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Author Topic: The Question of 2-2-V-1  (Read 634231 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #195 on: February 19, 2014, 09:14:39 AM »

Illustrations have shown a portion of the port side receiving new skin
I can’t find a copy of the Lockheed repair report. Only references to it.  Can someone direct me to it?

Attached are the best copy we have of the microfilmed repair documents (hard to read) and what we believe to be an accurate transcription of the repair orders pertaining to the fuselage. 

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Greg Daspit

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #196 on: February 19, 2014, 11:01:53 AM »

I’m not sure of how item 7 of the repair report is to be interpreted. Attached are two interpretations regarding the 8” on left side. One has the 8” a separate piece and one has the 8”as a continuation of the right side repair skin.
Since it was noted that repair directions were not followed elsewhere(near the cockpit) can this repair be verified by any photographs?
I’m wondering if it makes sense for the 2nd string of 5/32" holes to tear along the rivet line or if they were close to an edge would they tend to tear thru to the edge instead. The photo you provided seemed to show something like that in the adjacent skin.
Edit:The tab is so narrow it may not have enough support from adjacent skin to pull the 2nd row holes near it thru to an edge

3971R
 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 11:12:39 AM by Greg Daspit »
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #197 on: February 19, 2014, 12:34:50 PM »

I’m not sure of how item 7 of the repair report is to be interpreted. Attached are two interpretations regarding the 8” on left side. One has the 8” a separate piece and one has the 8”as a continuation of the right side repair skin.
Since it was noted that repair directions were not followed elsewhere(near the cockpit) can this repair be verified by any photographs?
I’m wondering if it makes sense for the 2nd string of 5/32" holes to tear along the rivet line or if they were close to an edge would they tend to tear thru to the edge instead. The photo you provided seemed to show something like that in the adjacent skin.
Edit:The tab is so narrow it may not have enough support from adjacent skin to pull the 2nd row holes near it thru to an edge

Greg,

Your interpretation is as good as any, IMHO; your realization of how these orders might have been difficult to clearly understand also illustrates something important about what we may be seeing in 2-2-V-1:

Many things are possible, hence 2-2-V-1 becomes a more likely outcome of the repairs done to NR16020, IMO.

Far from definitively telling us what 2-2-V-1 "IS", or even that it 'can't be from' the Electra, we can easily see how 2-2-V-1 could emerge as we see it (the original planform, not damaged) from such a general outline of repairs.  On the surface one can argue that it is 'clear' that certain skins should be 'replaced' - but reading carefully it is clear that the intent was not necessarily entire, original skins - but skinned material - cutting and splicing in as fairly clearly stated in some cases, but easily as 'interpreted' in others.

We also see orders to straighten or replace certain members.  That sounds straightforward enough - but in a hurried (it was hurried for such a considerable repair given that this was apparently done in little more than a week) environment, lots of license can be taken.  'Sister' members may be applied where bent members are allowed to remain, etc.

We'd all like to think that Lockheed applied a production-quality effort to the skin / underlying members repair effort, but it isn't entirely possible to do that on sawhorses and in a week's time, where damaged stuff has to be straightened or removed, and new material formed and match-drilled.  In my experience it is inevitable that some deviation from standard spacing would have occurred, and the introduction of some sister (additional) members would be no surprise.

In sum, the 'order' leaves plenty of room for the oddly-fit piece we see in 2-2-V-1.  I realize that proves nothing - but consider that we're looking at a relatively bastardized (relative to original quality build of most any airframe) hand-fit piece that was clearly adapted to make-fit to a piece-repair need on some airframe.  While that is possible on many craft, I remain struck that we know of one particular craft that bore a repair scheme that could easily iinclude what we see in 2-2-V-1 - and now we're looking at the repair order that swings that door wide-open. 

The tidy 'orders' we see may actually well be more of a 'report' written out mostly after the fact to capture what the workmen did over several days of effort: in that shop environment it is necessary to have, for the record, a clear work order by which the effort would have proceeded.  Those are not always done so thoroughly in advance as one might assume. 

The orders are tidy enough - but they are clearly not so definitive as to rule out what we see in this artifact in the least.  Nor would I expect to find that much that truly closely conformed to the order: it isn't possible because the order is just not that crisply definitive IMO. 

It is in this way that the order speaks volumes in support of 2-2-V-1 very possibly being an NR16020 artifact IMO: it has to have been from a ship that was repaired in the manner suggested by this very document.  How many such ships came anywhere near Gardner / Niku?
- Jeff Neville

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #198 on: February 19, 2014, 02:04:47 PM »


I’m not sure of how item 7 of the repair report is to be interpreted. Attached are two interpretations regarding the 8” on left side. One has the 8” a separate piece and one has the 8”as a continuation of the right side repair skin.

That's an excellent illustration that presents the question very clearly.
 
Since it was noted that repair directions were not followed elsewhere(near the cockpit) can this repair be verified by any photographs?

Not that we've been able to find.  When the plane is parked on the ground it's impossible to see or photograph that area unless you're lying on your back under the airplane. You could photograph it when the plane is up on sawhorses but nobody seems to have done that.

I'm inclined to favor your Interpretation A.  Model 10 skins were cut and formed to standard shapes.  (See attached engineering drawings with numbered fuselage skins. For each skin there's a left and a right version.)
To comply with Repair Order #5 "Replace entire right hand bottom skin from slanting bulkhead to Sta. 293 5/8" the shop merely had to bring a couple of skins (25 1/2 R and 35 R) over from the factory floor.  Complying with Repair Order #7 "Replace inboard 8 inches of left hand bottom skin from main beam to Sta. 293 5/8. Lap old and new skins at stringer" by Interpretation B would involve cutting and forming two unique right-hand skins whereas Interpretation A would only involve trimming examples of 25 1/2 L and 35 L.  Which would you do - especially if you were in a hurry?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #199 on: February 19, 2014, 02:29:26 PM »

We'd all like to think that Lockheed applied a production-quality effort to the skin / underlying members repair effort, but it isn't entirely possible to do that on sawhorses and in a week's time,

To be clear, the repair of Earhart's plane took more than a week.  The ship arrived in Burbank in early April and was finished May 19. 
On May 14 it was estimated that the repairs would take another ten days but they got it done and inspected in five days.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #200 on: February 19, 2014, 02:38:41 PM »


To comply with Repair Order #5 "Replace entire right hand bottom skin from slanting bulkhead to Sta. 293 5/8" the shop merely had to bring a couple of skins (25 1/2 R and 35 R) over from the factory floor.  Complying with Repair Order #7 "Replace inboard 8 inches of left hand bottom skin from main beam to Sta. 293 5/8. Lap old and new skins at stringer" by Interpretation B would involve cutting and forming two unique right-hand skins whereas Interpretation A would only involve trimming examples of 25 1/2 L and 35 L.  Which would you do - especially if you were in a hurry?
I would choose A
But in regards to order #5, Would bringing skin from the factory floor mean they would be the type of skin commonly used in repairs?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #201 on: February 19, 2014, 02:53:28 PM »

But in regards to order #5, Would bringing skin from the factory floor mean they would be the type of skin commonly used in repairs?

Good point.  I wish we knew more about Lockheed's production procedures at the time.  Come to think of it, they probably didn't have stacks of Electra skins sitting around.  The skins were more likely made up for each airplane as it was built.  If that's the case, the request from the shop would be "We need skins (X, Y, & Z) to repair c/n 1055."  The factory makes up the requested skin according to the standard specs but they use Reserve Stock because it's less expensive.
It seems to me that Interpretation B would be such a departure from the approved specs that a special engineering drawing would have to be made and approved (as they did with the nacelle ribs splices).
I think we're safe in assuming the repair was done as you've shown in Interpretation A.
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #202 on: February 19, 2014, 03:00:47 PM »


I’m not sure of how item 7 of the repair report is to be interpreted. Attached are two interpretations regarding the 8” on left side. One has the 8” a separate piece and one has the 8”as a continuation of the right side repair skin.

That's an excellent illustration that presents the question very clearly.
 
Since it was noted that repair directions were not followed elsewhere(near the cockpit) can this repair be verified by any photographs?

Not that we've been able to find.  When the plane is parked on the ground it's impossible to see or photograph that area unless you're lying on your back under the airplane. You could photograph it when the plane is up on sawhorses but nobody seems to have done that.

I'm inclined to favor your Interpretation A.  Model 10 skins were cut and formed to standard shapes.  (See attached engineering drawings with numbered fuselage skins. For each skin there's a left and a right version.)
To comply with Repair Order #5 "Replace entire right hand bottom skin from slanting bulkhead to Sta. 293 5/8" the shop merely had to bring a couple of skins (25 1/2 R and 35 R) over from the factory floor.  Complying with Repair Order #7 "Replace inboard 8 inches of left hand bottom skin from main beam to Sta. 293 5/8. Lap old and new skins at stringer" by Interpretation B would involve cutting and forming two unique right-hand skins whereas Interpretation A would only involve trimming examples of 25 1/2 L and 35 L.  Which would you do - especially if you were in a hurry?

"A" makes far more sense - "B" would require more work as I see it than following the original build plan.

I am amazed at how light the structure of the L10 was - .025" belly skin aft of Sta. 293 5/8 is lighter than I would have guessed.  Now the .032" makes sense in the transition from .040" up front.  I had previously (before this string / until recently) labored under an understanding that the .040" skins reached back to 293 5/8, thence going to .032" aft - not so, obviously.

Thanks for the clarification on repair time.  This would have been a great deal of work to do in a week.  That said, that it was finished as it was after the first written estimate (5 days vs. 10 days) is still 'impressive' - and suggests much the same question as to just what the details were.
- Jeff Neville

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #203 on: February 19, 2014, 04:42:13 PM »

The following are the text and photos of an inquiry I have sent to the head of a major U.S. air museum's restoration shop who has promised to put the questions I've raised to his restoration and research staff.  None of the individuals is a member of TIGHAR and, as far as I know, neither the museum nor the shop has an agenda in the matter of the Amelia Earhart disappearance.

**********
We found a section of aluminum sheet on Nikumaroro, the South Pacific island where we think Amelia Earhart landed her Lockheed Model 10E Electra after failing to find Howland Island her intended destination.  A considerable body of circumstantial evidence suggests that the plane was landed safely on the island's fringing reef - the reef is flat and smooth and dries at low tide - but after several days was washed into the ocean by rising tides and destroyed in the surf.   We think the aluminum sheet we found on shore in the wash-up from a storm may be from her aircraft.  Note that none of the edges is a finished edge.  This is a chunk of sheet measuring roughly 18 by 26 inches that was blown out of a larger sheet.  According to Walter Korsgaard, chief FAA investigator on the PanAm 103 Lockerbie case, the failure was almost certainly caused by a volume of water impacting the interior (concave) side of the sheet. (It's easy to tell which side is exterior and which is interior because there is one surviving rivet.) There is a wealth of information in this artifact about the nature of the failure but our first concern is to determine, to the extent we can, what airplane it came from.  That's where we hope you can help.
Attached photos 2-2-V-1 convex.jpg  and 2-2-V-1 concave.jpg show the artifact as found.

The sheet appears to fit a particular location on the belly of Earhart's Electra that was repaired after the ground loop in Hawaii that ended her first world flight attempt, but because nobody knows exactly how the repairs were carried out, and there are no photos of the underside of the airplane in that location, there's no way to be sure.

Another way to attack the problem is to try to find an alternative explanation for where the sheet came from.  That's where I hope you and your staff can be of help. 


First let me review what we know for certain.  The National Transportation Safety Board Lab in
Washington and the ALCOA Aluminum Lab in Pittsburgh have examined and tested the artifact. Their findings are:
• The sheet is .032 2024 (formerly known as 24ST) ALCLAD 

• The surviving rivet is a 2117 AN455 brazier head 3/3 or AN456 3/3 modified brazier head.  Attached photo NTSB-rivet.jpg is from the NTSB report.

• The underlying structure to which the rivet was attached was approximately  .06 inch thick

• The lines of 3/32nd rivet holes have a pitch of 1 inch.

• The larger rivet holes along one edge imply the presence of a staggered double row of 5/32nd rivets with a pitch of 1.25 inches except for an irregularity at the "tab" (H in the NTSB photo).

• As shown in attached photo AD-on-skin.jpg, the letters AD are faintly visible on the surface of the sheet.  They are etched remnants of the original labeling applied by ALCOA.  The unique style (font) of the letters enabled ALCOA to identify the full designation as ALCLAD 24S – T3    AN - A – 13
Incidentally, the dark greenish material on the surface of the skin has been chemically tested.  It is organic, not paint.

• The labeling indicates that the sheet was manufactured by ALCOA not earlier than 1937 (when the T3 process was introduced) and not later than 1954 (when 24ST became 2024). The “13” signifies that it is “reserve stock” sheet that has been certified for uses other than original construction (i.e. repairs).
• Normally, the labeling is “rolled on” automatically as the sheet is manufactured and is aligned with the edges of the sheet.  According to sources at ALCOA the non-aligned labeling on 2-2-V-1 suggests that it was applied by hand-stamping which may indicate that it was part of a very early and small production run.

 
Please let us know whether you agree or disagree.with the following statements:

• The thickness of the sheet, the number and implied strength of underlying structures (presumably stringers) and the use of low-drag brazier head rivets are reliable indicators that the artifact was once part of the external, load-bearing skin of an all-metal aircraft.

• The ALCOA labeling and the dimple in the head of the surviving rivet are reliable indicators that the sheet is from a repaired section of an American aircraft.

• The general scale of the piece - #3 brazier head rivets in a .032 skin as primary structure - is not consistent with WWII vintage construction practices for fighter, bomber, or large transport aircraft.


Below is a list of known losses at or near Canton Island, the only airfield within 300 nautical miles of where the artifact was found.  Could the artifact have come from one of these types?

Consolidated       PBY-2
            PBY-5
            PBY-5A
            B-24M
            B-24J
            C-87
North American           PBJ
Bell            P-39
            P-39Q
Martin         PBM
Curtis         C-46D
Douglas         C-47A
Lockheed         PV-1
            749-A (1962 crash of an FAA Constellation at Canton)



Please don't hesitate to email or call with questions. 

Best regards,
Ric
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Tim Collins

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #204 on: February 19, 2014, 06:31:52 PM »

I'm sorry but I'm having a really hard time swallowing the bit about "the failure was almost certainly caused by a volume of water impacting the interior (concave) side of the sheet."  How could anybody possibly have come to that conclusion without purposely applying an agenda to the object? Was it still wet when it was examined? There are other forces and materials that can cause metal to deform like that or even pop apart things that are connected to it: ya ever see a frozen can of soda?  A bloated can of veggies? etc. I really don't think you can know for certain what caused.  Maybe they DID carry an inflatable life raft and Fred pulled the cord before throwing it out the door, it inflated and blew the bottom out of the plane. Yeah, that's it.

All this talk focused force of water blowing out the panel, well it might be plausible and maybe even probable given the possible if not likely scenarios of what may have happened, but what ACTUAL evidence is there for what did it and how it was done it? Water marks? Seriously now.  All you have is a bent piece of metal, and really, all you can say about it is something at some point acted, possibly/probably forcefully, upon it to deform it from its assumed original shape.

I know there's a lot of grasping at straws and brainstorming trying to be helpful, I've done it myself, but get back to reality and stop projecting fantasy on the thing. 

Sorry if this has already been covered. I'll gladly admit chagrin and crawl back under my rock.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #205 on: February 19, 2014, 08:16:00 PM »

All you have is a bent piece of metal, and really, all you can say about it is something at some point acted, possibly/probably forcefully, upon it to deform it from its assumed original shape.
 

This is the "it could be anything" argument.

If all anyone could say about a bent piece of metal is that something at some point acted, possibly/probably forcefully, upon it to deform it from its assumed original shape there would be no science of aircraft accident investigation.  Metallurgical analysis metal debris a specialized skill. I can't do it.  I don't have the background in metallurgy and failure analysis.   You can't do it or you wouldn't have made a statement like that.
We wanted to know if anyone could tell us how the sheet of aluminum got bowed out.  Did somebody hammer on it?  Was there an explosion? So we took the artifact to the best expert we could find.  Walter Korsgaard was the lead FAA investigator on the 1988 PanAM 103 Lockerbie crash.  In 2004 he was recently retired so he was able to give us his opinion without bureaucratic concerns.  We showed him the artifact in his suburban Washington, DC home.  After examining the piece closely he said that it was part of an airplane skin that had been struck on the interior surface by a fluid (i.e. air or water) force sufficient to blow the heads off the rivets but not focused enough to punch a hole in the metal - a big blunt push.  We asked if it could have been caused by an explosion.  After looking at it with a magnifying glass he said, "No. There is none of the telltale pitting from pinpoint pyrotechnic projectiles."   We asked him what kind of accident might cause such damage.  He said, "In flight breakup of an aircraft at very high speed, but these materials are not consistent with an aircraft capable of those speeds, or an airplane that was broken apart by moving water."

I know there's a lot of grasping at straws and brainstorming trying to be helpful, I've done it myself, but get back to reality and stop projecting fantasy on the thing. 
 

Your argument isn't with me, it's with Walter Korsgaard.  Unfortunately he died in 2011.  He was not a TIGHAR member and he was not particularly interested in Amelia Earhart. He didn't write a scholarly paper on 2-2-V-1. He was just a retired gentlemen who had been a top-notch aviation accident investigator who was kind enough welcome us into his home and give us his opinion.  I don't think he was grasping at straws or projecting any fantasies.
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Jerry Germann

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #206 on: February 19, 2014, 09:59:00 PM »

"I am amazed at how light the structure of the L10 was - .025" belly skin aft of Sta. 293 5/8 is lighter than I would have guessed.  Now the .032" makes sense in the transition from .040" up front.  I had previously (before this string / until recently) labored under an understanding that the .040" skins reached back to 293 5/8, thence going to .032" aft - not so, obviously.

Thanks Jeff,
                 I thought I was alone in my understanding of where the 0.040 skin ended, thus my comments previously.


Another way to attack the problem is to try to find an alternative explanation for where the sheet came from.  That's where I hope you and your staff can be of help. 

It has been established that several examples of 0.032 alclad made their way to Gardner island,.. when and from where are still to be determined, ....is the comb older/newer than 2-2-V-1, are 2-2-V-1 and the comb both from the same donor plane,? one can only guess for now ..... ( true) artifact 2-2-V-1 does have identifiable markings, however; the comb has recorded witnesses stating their view as to where the source of the material to make such came from. If the source of the comb is indeed sydney,  couldn't the source of artifact 2-2-V-1 be from as far or further away, why are we limiting the range of donors to within 300 miles of gardner?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 12:20:45 AM by Jerry Germann »
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Jerry Germann

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #207 on: February 19, 2014, 10:14:58 PM »

I’m not sure of how item 7 of the repair report is to be interpreted. Attached are two interpretations regarding the 8” on left side. One has the 8” a separate piece and one has the 8”as a continuation of the right side repair skin.
Since it was noted that repair directions were not followed elsewhere(near the cockpit) can this repair be verified by any photographs?
I’m wondering if it makes sense for the 2nd string of 5/32" holes to tear along the rivet line or if they were close to an edge would they tend to tear thru to the edge instead. The photo you provided seemed to show something like that in the adjacent skin.
Edit:The tab is so narrow it may not have enough support from adjacent skin to pull the 2nd row holes near it thru to an edge

Greg ,
As per your drawing  repair method  A....the work order states that 8 inches of skin is to be replaced,.....does one take that to mean exact width ....if exact width 8" is used , starting at the keel overlap, 2" of material would be used up,....and when going to port until the 8" is used up, one sees he has covered the overlap portion, and two stringers: however the way my math adds up, the rivet lines would be at 1/2 inch, 1 and 1/2 inches, 4 and 1/2 inchs, and 7 and 1/2 inches.. In doing so, those numbers add up to correspond with Lockheeds 3 inch rivet spacing statement. My thought is they cut the undamaged upper panel ( the panel above the area to be replaced)...on the starboard side of the stringer ( maintaining it's full coverage of the stringer) , then tucked the repair piece in undeneath. In order to maintain a 4 inch rivet spacing as per the artifact, the port side repair sheet would have to be roughly 10-11 inches in width if it duplicated the rivet pattern on the artifacts purported position on the  starboard side ... Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 11:48:51 PM by Jerry Germann »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #208 on: February 20, 2014, 05:23:14 AM »

"Underwater implosion, the rapid collapse of a structure caused by external pressure, generates a pressure pulse in the surrounding water that is potentially damaging to adjacent structures or personnel."

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/81699/860901643.pdf?sequence=1

Were there structures inside the fuselage that might have been a candidate?




This must be the place
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #209 on: February 20, 2014, 07:21:07 AM »

It has been established that several examples of 0.032 alclad made their way to Gardner island,.. when and from where are still to be determined, ....is the comb older/newer than 2-2-V-1, are 2-2-V-1 and the comb both from the same donor plane,? one can only guess for now .....

There is not enough information on the comb to determine its origin.  That appears to be not the case with 2-2-V-1.

( true) artifact 2-2-V-1 does have identifiable markings, however; the comb has recorded witnesses stating their view as to where the source of the material to make such came from.

Remind me what "witness" said the comb came from the Sydney crash.  If you want to start taking anecdotal recollections as fact we can talk about all the stories told to American servicemen of "the downed plane" on Gardner that was alleged to be the source of aluminum being used by the locals.

If the source of the comb is indeed sydney,  couldn't the source of artifact 2-2-V-1 be from as far or further away, why are we limiting the range of donors to within 300 miles of gardner?

We used 300 miles because that encompasses all the known losses on and around Canton, the only area of wartime aerial activity in the region.  The crash at Sydney Island was a C-47 on a joyride out of Canton.  Cast the net as wide as you please.  Bring the piece of wreckage from Melbourne or San Diego if it makes you happy - but you have to tell us what kind of airplane it came from.
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