Orteig Prize offered for First Person to Fly Non-Stop from New York City to Paris
The Orteig Prize was a $25,000 reward offered on May 19, 1919, by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first allied aviator(s) to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris or vice-versa.
On offer for five years, it attracted no competitors. Orteig renewed the offer for another five years in 1924 when the state of aviation technology had advanced to the point that numerous competitors vied for the prize.
Several famous aviators made unsuccessful attempts at the New York-Paris flight before relatively-unknown Charles Lindbergh won the prize in 1927 in his aircraft Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh chose to fly solo, although this was not a requirement of the prize and required him to be at the controls for more than 30 hours. Lindbergh was both the first solo pilot and the first American to cross the Atlantic non-stop in a fixed-wing aircraft (rather than an airship), and he promptly became a national hero. His flight was followed by the "Lindbergh boom", as public interest in air travel bloomed and aviation stocks skyrocketed.