Garmin, FedEx, Lockheed Martin Help Fund Museum Honoring Amelia Earhart

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Construction is set to begin on a commemorative museum at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport (K59) in Atchison, Kansas. The airport in Earhart’s birthplace city will be the site of the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, which “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.”

A capital campaign, led by support from FedEx, Garmin International and Lockheed Martin, has set a goal of $15 million for the museum, $10 million of which has already been realized. The centerpiece display is the last surviving example of a Lockheed Electra 10-E, named Muriel. Named after Earhart’s younger sister, the radial-engine piston twin is identical to the plane Earhart flew on her infamous attempt to fly around the world in July 1937.

[Sidebar: the author met Muriel Earhart Morrisey in the mid-1970s when she served on the school board in Medford, Massachusetts. She had a self-recorded phonograph record made by her sister describing Amelia’s trans-Atlantic flight as a passenger and had come to play it for students at Medford High School. Amelia had given her sister a book with the record inside, and Muriel had put it on a shelf, did not know there was a record inserted and was hearing the recording for the first time, herself, that day.]

Also included at the museum will be 13 exhibits depicting Earhart’s life, starting with her growing up in Atchison and including events up to the height of her worldwide fame, in some ways rivaling that of Charles Lindbergh. Karen Seaberg, founder and president of the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, said, “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. Our vision to celebrate Amelia Earhart’s world-renowned legacy to defy the odds and pursue her dreams is coming to life.”

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. “to celebrate Amelia Earhart’s world-renowned legacy to defy the odds and pursue her dreams”

    Honestly, she had more resources than most and her self-promotion ended badly.
    A far cry from Lindberg who had humble beginnings and only promoted aviation.
    Given those two examples of living I think the world needs to embrace and remember the latter.

    • Let me think about this for a minute, while I respect Lindberg for everything he did for aviation, he was no Saint. He lied and cheated on his Family, had an entirely different Family in Germany and never said a word to his first Family here. They showed up after he and his wife both passed, to the surprise of everyone. He was a major supporter of Hitler and a borderline racist. I think I would rather have a self promoter, which is what we seem to have everywhere here now anyway.

    • I’m confused by the statement that Lindbergh “only promoted aviation.” Mr. Arthur J F, have you read anything about his life?

      He spent many years using his fame to speak to massive crowds as the spokesman for the isolationist movement in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He spoke to Congress about not providing materiel to the British and other allies before the US entered WWII, he opposed the lend-lease program that supplied aircraft and arms to the allies.

      Later in his life he was a strong advocate of environmental causes and spoke widely about the need to preserve the environment. He was passionate about saving endangered species, especially various whales. He also worked on the protection of different indigenous human populations around the world. He was also instrumental in the creation of Hawaii’s first national park.

      He definitely did far more than promote aviation.

      • He flew real pathfinding flights. He also flew P=38’s in the pacicic and optimized them so much so that P-38’s could(and did) take out Tojo. John P, did you ever fly a fighter in combat for the USA?

  2. I stopped in at Amelia’s Airport in my 1942 L4
    On my way back from Fort Sill’s 100th anniversary fly-in
    Actually, this airport was out of my way
    But weather was pushing in from the west
    And I had to stop for fuel.
    Didn’t have time to look around much
    And barely made it back to Guthrie County Regional Airport (GCT)
    Before it became socked in a low pressure system for 3 weeks!!

    I have always intended to fly back there
    But will wait until they finish the museum first

    I thought it was Amelia’s wealthy publisher husband
    Who funded and pushed her into her risky flying adventures

    David Ahrens

  3. Like her or not, she’s a pioneer of early aviation, the museum will be a good addition to preserving that history. I’ll visit when I can.

    Note: There’s an airworthy Lockheed 10 at the TWA museum in Kansas City.

  4. I might add,
    Even though ‘Lucky Lindy’ didn’t live a pristine life,
    And probably destroyed his reputation,
    I admire his courage/foolhardiness to fly a single engine airplane
    Solo across the Atlantic Ocean from N.Y. to Paris
    Without benefit of modern technology or help.
    To me, this represents the single greatest
    Aviation achievement! (2nd would be 1st moon landing)
    Him, the plane, the sky, and the sea!!