Sixty years after trail-blazing aviatrix Amelia Earhart's round-the-world flight ended in disaster, Linda Finch completed a commemorative circumnavigation in an identical 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E.

The aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines, is the centrepiece of a special Pratt & Whitney display pavilion in the static park at Le Bourget.

Finch, a seasoned pilot and aviation historian, learned to fly more than 21 years ago and since then has logged more than 8,000 hours.



Earhart was on the final leg of a record breaking flight in 1937 which would have made her the first person to circumnavigate the globe when she disappeared. However, it wasn't a desire to discover the solution to the mystery that inspired Finch to want to know more.

It was because she believes that Amelia Earhart's courage, heroism and limitless vision are powerful inspirations for people of all ages…but especially the children of the world.

She explains: "Amelia believed that limits are often more perceived than real and those imposed by society, friends and fears can be overcome. She thought that if you have faith in yourself, anything is possible and you can accomplish your dreams."

With sponsorship from Pratt & Whitney, Finch restored one of only two remaining Lockheed Electra 10Es, and set up a worldwide educational programme entitled 'You can soar'.

She visited many classrooms during her flight and an Internet site on the World Wide Web has received more than 30 million visits or 'hits'. Pratt & Whitney also provided some 38,000 teachers' kits.



During her flight, which began and ended at Oakland, California, Finch made 34 stops in 18 countries.

Taking off from Oakland, California, on 17 March this year, she returned to her departure point on 28 May. The total flying time was 223 hours and she covered 48,110km (26,004 miles) at an average cruising speed of 130kt.

The two Pratt & Whitney Wasps used 54,500 litres of 100LL fuel and 180 litres of oil…with only one change of lubricant.

There were virtually no mechanical problems. Says Finch: "The major challenges were the extremely low rate of climb when fully laden with fuel (it took around 140km to climb to 5,000ft) and the fact that the Collins avionics (the only concession to the modern era) wouldn't work in the tropics until the cockpit air temperature dropped to below 100 degrees F!"

Source: Flight Daily News