Original Sister-Ship to Earhart’s Plane to Make Final Journey Home to Atchison, Kansas, Birthplace of Amelia Earhart
Same model plane flown by Earhart will help tell famed pilot’s story in Kansas hometown
The world’s last know original 1935 Lockheed Electra 10-E, named “Muriel,” will make her way home to Atchison this coming Monday, August 15. “Muriel” is the only survivor of the 14 10-Es built and identical to the plane Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were flying in 1937 on their attempt to be the first to circle the globe as closely to the equator as possible. Amelia and Fred had been given faulty coordinates for Howland Island, a tiny mile and a half speck of land 2556 miles east of Lae, New Guinea. Discovery of the faulty coordinates was made in 1983 by aviatrix Grace McGuire.
For 34 years Grace McGuire owned, maintained and restored Muriel. When Muriel was at risk of being relegated to the trash heap, McGuire rescued the aircraft, seeing its potential as an aircraft with a story. Grace planned to recreate Amelia’s world flight the old-fashioned way, using the same model airplane as Amelia’s, but a severe bout of Lyme induced MS caused her to shelve her plans. An exact duplication of the flight has never been made using the same model plane as Amelia’s. Several airplanes have been converted to look like Amelia’s plane, but Muriel is the real McCoy… “In all the world she is the only one!”
Muriel, named by McGuire to honor Amelia Earhart’s sister Muriel, will be transported by truck from El Cajon, California to Atchison, Kansas. The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation recently adopted the restored aircraft from Grace McGuire with plans to build a hangar/museum as her permanent home. Karen Seaberg, Director of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation, explained, “Our goal is to use Muriel as the anchor of the new museum to bring Amelia Earhart’s story to life from her hometown.”
This attraction will be in addition to Amelia Earhart’s childhood home and the annual Amelia Earhart Festival. Both already draw admirers from all around the world every year. “We’re thrilled to carry on the amazing Earhart legacy through this aircraft,“ Seaberg said. “At a time when it could have been discarded, it was instead impeccably cared for and restored and will now live on to educate future generations. My husband Ladd always envisioned Muriel in Atchison, and now the Atchison Foundation and Grace have made his dream reality.”
Landstar, Inc, and a cavalcade of highway police and escort cars will transport Muriel as a super wide load from Gillespie Field Airport in El Cajon, CA, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and home to Atchison, KS.
To follow Muriel’s journey through the states and find out how you can help make Muriel’s Museum a reality, go to the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation on Facebook, or sign up for updates on their website.