Edited Press Release: The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation has just announced plans for a grand-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, which will take place at noon CST on Friday, April 14th. This outdoor event is open to the public and will feature remarks from elected officials, museum leaders, and special guests (including members of the Earhart family); museum doors will open at the conclusion. The Museum is located at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport (K59; 16701 286th Road) in Atchison, Kansas — the proud hometown of the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate our grand opening and welcome visitors of all ages to journey through Amelia Earhart’s trailblazing life as a world-renowned aviator, innovator, educator and activist,” stated Karen Seaberg, founder and president of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation. “It is an honor to bring Amelia’s courageous and persevering legacy to life in her Atchison, Kansas, hometown where the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum is dedicated to inspiring all generations in the pursuit of flight — and like Amelia, encouraging others to boldly pursue their dreams.”
Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly, added: “The new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum will celebrate a woman who showed us what it means to ‘reach for the stars.’ I’m so glad there will be a place dedicated to showcasing how a fearless Kansan blazed her own trail to become one of the most admired women in the world — inspiring all, especially young girls, for generations to come.”
GRAND-OPENING WEEKEND FESTIVITIES The public is also invited to enjoy grand-opening weekend festivities on the museum’s grounds (all times are Central Standard Time zone):
FRIDAY, April 14th: Noon — Grand-opening ceremony and ribbon cutting (Museum front lawn) 12:30 – 5 p.m. — Doors open to the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum (last entry at 4 p.m.)
SATURDAY, April 15: 8:30 a.m. — Boy Scouts host pancake breakfast on Museum grounds (suggested $5 donation) 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Flight Team invite public to tour its new Cirrus SR20 and Cessna 172 aircraft; free family-friendly activities include face painting, balloon artists on the Museum grounds
SUNDAY, April 16: Noon — Museum open (last entry at 4 p.m.) Noon-5 p.m. — “RC Fly Jam” features radio-controlled planes on the Museum grounds
STATE-OF-THE-ART EXHIBITS SURROUND “MURIEL” Muriel — the world’s last remaining Lockheed Electra Model 10-E variant – is the centerpiece for this state-of-the-art museum. Named after Earhart’s younger sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Muriel is virtually identical to the Electra which Earhart flew on her final, fateful flight around the world.
Surrounding Muriel are 14 interactive STEM and history storytelling exhibit areas which take visitors on an engaging, educational journey through Earhart’s life — from her time growing up in Atchison, Kansas through to the height of her worldwide fame. Among the many interactive museum experiences, visitors will have the opportunity to:
- Enter a full-scale replica of Muriel’s cockpit to experience Amelia’s perspective from her “cozy cubbyhole”; compare Amelia’s instrument panel to Garmin’s G1000 avionic suite
- Hear the roar of Amelia’s Lockheed Electra 10-E’s Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp engines; see a modern Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan come to life
- Challenge their riveting skills to discover the precision required to forge the nearly 85,000 metal rivets which hold Muriel together
- Flip through Amelia’s digitized scrapbook to see stories of bold women who motivated her; meet “uplifting influencers” who helped Amelia reach for the stars
- Create an avatar to try on Amelia’s career paths as a nurse, mechanic, pilot and fashion designer
- Go “above the clouds” to explore how Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, relied on radio waves, a sextant and quick calculations to guide their path through the sky
- Turn on “Amelia’s guiding lights” to see how constellations helped Amelia navigate the night sky
- Trace 3D aircraft holograms through the history of flight — ranging from unmanned gliders and biplanes to jet-powered airliners and space travel
- Discover more “feminine feats” of trailblazing women in aviation — past and present
- Pilot a virtual reality recreation of Amelia’s historic 1932 transatlantic flight to try navigating obstacles she overcame to make history (ticketed experience)
- Explore theories and cast votes on what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan when their plane disappeared over the South Pacific in July 1937
“Amelia Earhart was a true Kansas pioneer who exemplified our state motto: Ad Astra Per Aspera: ‘To The Stars through Difficulty,’” noted U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (Kan.). “The new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum will be a place for visitors of all ages to learn and be inspired by Amelia’s tenacious spirit of exploration that continues to be exemplified all across Kansas.”
To exemplify Earhart’s adventurous spirit, the Museum partnered with Dimensional Innovations (DI) — an award winning, Kansas-based experiential design, build and technology firm. Each exhibit is carefully outfitted to meet National Curriculum Standards, Kansas Curriculum Content Standards, and Missouri Standards of Learning. Professionally developed Teacher Guides geared toward elementary and middle school are available for field trips. The Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum is pursuing the honor of becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate.
MUSEUM TICKETS AND HOURS OF OPERATION Tickets are available for purchase upon arrival at the Museum:
- Adults $15 (plus tax) per person
- Seniors (60+) and Military $12 (plus tax) per person
- Children Ages (ages 4-12) $8 per person (plus tax) per person
- Children (3 and under) Free
- Virtual Reality Flight $5 per person (plus tax) per person
The gift shop at the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum is open to the public (no ticket required). Following its grand-opening weekend, the museum’s operating hours will be: Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. CST (last Museum entry at 4 p.m.); Sunday: Noon until 5 p.m. CST (last Museum entry at 4 p.m.).
Pilots flying in to visit the Museum can tie down their aircraft free of charge on the hardstand or in the grass. To coordinate arrivals, please contact the FBO at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport (K59) at (913) 426.4545 or email email@example.com.
SPONSORS HELP BRING AMELIA’S STORY TO LIFE: Support for the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum from the aviation and aerospace industry include Boeing, Bombardier, FedEx, Garmin, Lockheed Martin and NASA. The Museum is also supported by many local and national philanthropic organizations including the Donn Lux Family, the Guy Bromley Trust, the Patterson Family Foundation, the Regnier Family Foundation, the Fly With Amelia Foundation, the Stauffer Jambrosic Foundation, the Sunderland Foundation, and the William T. Kemper Foundation, among others. Support from the Atchison, Kan., community includes local employers Amberwell Health, Benedictine College, MGP Ingredients and others.
ABOUT THE ATCHISON AMELIA EARHART FOUNDATION The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation was formed in 2016 to honor the aviation legacy of Amelia Earhart — whose dreams of flying began in her Atchison, Kan., hometown. The Foundation is dedicated to inspiring future aviation and aerospace leaders through the story of Amelia Earhart’s tenacity and determination to overcome obstacles on her journey to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to leading the $17 million capital campaign to build the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, the Foundation led the effort to bring the bronze statue of Earhart to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. in 2022 to represent the State of Kansas in National Statuary Hall; the Foundation was the sole funder. A “twin” bronze statue stands at the entrance of the Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3). Learn more about the Museum at http://www.AmeliaEarhartHangarMuseum.org or follow @AEHangarMuseum on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.