San Diego, CA - August 28, 2009 - On Wednesday September 2nd, 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. 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 proud and passionate owner of “Muriel” one of only 15 L10-Es made and the only remaining one. She purchased the neglected remains of the vintage airplane the1980’s 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, California, 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, Grace 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.
Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. Earhart is best known for her disappearance which occurred somewhere near Howland Island in July 1937. The most extensive air and sea search in US Naval history was launch soon after and cost over $4 million dollars. Amelia, her navigator Fred Noonan, and the plane a Lockheed Electra has 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.
Amelia’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. The former tomboy was an advocate of women pursuing their dreams particularly successful women in predominantly male-orientated fields. For more information on the San Diego Air & Space Museum please visit: www.sandiegoairandspace.org.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. Currently on display: THE DA VINCI EXPERIENCE, a special exhibition featuring remarkable reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous artwork and interactive replicas of his mechanical devices created more than 500 years ago. Visit www.sandiegoairandspace.org for more information. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with admissions until 5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.