1940 - 1945
“Ellie,” Aircraft NC18137, is a retired Lockheed Electra 12-A aircraft on display at the TWA Museum in Kansas City. Constructed in 1937 by the Lockheed Corporation, Ellie served as a TWA executive transport and aeronautical research laboratory from 1940 to 1945. Research collected from the plane’s five-year tenure helped develop important technology like static discharge wicks, the devices used on wings to disperse excess static electricity from the plane’s body. Ellie was restored in 2005 and returned to the same hangar from her working days of TWA in 2019.
Ellie represents the important roles that TWA and Missouri have played in the aviation industry. On October 1, 1930, TWA began operations as the Transcontinental and Western Air providing the shortest route from New York City to Los Angeles in 36 hours with an overnight stop in Kansas City, TWA’s original headquarters. TWA flew alongside American, United, and Eastern as part of the “Big Four” domestic airlines created after the Spoils Conference. Over the next few decades, the aviation industry expanded across the state with the founding of several airlines and aviation centers. Today, Missouri has nearly 500 public and private aviation facilities that facilitate the transportation of millions of passengers and more than 190,000 tons of cargo each year. Major airports include St. Louis Lambert International, Kansas City International, Springfield-Branson National Airport, Joplin Regional Airport, Branson Airport, Columbia Regional Airport, Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Kirksville Regional Airport, and Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport.
Categories: Health, Science & Technology
Date: 1940 - 1945
Subject: Airplanes; Transportation
Contributing Institution: TWA Museum
Copy Request: The TWA Museum offers public access to its collection. Reproduction and/or distribution of our museum’s document and image collection is permitted for educational and non-profit usage. In such cases, we request that citation be shown as follows: “Courtesy of the TWA Museum. Kansas City, MO, USA” Written permission to use for commercial or profit-related purposes must first be obtained from the museum’s archivist. Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Region: Kansas City Metro