Wings Magazine

Original sister-ship to Earhart’s plane makes it way home

–The world’s last known original 1935 Lockheed Electra L-10E named “Muriel” will make her way home to Atchison this coming Monday, August 15. “Muriel” is the only survivor of the 14 L-10Es 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 half spec of land 2556 miles east of Lae, New Guinea. Discovery of the faulty coordinates was made in 1983 by aviatrix Grace McGuire.

August 23, 2016  By Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation

For 34 years Grace McGuire owned, maintained and restored Muriel. When Muriel was at risk of being relegated to the trash, 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. McGuire explained, “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 Amelia Earhart Foundation and Grace have made his dream a reality.”



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