Amelia Earhart

This is a project about missing planes. An d not only MH370. Think Amelia Earhard, Flying Tiger's Super Connie and similar. Over a century, dozens of planes went missing without a trace or went down under pretty mysterious circumstances. Now, since we fly a simulator, I have this idea, we can (and I need the help of better pilots than I am) maybe reconstruct those last flights as good as we can. Not that I really expect, we solve those mysteries, I am just curious. So hwo is in?
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jwocky
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Amelia Earhart

Postby jwocky » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:22 pm

Our Electra has a special version called Amelia. This plane has, as good as I could reconstruct, the same tank configuration as Amelia Earhart's on her last flight. I have no cockpit there yet and I have no models for some special instruments she had, for example this radio bearing instrument, she used and the type of radio she used. But it is a good start if someone wants to try her last flight.
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Re: Amelia Earhart

Postby legoboyvdlp » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:38 pm

She left a powerful radio behind due to weight.
She tried to find the island.
If she had had the radio, she possibly could have?
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Re: Amelia Earhart

Postby jwocky » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:44 pm

Actually, she had a radio with two antennas. The thing, she or rather her nav cut off at the start was a manually retractable long wave antenna. They were not happy with it because it was such a hassle to pull it in every time. However, that story gives a little bit of a headache because why was that antenna out at take-off to begin with. If they wanted to get rid of it, it would have been easier to do so before the flight and then, they could also have un-boarded the whole hand winch.
The other point is, there is a weight discrepancy to begin with. All articles, I find say, the tanks were full. But with full tanks, she would have, thanks to the extra tanks Lockheed had installed, almost 18 hours flight time. Means, she would have had another almost 8 hours to fly circles. And the footage, while it is too blurry for me to see whether there was actually something cut off (and, funny thing never found at that air strip), shows, she climbed quite fast after a relative short take-off run. Means, she had probably fuel for about ten hours only, not the full fuel load.
The other thing in the legend that bothers me is the part in which people claim, Amelia Earhard had not much understanding of the technology of radio navigation. That makes no sense, she had already flown some legs with that technology and next to her in the FO seat sat Fred Nonan who had charted out all radio nav routes for PanAm before he went on this adventure tour. That guy not only was able to disassemble the radio and reassemble it blindfolded, he also had helped to write the specs during the development of those devices. He also had been chief instructor in radio navigation for PanAm pilots and those were trained on exactly the same device. So, even if Amelia wouldn't have the faintest clue about it, Fred would have brought her home anyway.
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Martien van der P.
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Re: Amelia Earhart

Postby Martien van der P. » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:51 am

The story goes she died as a castaway at the Nikumaroro Island after she crashed-landed her L-10 there.
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Re: Amelia Earhart

Postby jwocky » Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:07 pm

Yep, that is the most popular one. Other stories say, after the war some GIs found her logbook in a save of a military commander at either Iwo Jima or Okinawa. We know, the Iwo Jima variant can't be because the Japanese commander there had no safe to begin with. He sat in a freaking cave and his last letters together with letters from some others were buried in his head quarters and there was no logbook at all. Iwo Jima is another long story, but a bit off topic here. The Okinawa story was never confirmed, but then, log books of the time were thick and often leather covered, so there is always a chance one survives a crash or the sinking of a ship if there is no fire involved. I did once a dive to a WWI submarine in the Baltic with some really hardcore wreck divers and they actually found the log book of that boat. Sunk in 1917, on the bottom for almost 80 years and still good enough to be reconstructed. So, yes, log books can survive for a long time. But then it wouldn't explain how a Japanese commander would come in the possession of Amelia Earhart's log book to begin with.
And the castaway story? It's based on the discovery of a woman's show, many years later. There were also some skeletal remains, but those remains were lost in the chaos of the war, so we don't know too much about them on a forensic level. However, the guy who found the shoe sent a radio message to the British embassy (because he was a Brit, I think), that was forwarded to the Americans. That message included a description. Now, I wouldn't trust too much the word of a husband trying to remember what kind of shoes his wife took on this trip. Many husbands don't know about their wife's shoes to begin with and women have so many of them, it's confusing to the male mind. But one thing is a clear hint: If Amelia Earhart's other shoes are aboutish a 9 and the shoe found was just an 8, it's kind of unlikely, it was hers. Imagine to fly 10 hours in too small shoes ... ouch!
The best theory came as yet from Tigra, a private project very dedicated to solve that mystery. They think, when Amelia or Fred picked up the signal fromt he US ship, they got the direction 180 degree wrong. Happens easier than one things. So they flew away from the ship instead of to it, which explains, why the last radio contacts grew successively weaker. Tigra found, I think, it was two or three years ago some wreckage on the sea bottom approximately in the position, she could have reached if she flew the wrong direction, but it's deep there. The images show remains of something, that could have been an Electra. But now they try to gather money to salvage some parts for more evidence for or against the idea, that is maybe what is left of her plane. But then, while it makes sense on a technical level, it is an iffy thing on the behavioral one. Fred Nonan would have recognized after a while, things were wrong and they could have returned. If the tanks would have been all filled at take-off, they would have had time for a differential bearing as well after the flew around for an hour or so. It's no witch craft to do a differential, especially since planes are so much faster than ships and Nonan was surely able to do one and he had the hands free, Amelia did all the flying. So every theory, likely or unlikely has one thing in common, they all don't answer why Nonan didn't do what he was there for: navigating.
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Re: Amelia Earhart

Postby HJ1an » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:59 am

Fascinating read. I enjoyed it thoroughly


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