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>overloaded the Spirit of St Louis

Can we use the word 'overloaded' here? Lucky Lindy's plane was custom-built, basically a flying gas tank.

It is not like he took an off-the-shelf plane and loaded it beyond its design specifications.

That's a good point.

Lindbergh wrote:

"No plane ever took off so heavily loaded; and my propeller is set for cruising, not for take-off. Of course our test flights at San Diego indicate that it will take off—theoretically at least. But since we didn't dare try a full load from Camp Kearney's stony ground, the wings now have to lift a thousand pounds more than they ever carried before—five thousand pounds to be lifted by nothing more tangible than air."

He also indicated that the airplane was not stressed to land with such a heavy load.

-- The Spirit of St. Louis

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