Skip to main content

Dutch Flats Airport

Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Date: 1920-1927Creator(s): Ryan, Claude, Lindbergh, Charles

On this site, which was the Dutch Flats Airport, Charles A. Lindbergh made the first flight of his Spirit of St. Louis airplane, constructed in 60 days by dedicated employees of Ryan Airlines, Inc.  The 20-minute flight on 28 April 1927 was witnessed by those who built the aircraft. Lindbergh describes the flight:

“This morning I’m going to test the Sprit of St. Louis. It’s the 28th of April (1927)—just over two months since I placed our order with the Ryan Company, and exactly sixty days since business formalities were completed and work on the plane began. What a beautiful machine it is, resting there on the field in front of the hanger, trim and slender, gleaming in its silver coat! All our ideas, all our calculations, all our hopes lie there before me, waiting to undergo the acid test of flight. For me it seems to contain the whole future of aviation"

Several years prior to World War II, the name of the Dutch Flats Airport was changed to the Speers Airport. The airport was inoperative during WWII, and the government converted the land to military housing facilities. Early in 1970, the government made plans to construct a San Diego Post Office on the corner of Barnett Avenue and Midway Drive (now a paved road). The post office was opened for business in March 1972, and continues to operate there today.

Tags: Era: 1920s
Innovation designated by:
The instrument panel of the Spirit of St. Louis
The instrument panel of the Spirit of St. Louis
2701 Midway Dr
San Diego, CA, USA

2701 Midway Dr

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support America's only magazine of the history of engineering and innovation, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to Invention & Technology.


Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.