Lockheed Martin & Amelia Earhart

Lockheed Martin is proud to be joining a new effort to solve one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history – the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan.  In 1937, Earhart and Noonan set off in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra Model 10E “Special” in an attempt to fly around the world, but never made it home.  For 75 years, experts have debated where they went down. 

Exciting new evidence developed by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has led to an area of ocean just off of the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati.  Lockheed Martin is pleased to join TIGHAR, who will lead the effort to find and retrieve the wreckage of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra.
Among those interested in finding Earhart’s plane is U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  She authorized the State Department to support TIGHAR’s effort and to develop private sector support to get the expedition off the ground.  Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Bob Stevens was on-hand for the ceremony in which Secretary Clinton announced that they had gathered enough assistance to move forward.  She said, “Even if you do not find what you seek, there is great honor and possibility in the search itself.”

As Lockheed Martin celebrates its centennial, we are proud to support this effort considering Earhart’s accomplishments in Lockheed aircraft – a highlight in our company’s history.

The single-engine Lockheed Vega (Models 5B and 5C) helped Earhart achieve her solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic, a first for a woman, and allowed her to set a series of women’s speed and distance aviation records. Recognizing the limitations of her “lovely red Vega,” Earhart worked with Lockheed to specially design her Electra 10E, which she dubbed the “flying laboratory.”

No matter the results of TIGHAR’s recovery efforts this summer, Lockheed Martin is honored to be a part of this historic high-tech, deep water endeavor that may unravel a 75-year-old mystery.