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Spirit and Creator Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, June 1, 2003
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I recommend this book to all who are curious about Donald Hall's contribution to the Spirit of St. Louis. -- Ev Cassagneres, Aviation Historian
This is a wonderful true story of two young men working together in 1927 to bring a dream to life. -- Reeve Lindbergh, daughter and author.
About the Author
Nova Hall, the only grandchild of Donald A. Hall, Sr., has lived in Arizona for over 17 years. following in his grandfather and father's footsteps as a student pilot, photographer, and writer, he is presently set to attend ASU for his bachelor degree. Managing his small health business, he co-founded the Donald A. Hall Aviation Foundation in 2002. Its purpose is to give scholarships to engineering students while establishing his grandfather's legacy. Greatly inspired by the families combined work in aeronautics and aerospace, he co-founded his company Orbital Air, Inc. (with David J. Pashman) to fulfill their shared goal of developing new aircraft while promoting the golden years of aviation. A competent toastmaster, EAA member, and an AOPA member, Nova continues to visit his hometown of San Diego and Sedona whenever possible. Recently he spoke at Hofstra University, AirVenture Oshkosh, the 25th anniversary Lindbergh awards dinner in Long Island, participated on !
the National Lindbergh 75th Anniversary Committee, and contributed to two published books about Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis.
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Although the story of the creation of the "Spirit of St. Louis" has hardly remained a secret, many details concerning its design have been obscure. Until now. One day in 1998 Nova Hall, the grandson of "Spirit" designer Donald A. Hall, discovered a locked trunk in his family's garage. Once it was pried open, the trunk revealed a literal treasure-trove of photographs, documents, and film footage of the plane during construction and in flight. This amazing book presents these materials with explanatory text, and does a great deal to clarify the historical record.
It is clear, after reading the book, that Donald Hall's design for the "Spirit" was the creation of a remarkable genius. Certainly Lindbergh contributed a great deal to the plane (biographer Scott Berg has noted that it was literally "a glove for Lindbergh's hands"), but it was Hall who came up with most of the innovative design. It's simplicity, apparent in a series of never-before-seen photos of the naked airframe, belies the complex challenges that faced Hall. That he was able to deliver a complete aircraft in a mere sixty days -- a time frame that did not even allow him to produce proper blueprints or pre-assemble many components -- makes clear that Lindbergh's arrival in Paris was a triumph not only for this pilot, but for the designer of his machine. As the title of the book implies, Lindbergh had the dream, and it took Hall's know-how and perserverence to create the plane that would make its fulfillment possible.
This is a terrific book for anyone interested in Lindbergh, and especially for anyone who would like to know more about the nuts and bolts of the "Spirit." The text is well-written and, while somewhat spare, it presents a highly reverential account of the life of Hall and his work on history's most famous plane (Wright Flyer notwithstanding). The photographs are amazing, and there are hundreds of them, some culled from extremely rare and precious nitrate motion picture film prints.