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Author Topic: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts  (Read 23558 times)

Roger London

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2015, 07:35:44 AM »

Interesting video. Note the labeling on the outside was unburnt and readable after the burn, and the container did not melt to pieces. However who would explore an old unknown potentially unstable, possibly explosive item in a confined space . . . and even look down the 'end-of-the-barrel' (what!). Very thoughtfully he kept his legs wide apart so if it had gone off he could have instantly dropped it to get it away for his face and it would have been hotly contained between his legs! . . . and he kept the engine running for a quick getaway. Don't some folk never learn!
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Margaret Sanders

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2015, 05:43:46 PM »

I have no experience with flares or pyrotechnics so I thought it would be interesting to come at this from a very non-technical direction. I did read the report at the beginning of the thread and thought it was quite well done. However, I wonder if it might benefit us to start again with the 'see what is there, not what you expect to see' angle and do some more brainstorming on what the letters/words in yellow might read, as well as what these artifacts might be. Forgive me if it seems silly; can't hurt, though!

Could the fragment with letters be a portion of a sign/box taken from a ship/plane for use in holding over fire to cook critters? Would this metal withstand that degree of heat, and might this leave scorch marks?

The first things I thought of when reading the markings on that same bit of metal were along these lines:
HELP, SHELF, SHELL, HELD, RELEGATE, DELEGATE; LIGHT UP, NIGHT UP, HEIGHT UP, FLIGHT UP, RIGHT UP; *7.

Just my two cents!



I'm no expert; just happy to be here.👀
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aircraftmch

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2015, 03:42:21 PM »

That item resembles a cartridge for a Coffman Device. The intense heat would be expected if on were used as a fire-starter as they contained cordite.

I read AE would have had to start the engines in order to use the radio, this could be taken as there was no battery for starting the engine via electric start, and no battery for radio use.

Cartridge starters were very common on radial engines of the day.
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Bob Smith

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2015, 07:19:49 PM »

The cartridge starter idea is really interesting. Do we have A Lockheed expert available that may be able to tell us if it could have been used on the L10E's P&W 1340 Wasp engine?
Bob S.
 
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2015, 09:46:15 PM »

Wikipedia article on Coffman Device: Coffman

Another article with the same data: Coffman-2

Linked from the Wiki article is a photo of a starting cartridge: 1935 cartridge
It looks like a shotgun shell. Note the adjacent ruler for size. The shell appears to be just short of 3&3/4" long.

Flight of the Phoenix Starting the radial engine with Coffman cartridges
Drama

WWII Wildcat. Shows 1943 vintage shells
Wildcat Start

Power Cartridge Handbook Naval Air Systems Command AD0775861.pdf
Found with this search Handbook
General information only.

Reading a discussion on Australian power cartridges one had the following on its base:
CART. ELEC. ENG. START No. 10 MK3 K. 71,2
The interesting word is "start." I'll guess that similar shells were also marked with their function.

Over the years many varieties of starting shells were produced in various sizes. Finding an item from 1937 will be a chore.

I was not able to find starting methods for WASP-R1340 engines.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 11:51:44 PM by Daniel Paul Cotts »
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Bob Smith

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2015, 07:09:05 AM »

Thanks Daniel, I've read all that stuff and I was looking for something more specifically related to the plane in question here. I personally believe the 1340 engine was fitted with a cartridge starter, but gut feelings don't count. And I don't believe Amelia would have used it anyway. If the only way to start her aircraft engine was by propellor spinning, it would have been nearly impossible to start it once it came to a stop for any reason and the cartridges Amelia had were most likely for emergency signaling. If by some strange quirck of fate her propellors were still spinning when she landed, she would possibly have been able to use the radio, but she couldn't have turned the engines on and off with a starter device from the cockpit. If the engines were starter-capable, she might have been able to communicate a little longer until she ran out of fuel or cartridges.
Bob S.
 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2015, 08:09:19 AM »

Not to be a wet blanket, but ... http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Luke_Field.html ... you might want to look over the inventory taken after her Luke Field crash. Nowhere in there are Coffman cartridges mentioned, and the inventory (in the best Air Corps fashion) is exhaustive.

While it is true that the cartridge starter assembly might have been included in the "Wasp Engine & accessories" listend in the inventory the starter cartridges would have been mentioned separately. If she had needed any, she would have packed them. Not the kind of thing you can find lying around some of the airports she was going to be visiting. My limited understanding of the Wasp engines in question is that they were perfectly capable of being started via the battery in the aircraft.

LTM, who is amazed by what you can find using Google search in here,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP

P.S. - if you want some Coffman drama, the original Flight of the Phoenix does it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IACjOvyx5hs

Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 09:08:35 AM by Monty Fowler »
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JNev

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2015, 09:10:42 AM »

Maybe the more direct answer is the Electra had electric starters.

Engine Type Certificate Data Sheet E-143 for the WASP S3H1 Note 3 lists a starter drive with CC (Counter-Clockwise) rotation.

Electra 10E Type Certificate Date Sheet 590 lists 2 electric starters under Class I Equipment ('standard equipment'), item 8.

Monty makes a good point as to the value of researching this forum for more information - you might enjoy availing yourself of the many details that may be gleaned from many posts on engine and airframe details under that panel in the Earhart forum by using the search function - see "Search TIGHAR" button up top of the main forum page.
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 09:29:47 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Matt Revington

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2015, 11:15:08 AM »

And of the course the original "Flight of the Phoenix" movie (1965) had its own tragic tie to AE.  Paul Mantz who was on the first round the world attempt died while doing stunt flying for that film.

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Friend Weller

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2015, 01:43:05 PM »

And of the course the original "Flight of the Phoenix" movie (1965) had its own tragic tie to AE.  Paul Mantz who was on the first round the world attempt died while doing stunt flying for that film.

And to add to that, his grandson and I were literally moments ago talking about the Niku VIII expedition!  Small world folks, it's a small world.
Friend
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Bob Smith

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2015, 02:55:08 PM »

Thanks Monty and Jeff for your interesting comments. I have read most of the letters and notes in the TIGHAR archives, so I feel fairly well informed from that standpoint. Monty, I see no mention specifically of a battery capable of starting the Electra engines in the inventory. It is my feeling(no proof, just a feelng) that Amelia would have left them behind upon re-loading anyway due to their lead weight. Or at least any auxillary battery not immediately necessary. I have also decided to ignore the inventory anyway, as some others have mentioned, since it does not represent in fact what was put back on board immediately before the second take-off. It appears she tossed the radio crystal, which is relatively light in weight, and several other seemingly important items which could have saved her life, including an emergency flare which she gave to a friend. It's surprising she didn't leave the radio!! Why would it be so hard to leave the battery, when she knew she could start the engines without outside devices simply by spinning the prop? (which of course she couldn't do if the prop was un-accessible or under water.) Couldn't she depend on the radio operating off the mag? ( Maybe that's pushing it a little) As long as the engines were running she had no worries about the radio working or having to start the engines. If the engines stopped for any reason and she still had gas, wouldn't it have been nice to have an engine capable of cartridge starting and a cartridge or two??
Bob S.
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2015, 03:03:44 PM »

Thanks Monty and Jeff for your interesting comments. I have read most of the letters and notes in the TIGHAR archives, so I feel fairly well informed from that standpoint. Monty, I see no mention specifically of a battery capable of starting the Electra engines in the inventory.

Please see the article in the Ameliapedia about the two batteries built into the aircraft.

Earhart routinely started her engines from the onboard batteries.  She had some trouble and got one engine burning on the second leg of the second round-the-world attempt, but was undoubtedly quite proficient in her starting procedures by the time of the 30th leg, her last takeoff.
LTM,

           Marty
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Bob Smith

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2015, 03:35:46 PM »

Thanks Marty. I've got to digest all this and go have lunch..
Bob S.
 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2015, 05:37:58 PM »

Maybe because at 60-some pounds, the Exide-brand 6XT-13 12-volt battery was considered integral to the aircraft?

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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JNev

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Re: Research on blue foil, some other artifacts
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2015, 07:10:42 AM »

Marty and Monty nailed it - she had ship-board battery power a-plenty for starting the engines.  The Ship battery arrangement can also be seen in the airplane TC data sheet (linked above).

Mine was not 'interesting comments' but dry, hard bones from the build-design data on the airplane.  There were no cartridge-fired starters on the Electra. 

A Jimmy Stewart / Flight of the Phoenix "one for the money, two for the show..." bang/whine starting drama would not have been the case for Earhart.

Mantz RIP - what a great one he was.
- Jeff Neville

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