Wilkins planned to fly over the unexplored areas north of Alaska. He first purchased two Fokker aircraft but found them too large for landing on ice. He sold one to Charles Kingsford Smith who renamed it the Southern Cross and it became the first plane to fly the Pacific Ocean. Wilkins bought a Lockheed Vega. With pilot Carl Ben Eielson he flew across the Arctic Sea, from Barrow in Alaska to Spitsbergen, Norway. It was the first time such a plane flight had been made and the two men became international celebrities. Wilkins was knighted and chose to be known as Sir Hubert, rather than Sir George.
Wilkins was the first person to fly the unexplored areas between Greenland and the North Pole and the first to fly a plane across the Arctic Sea.
(Copyright: Ohio State University)