for good luck, tucked just out of sight…Some of the authentic instruments came from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.


Photos by Tim Haggerty and Gerry Yarrish

Updated: May 23, 2016 — 1:26 PM


  1. Thank you for the maiden flight of the “Spirit of St. Louis”. I really enjoyed the video. I wonder why there are not many -if any at all -companies who will make this airplane available to the R/C pilot?

    1. Ronald, Royal/Marutaka made a balsa kit of the Spirit of St. Louis. Plans may still be available.

  2. A replica was flying from San Diego Airport 1977 which was a nice distraction from the Boot Camp festivities next door (MCRD).

  3. Pretty nice keeping history alive!

  4. Rhinebeck is great. Wonderful to see that plane fly.

  5. Here’s a video I made of that same flight, including some video of the plane flying around and the announcer talking about it:

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