Lindbergh legacy on NWA's first nonstop flight to Paris

Spirit of Lindbergh
A Northwest Airlines pilot, Charles Lindbergh's great granddaughter, Amelia Lindbergh, and his grandson, Lars Lindbergh, stand before a replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis. Behind them is Northwest Airlines' A330-300, newly named the Spirit of Lindbergh, which will inaugurate the carrier's non-stop service between the Twin Cities to Paris.
MPR Photo/Martin Moylan

Northwest Airlines launched nonstop service between the Twin Cities and Paris Tuesday afternoon.

Among the passengers is Lars Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh, who made the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in history, flying between New York and Paris in 1927.

Northwest pilot Gary Peterson was among the crew on the inaugural Northwest flight. Peterson told Minnesota Public Radio's Martin Moylan he appreciates how far aviation has come since Lindbergh's history-making journey.

"His aircraft took 33 hours and 30 minutes to get over to Paris. And today, we're going to do it in about seven hours and 50 minutes his aircraft weighed 5,130 pounds. And coincidentally the A330 is 513,00 pounds. So, it's exactly 100 times heavier than the Spirit of St. Louis. And he had? One passenger. And we will have, including crew, 313 passengers," Peterson said.

Peterson will also have a much more comfortable plane. The Airbus A330 aircraft assigned to the route features some lie-flat seats and entertainment systems that offer 40 movies on-demand.