With uncertainty swirling around us everywhere, and no idea what is going to happen next, it is hard for young people to know what career to pursue. There is, though, one thing every young person would like to know: How To Make A Great Living Doing What You Love. In the early part of the last century a new frontier - aviation - opened up with opportunity for anyone with enough courage and desire to make a name for themselves. The attraction of aviation back then was more than just the challenge - it was also the money! Most everyone knows that Charles Lindbergh was the first pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo, seminal accomplishment for sure. But what most may not know that the incentive was money.
The Orteig PrizeA gentleman hotelier by the name of Raymond Orteig offered a prize of $ 25,000 to the first aviator to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. Lindbergh, of course, was the winner of this prize with his flight of May 20-21, 1927; however, the prize had been established back in 1919 - some 8 years earlier! A number of pilots had perished trying to wing this prize and be the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic, but until Lindbergh convinced some investors to build a specially designed aircraft - called "The Spirit of St. Louis" - no one had been successful.
Fame and fortune followed, and advancements in aviation came fast and furious. For almost a century the idea of flight, and flying airplanes, attracted interest from young and old alike. Many times families would go to the local airport just to watch the airplanes take off and land. In the early days of television there were shows like "Sky King" and the "Bob Cummings" show that featured flying airplanes as a big part of their program line up. In the 60s the space race was on, and everyone was glued to their televisions to observe every launch.