ATCHISON, Kan. -- After seven days on the road, Muriel is finally home. She’s named after Amelia Earhart’s little sister and rightfully so.
This plane is the last known original 1935 Lockheed Electra L-10E, similar to the one Earhart flew on her attempt to fly around the world.
“She will be so loved, so well taken care of. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Grace McGuire.
Muriel is also McGuire’s baby. She’s been restoring the plane for the last 34 years, getting Muriel ready to leave the nest for Atchison, Kansas. That’s also where Earhart was born.
“She’s almost human, this plane. She’s so spoiled. I remember when Karen asked if she could adopt Muriel, I said under one condition. Muriel is a lady of good breeding. She’s got to have a trust fund,” she said.
The Amelia Earhart Foundation paid a little more than a million dollars for the plane. This was a plan twenty years in the making. The foundation plans to build a hangar and museum to showcase the plane.
“For us in Atchison, Amelia is just our favorite daughter. And now we have Muriel, her sister, with us,” said Karen Seaberg, an Amelia Earhart Foundation board member.
A pilot herself, McGuire discovered Earhart by chance. McGuire said people always compared her to the great pioneer when she was young, but not because of her flight skills.
“I’ve never heard of Amelia Earhart. I’m a little Scottish girl and I’ve never heard of her. Lots of people thought I looked like her,” McGuire said.
McGuire was hooked. She scoured the globe looking for an identical plane to recreate Amelia’s own plane. Of the fourteen made, Muriel is the only one still in existence.