Visiting the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum and her nearby birthplace home museum in Atchison, KS, provides the opportunity to go back in time when the most famous female pilot, who some would argue was more acclaimed than Charles Lindberg, 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.
The Amelia Earhart birthplace home is an historic building filled with the mystery of aviator Amelia Earhart. The house she lived in from age 3 to 12 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 house July 24, 1897.
The new multi-purpose hangar facility will not only serve as a museum, but as an airport terminal and community gathering space. To preserve the history of Amelia Earhart, the 16,800-square-foot beautiful 1920-30s style hangar museum is located at the
Atchison Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport.
It has a Schweiss Doors bifold liftstrap door with automatic latches and three large windows located high on the upper half of the door for natural lighting.
The door measures 69 feet, 4 inches by 19 feet, 7 inches.
“The door is awesome and has been wonderful for us,” says Allison Balderrama, museum director. “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, MO, 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 and community room. The door was installed by DH Pace Door company of Olathe, KS.
“We recommended this door and we’ve used Schweiss bifold doors going back to 1994 on at least two other hangars we’ve built,” says Brett Hausman, Executive Vice President at Mueller Construction. “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.”
Hausman says 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, for the final design work.
Earhart’s Disappearance Remains a Mystery
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. In March 1937, when she was just shy of 40-years-old, she took to the sky
in an effort 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 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 the 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 United States during that time. Others say the Japanese may have believed Earhart
landed on an uninhabited island and was not able to get help before dying on the island. According to experts, evidence shows that the charts used by Earhart and Noonan placed Howland Island nearly six miles off its actual position.
In the legacy of the famed aviatrix, 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.