The new, multi-purpose Amelia Earhart hangar facility in Atchison, Kansas will not only serve as a museum, but also as an airport terminal and community gathering space. It has a Schweiss 69.4 ft. x 19.7 ft. bifold liftstrap door with automatic latches and three large windows located high on the upper half of the door to let in natural light.
Visiting the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum and her nearby birthplace home museum in Atchison, Kansas gives you the opportunity to go back in time when the most famous female pilot, whom some would argue was more acclaimed than Charles Lindbergh, began her dreams to take to the sky.
The star attraction of the hangar museum is the last surviving Lockheed Electra 10-E airplane, one of only 14 ever made. It is identical to the aircraft Earhart flew on her fateful journey and attempt to be the first woman to ever circumnavigate the world. It is named “Muriel” after Amelia Earhart's younger sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey.
This Lockheed Electra 10-E airplane, one of only 14 ever made, is identical to the aircraft Earhart flew on her fateful journey and attempt to be the first woman to ever circumnavigate the world. The Electra 10-E was 38 feet, 7 inches long with a wingspan of 55 feet. It is named “Muriel” after Amelia Earhart's younger sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey.
“We recommended this door and we've used Schweiss Bifold Doors going back to 1994 on at least two other hangars we've built. It's a good user-friendly door and nice and quiet when it opens. The people at Schweiss Doors were all very good, very responsive and quick to provide information as far as calculations on sheet length and things like that.”
- Brett Hausman, Executive V.P.
Al J. Mueller Design Build Construction Co.
St. Joseph, Missouri
The Amelia Earhart birthplace home is a historic building filled with the mystery of aviator Amelia Earhart. The house she lived in from age 3 to 12 years old was built in 1861 in a Gothic Revival style and is on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. Amelia Mary Earhart was born in this home on July 24, 1897.
The new, multi-purpose hangar facility will not only serve as a museum, but also as an airport terminal and community gathering space. To preserve the history of Amelia Earhart, the 16,800 sq. ft. beautiful 1920-30s style hangar museum is located at the Atchison Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport.
It has a Schweiss 69.4 ft. x 19.7 ft. bifold liftstrap door with automatic latches and three large windows located high on the upper half of the door to let in natural light.
“The door is awesome and has been wonderful for us,” said Museum Director, Allison Balderrama. “We've used it a lot to bring in larger deliveries. It runs perfectly every time and it's very easy to be able to tell people how to operate it, because there are different people here that have access to the building.”
The Hangar Museum contracted with Al J. Mueller Construction of St. Joseph, Missouri for the design-build construction of a pre-engineered metal building that will house the museum, hangar space, viewing mezzanine, lobby, storage/prep bay, offices, pilots' lounge, conference room and community room. The door was installed by DH Pace door company of Olathe, Kansas.
“We recommended this door and we've used Schweiss Bifold Doors going back to 1994 on at least two other hangars we've built. It's a good user-friendly door and nice and quiet when it opens. The people at Schweiss Doors were all very good, very responsive and quick to provide information as far as calculations on sheet length and things like that,” said Brett Hausman, Executive V.P. at Mueller Construction.
Hausman said his company was the design, build, contractor on the job setting in motion the initial design and then working in conjunction with Creal, Clark & Seifert Architects/Engineers of St. Joseph, Missouri for the final design work.
After completing a number of historic flights by a woman, including her first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Earhart embarked on the most challenging flight of her career. On March 17, 1937, when she was just shy of 40 years old, she took to the sky in her first effort to fly around the world along the equator. Her first attempt unfortunately ended due to some difficulties resulting in a crash landing during take-off in Honolulu, Hawaii, which required the aircraft to be repaired.
Earhart would make her second attempt on May 21, 1937, taking to the sky once again to be the first woman to fly around the world along the equator. History will tell you she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were unable to complete the trip, supposedly running out of fuel and dropping into the Pacific Ocean about three-fourths of the way to Howland Island where she was scheduled to refuel.
Three theories still abound to to this day regarding the disappearance of this famous pilot and her navigator. One theory has it that Earhart crashed at sea due to technical difficulties or the inability to find a small island. The second theory proposes that Earhart accidentally landed in the Central Pacific that was, at the time, controlled by the Japanese Navy. There was a lot of tension between pre-war Japan and the USA during that time. Others say the Japanese may have believed Earhart was a U.S. spy and kept her captive until her death. The third theory hypothesizes Earhart landed on an uninhabited island was not able to get help before dying on the island. According to experts, evidence shows that the charts used by Noonan and Earhart placed Howland Island nearly six miles off its actual position.
In the legacy of famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart, the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum will educate, inspire and empower all generations in the pursuit of flight. In the summer of 2016, the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation acquired Muriel. The hangar museum's vision is robust: to develop an aviation museum within the Atchison Amelia Earhart Airport to showcase Muriel while creating an educational and visitor experience that honors the accomplishments of Earhart.
To preserve the history of Amelia Earhart, the 16,800 sq. ft. beautiful 1920-30s style hangar museum is located at the Atchison Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport. The next step is to build the exhibits. The hangar museum plans will offer 13 interactive exhibits and activations, a Virtual Reality flight simulator, scale model of Muriel's cockpit, historic correspondence and collectibles that have shaped the history of flight and a large collection of Earhart artifacts.
Phase 2: With the Hangar Museum built, the next step in its vision is to build the exhibits and have inspiration come alive. The museum will encourage young minds to achieve the seemingly impossible. The hangar museum plans will offer: Thirteen interactive exhibits and activations, a Virtual Reality flight simulator, scale model of Muriel's cockpit, historic correspondence and collectibles that have shaped the history of flight and a large collection of Earhart artifacts.
Phase 3: Exhibits and activations are slated to be installed and fully open to the public in the Spring of 2022. Until then, the Hangar Museum is opened by appointment only. In the spirit of dreaming big, their hope is to bring wonder and educational opportunities to children and classrooms around the country. The Foundation has created two teacher's guides that are available through the Hangar Museum's office.
Muriel has had many owners and lived many places prior to her final homecoming. Delivered on December 6, 1935 to Pan American Supply Corporation, Muriel was transferred and operated by a PAA subsidiary in Brazil and later taken over by a Brazilian national airline. This time in South America prevented Muriel from being modified by the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.
For her around-the-world flight, the modifications to Earhart's plane included four auxiliary fuel tanks in the passenger compartment, a navigator's station to the rear of that, elimination of passenger windows, installation of a Sperry autopilot and various radio and navigation equipment and additional batteries. It had a total fuel capacity of 1,151 gallons in 10 tanks in the wings and fuselage and lubricating oil for the engines was carried in four tanks.
In the mid-1950s, the aircraft was transferred stateside to Provincetown Boston Airways and flew Cape Cod-Boston-New York routes. In early 1970, Muriel was sold to Zephyrhills Parachute Center in Florida, and was transferred six-and-half years later to Vikings of Denmark Inc. and operated by Raeford Parachute Center in North Carolina. Three years later, Muriel was purchased and stored at Wings and Wheels Museum in Orlando, Florida, where she ended up tucked behind the museum to rot.
In 2016, the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation adopted this beloved plane, sending her on her final and most important journey. After weeks of meticulously dismantling and preparing the plane for her overland adventure, a cavalcade of escorts guided Muriel during her 18-day 1,500-mile journey home from her hangar in El Cajon, California to Atchison, Kansas.
After years of dreaming and planning, the vision to formulate the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum is nearly a reality and should be near completion in the Spring of 2022. The interior of the Hangar Museum still has exhibits yet to be installed, but this time is open for tours by appointment only. To set up an appointment call during business hours, 9 AM - 5PM, Monday through Friday at314-753-8312. The tour and viewing of the Hangar Museum lasts about one hour. Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for children. Their small gift shop is open during tours.
The Ninety-Nines, an International Organization of Licensed Women Pilots of which Earhart was its first president, owns and manages the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas. In 1984, the organization began fully restoring the 1850s Victorian structure. The home was designated a National Historic Site in 1971.
Construction of Amelia Earhart's birthplace and childhood home, located at 223 N. Terrace in Atchison, Kansas, initially began in 1861. The wood-frame, Gothic Revival cottage is perched high on the west bank of the scenic Missouri River and has since been restored to its original interior and exterior appearance as a museum.
Earhart was born in the home on July 24, 1897, to Edwin Standton Earhart and Amy Otis Earhart. Despite living in many different cities, Earhart considered Atchison her hometown, having spent more of her life in this home than anywhere else. The Amelia Earhart birthplace represents the most tangible remaining link with the famous female aviator.
To assist with the purchase and maintenance of the home, Dr. Eugene J. Bribach of Atchison, contributed $100,000 to The Ninety-Nines. The Ninety-Nines is the international organization of women pilots, to which Earhart not only belonged, but also served as their inaugural president. It promotes advancement of aviation through education, scholarships, and mutual support while honorings its unique history and to recognize the contributions women have made in aeronautics while sharing their passion for flight.
Earhart's birthplace is about 40 minutes from Kansas City and only 10 minutes from the hangar museum. The home has been restored with online exhibits, activities and events. A souvenir gift shop inside contains many items.
They are open for tours by appointment from 9 am to 3:15 pm on Friday and 10 am to 3:15 pm on Saturdays. Cost for guided or self-guided tours is $8 for adults (Seniors are $7), active or retired military are $4, children ages 5-12 are $4 or a family tour with two parents and at least three kids is $20. Groups of 10 or more are $6 each. Ninety-Nines are admitted free of charge.
“The door is awesome and has been wonderful for us. We've used it a lot to bring in larger deliveries. It runs perfectly every time and it's very easy to be able to tell people how to operate it, because there are different people here that have access to the building.”
- Allison Balderrama, Director
Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum
Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport (K59) is an ideal mid-continent airport serving general aviation needs, attracting more than 2,500 visitors each year. More than just a place to land, it offers you the choice of self-service convenience as well as the full resources of an FBO with the ease of an airport managed by pilots, for pilots. The public facility owned by the City of Atchison offers aircraft rental, flight training and ground school and is home to the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum.
The newly constructed airport terminal continues to offer its full range of services including fuel service, aircraft maintenance and rental, flight instruction and planning stations, WIFI, vending and restrooms. Relocated fuel tanks and a more user-friendly facility has increased recreational and business flyers, medical transport, law enforcement and agricultural aircraft.
Named for the famous aviatrix and Atchison native, Amelia Earhart, it is situated just outside the major airspace of Kansas City International Airport, also offering an attractive alternative to controlled civilian/military airports in Leavensworth and St. Joseph.
This clay statue, now done and ready to be cast in bronze, will greet visitors to the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum. Created by Lundeen Studios, the statue is a twin to the same one they created for Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.
Visitors to the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum will be greeted by a bronze statue of Amelia Earhart, created by George and Mark Lundeen; Lundeen Studios, Loveland, Colorado. The statue is a twin to the Amelia Earhart statue the Lundeen brothers have created to be placed in Statuary Hall in the United States Capital, Washington D.C. later in 2021.
The Amelia statue was created to inspire confidence, courage, and grace in the eyes of the public as they view and honor Kansas' most famous aviatrix. Amelia's spirit will be evident to all who view the bronze statue. She was fearless; her name synonymous with adventure. We hope her statue at the museum entrance will encourage everyone who enters to share her enthusiasm for adventure and exploration.
A Request for Proposal was sent nationwide with 32 proposals being received. From that group, the committee selected 11 sculptors who were requested to send any additional information and be interviewed by phone. The top five sculptors were then invited to send final information including a maquette if they wished. Two sculptors chose to present in person, with the other 3 sending maquettes. Ultimately the Lundeen's were chosen to sculpt Amelia for the U.S. Capitol. The committee and the Earhart family agreed that their maquette portrayed an outstanding image of Amelia Earhart.
The clay statue is done and ready to be cast in bronze. It has been approved by the U.S. Capitol and a date for the event will hopefully be in place soon. Kansas' agreement with the Capitol includes our mandatory payment for the statue, its move from Colorado to the U.S. Capitol, holding a Washington event at its placing and transporting the Ingalls Statue back to Kansas to an agreed upon appropriate and honorable resting place.
The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation is committed to completing this project.