Lockheed's 15th Electra 10A rolled out of the plant and was delivered to Northwest in March 1935 with registration NC14900. Flying with the airline for seven years, Northwest sold this Electra and several others to the USAAF in June 1942 to help with the war effort.
Flying for the USAAF the aircraft was given the standard olive drab camouflage and serial number 42-57213. Only serving for roughly two years, in 1944 the Electra was given to the Brazilian Air Force (regist. FAB 1002) and from there to Brazil's chief carrier VARIG.
After being sold to VARIG, 1015 received a brand new registration, PP-VAR, and was converted to a 10E - featuring two 550 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp engines in comparison to the 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engines of the 10A.
Ten years later, in 1955, the Electra returned to the United States where it flew for Tiburzi Airways with registration N72GT. The Electra continued to bounce around to private owners over the next decade or so and then seemingly vanished, in a sense.
In 1991-92, Texas pilot Linda Finch found the Electra rotting away in a midwestern barn. She had been in search of a Lockheed Electra 10E to use on her world flight. After roughly two years of negotiations and searching for sponsors, Linda was able to purchase the plane and painstakingly restored it to a replica of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra. Linda was planning to recreate the Earhart flight in 1997, the 60th anniversary of Earhart's flight, all the while making the whole experience an educational one for school-aged kids around the world. Thanks to the sponsorship of Pratt & Whitney the Electra was ready to go by March of 1997; following a successful flight, which included dropping a wreath over Howland in honor of the missing aviators, the plane toured for a while after the flight.
Finally, in 2013, after raising the necessary funds, the globe-girdling plane found a new home at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, where she sits in a beautifully lit corner of the museum awaiting all those who wish to visit.
NC14900 at the front of the line up at St. Paul, Spring 1935 (northwestairlineshistory.org)
Taking off from Sea Island, Washington, July 20, 1935 (northwestairlineshistory.org)
NC14900 during her time at Northwest Airlines
Now registered as N72GT in the 1950s flying for Tiburzi Airways (flyinghistory.com)
The Electra upon its arrival to Linda's hangar in San Antonio, Texas
Linda in front of the Electra she and her team painstakingly restored for the world flight
Linda and the Electra