A new museum honoring Amelia Earhart has announced the beginning of exhibit construction after receiving capital support from FedEx, Garmin and Lockheed Martin.
In April, the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum said it had already received $10 million towards its total project costs of $15 million. The museum is set to open in 2023.
Located at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport (K59) in Atchison, Kansas – the birthplace of Amelia Earhart who became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean – the new museum will “blend STEM education and historical storytelling to honor Earhart’s pioneering legacy while inspiring the next generation of aviation and aerospace pioneers in the pursuit of flight.”
The centerpiece of the new museum is Muriel – the world’s last Lockheed Electra 10-E. The aircraft is identical to the plane Earhart flew on her final flight around the world and is named after someone important to Amelia.
Amelia Earhart standing in front of her Lockheed Electra 10-E.
Muriel is named after Amelia’s younger sister Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, who passed away at 98 years old in 1998.
After rolling off the line in 1935, Muriel exchanged many hands, deteriorating over the next 40 years of its life. After coming to rest at the Wings and Wheels Museum in Orlando, Florida, the aircraft was stored outdoors, exposing it to intense heat and humidity. Luckily, a female pilot and mechanic looking for an aircraft similar to Earhart’s came across Muriel in the mid-80s as the museum was closing.
The pilot spent the next 30 years restoring Muriel to be identical to Amelia’s aircraft — including the red lining on the wings and a circular antenna on top. Though restored to flying condition, the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum dismantled the aircraft for transport 1,206 miles from El Cajon, California over six days to its new home in Atchison, Kansas.
“Our vision to celebrate Amelia Earhart’s world-renowned legacy to defy the odds and pursue her dreams is coming to life,” said Karen Seaberg, founder and president of the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum.
Surrounding Muriel will be 13 exhibits to take visitors on an engaging and educational journey through Earhart’s life, from growing up in Atchison to the height of her worldwide fame.
Project costs also include the completed construction of the 17,000 square foot hangar and terminal reminiscent of the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport.
Seaberg concluded, “We’re grateful for the generous support we continue to receive as we build this state-of-the-art museum in Amelia’s hometown in Atchison, Kansas – where her dreams began and will continue to encourage future generations to imagine their own possibilities.”
Exterior rendering of the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum to open in 2023 at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport (K59) in Atchison, Kansas.
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