Arts and Entertainment

Famed Lockheed Electra to fly in as key piece of Earhart exhibit

The Museum of Flight
The Museum of Flight's Lockheed Model 10-E Electra on exhibit at the 2013 Reno National Championship Air Races.
— image credit: Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight

The long-awaited fly-in arrival of the Museum of Flight's 1935 Lockheed Electra is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21.

After 78 years in service, this will be the plane's final flight. The rare airliner is the same type as Amelia Earhart's famous plane, and it will be the centerpiece of a permanent Earhart exhibit opening in October.

The museum will celebrate the arrival at 1:45 p.m. with special presentations, Electra simulator flights, music and festivities. Guest speakers include Alaska Airlines president Brad Tilden and Wells Fargo senior vice president Marilyn Metz.

Half-price admission will be offered to Museum visitors dressed in the style of the 1930s.

As the museum's airplane, the Electra made its first public appearance last week at the Reno National Championship Air Races. The vintage plane's retirement flight will be from Reno to Seattle on Saturday. En route, the Electra will fly over an Amelia Earhart event in Independence, Ore., and fly near iconic Northwest landmarks such as Mt. Rainier and the Seattle skyline.

After low passes over Boeing Field before landing, the Electra will taxi into the museum parking lot and parked next to cars of the 1920s and 1930s. The Electra will be on view in the parking lot for the rest of the day, and will not be displayed again until it is installed indoors in the Earhart exhibit on Oct. 12.

The museum's Electra was built for Northwest Airlines and began passenger service in 1935. It served in WWII and then went back to flying passengers for airlines in Brazil and the U.S. until it was restored to replicate Amelia Earhart's Electra in 1996. In 1997 Linda Finch flew it around the world, reenacting Earhart's ill-fated, 1937 last flight. Today there is only one other Lockheed Model 10-E Electra in existence.

Here's the schedule:

9 a.m.

Vintage cars are on display in the east parking lot where the Electra will taxi in.  LeMay Museum will provide a 1929 Packard, Cosmopolitan Motors will provide a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Landaulette and a 1929 Studebaker Dictator.

10 a.m.

Museum opens.  Half-price admission for visitors who come in period dress.

11 a.m.

Flight Training in the Aviation Learning Center flight simulators with "flights" in the Electra.

11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Education activity in Great Gallery - celebrate the achievements of Amelia and make your own Lockheed Electra.

Noon

"Lockheed Model 10-E: The Airplane and the Lady" presentation by aviation historian Bob Bogash and Museum Curator Dan Hagedorn in the William Allen Theater.

12:45 p.m.

The Electra flies over Independence, Ore., where the Oregon Pines 99s are holding a seminar on Amelia Earhart.

1 p.m.

The festivities in the Museum parking lot begins with the Market Street Dixieland Band.

1:45 p.m.

After flying over Elliot Bay, the Electra circles Boeing Field, does a fly-by and lands. Speakers at the welcoming ceremony include Museum president Doug King; Marilyn Metz, senior vice president of Wells Fargo, and Brad Tilden, president of Alaska Airlines.

3 p.m.

Museum donors are invited to look at the Electra, followed by Museum guests.  Docents and volunteers will be available to answer questions.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and older, $15 for active military, $10 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. McCormick & Schmick's Wings Café is on site. For general museum information,  call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org.

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