On Wednesday Sept. 2, The San Diego Air & Space Museum is scheduled to receive “Muriel,” a sister airplane to the one Amelia Earhart flew on her final flight 72 years ago (pictured below).
The museum will assist with assembly and restoration of the Lockheed Electra L10-E for Grace McGuire, an aviator with hopes of completing Amelia’s dream of flying around the world.
McGuire is the owner of “Muriel,” one of only 15 L10-Es made and the only remaining one. She purchased the neglected remains of the vintage airplane in the 1980s and began to restore it to original condition.
Once “Muriel” is ready to fly, McGuire plans to attempt the only complete duplication of Amelia’s trip around the world. There have been several commemorative flights but never an exact duplication using the same type of aircraft, equipment and crew. The mystery of Amelia’s disappearance remains to this day.
“Muriel” will leave Santa Maria, Calif., and travel by trailer and caravan down the coast to the Gillespie Annex of the San Diego Air & Space Museum in San Diego. The Gillespie hangar will be home for the final rebuild and assembly of the plane.
During “Muriel’s” completion in San Diego, McGuire will assemble her expedition team, which includes divers, camera and film crew, for a return to the South Pacific to examine and confirm her findings.
Earhart disappeared somewhere near Howland Island in July 1937. The most extensive air and sea search in US Naval history was launch soon after and cost more than $4 million. Earhart, her navigator Fred Noonan, and the plane, a Lockheed Electra, have never been found, although there are dozens of theories as to what happened. Just recently an organization has claimed to have found archaeological evidence on an island out in the Pacific and they are currently testing the DNA evidence.
Earhart’s accomplishments include the first female to fly across the Atlantic (1928), first female to fly the Atlantic solo (1932), as well as several altitude and speed records. She was the first president of the Ninety-Nines, an organization created in 1929 to aid women pilots.
For more information: SanDiegoAirAndSpace.org