In the rear cockpit, according to Cochrane, Anne could make the confined space "very comfortable" by removing the plane's second control stick. The space above her controls was open, so the Lindberghs could pass notes back and forth. The pontoons and the fuselage were packed with fuel, supplies, camping gear and emergency equipment.
The durable Sirius was far more than a magic carpet for a daring pair. "These flights were critical to the future of aviation," says Cochrane. Anne Lindbergh felt the enchantment, and divined the importance. "Our route was new;" she wrote, "the air untraveled; the conditions unknown; the stories mythical; the maps, pale, pink, and indefinite, except for a few names, far to the east of our course, to show that someone before us pointed his ship, also, 'North to the Orient.'"
Owen Edwards is executive editor of Edutopia, a magazine about education.