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Author Topic: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?  (Read 56268 times)

Dale O. Beethe

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2011, 08:27:03 PM »

Sir,
    You are something of a tease!  I'll be looking forward to your report whenever you feel it's ready for consumption!
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Bill Lloyd

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2011, 08:54:27 PM »

John, I think you summation is spot on.

I know the Nessie analysis is being done in Jeff Glickman's free time. Any idea of when it may be possible to say with any degree of certainty what Nessie is?     -John

I do not yet have Jeff's written report but I will answer you with an abstract question.

At what point does TIGHAR's evidence become so good that we don't dare release it before we've had a chance to secure the site?  Is there such a point?
When you can present direct evidence that can be confirmed to be part of the airplane flown by Amelia Earhart. How can you do this with a photograph of an object that is difficult to identify much less connect it to Earhart's airplane? You can make the argument all day that " the confluence of coincidences is supportive of the hypothesis" but that argument is simply not convincing.
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david alan atchason

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2011, 09:28:59 PM »

My earlier post should have said Marshall Islands not Marianas. I just did a calculation on the back of an envelope. If I understand Archimedes Principle right. 1200 gallons empty tanks displaces 1200 gallons of water at 8.35 Lbs./gallon. 8.35 x 1200 = 10020 lbs. Empty weight of AE's plane = 7265 lbs. Yes, it would float. I welcome any corrections.
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h.a.c. van asten

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2011, 10:20:21 PM »

My earlier post should have said Marshall Islands not Marianas. I just did a calculation on the back of an envelope. If I understand Archimedes Principle right. 1200 gallons empty tanks displaces 1200 gallons of water at 8.35 Lbs./gallon. 8.35 x 1200 = 10020 lbs. Empty weight of AE's plane = 7265 lbs. Yes, it would float. I welcome any corrections.

Yes , but when desintegrated , or the fuel pipes broken , A/c does not float for long . Usually , Electra (no major damage) floated for abt 10 minutes before going down ( 10 filed @ F.A.A.) , due to heavy engines & lightweight fuselage A/c immediately nosed down @ forward speed zero.
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John Joseph Barrett

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2011, 06:39:12 AM »

Posted by: david alan atchason
My earlier post should have said Marshall Islands not Marianas. I just did a calculation on the back of an envelope. If I understand Archimedes Principle right. 1200 gallons empty tanks displaces 1200 gallons of water at 8.35 Lbs./gallon. 8.35 x 1200 = 10020 lbs. Empty weight of AE's plane = 7265 lbs. Yes, it would float. I welcome any corrections.

Yes, your math is correct with 2755 lbs to spare. There is a problem with this, however. In order for the tanks to provide their maximum displacement, thus buoyancy, they would have to be fully submerged. I don't have a schematic of the plane but would presume that the auxilary tanks mounted in the cabin would have reached nearly to the top of the cabin, with the cabin floor at about wing level. This would mean that, in order for the auxilary tanks to provide buoyancy then the wing tanks would already be submerged. In order for any of the tanks to function they would have had to have been vented. As liquid (fuel) is drained out another liquid (air) would have to be introduced in to avoid creating a suction or collapsing the tank. Someone with more knowledge of the plane can help out here but I would believe that the wing tanks would be backfilling with water through the vents before the auxilary tanks start providing any real buoyancy. This creates an additional issue in that the nose would have less buoyancy and be lower than the tail meaning that the auxilary tanks would not be in an equal amount of water and therefore not providing maximum buoyancy until the last tank in line is submerged. By then wouldn't vent lines on the others be submerged and allowing them to backfill as well? I don't think that you would have maximum bouyancy at any time due to this. Additionally, this is assuming that there is no damage and the plane is just sitting on its belly. If it has buoyancy at all then the wave action comes into play by damaging the plane as it bounces up and down and is worked over the reef. I don't think the aluminum would have held up long, the steel of the Norwich City gave in to the reef. I think any bouyancy provided by the tanks at all simply aided the sea in moving the plane to the edge of the reef where it became stuck, beaten apart, and slid over the edge.   LTM -John
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John Joseph Barrett

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2011, 06:56:22 AM »

From Ric: At what point does TIGHAR's evidence become so good that we don't dare release it before we've had a chance to secure the site?  Is there such a point?

Ric, I believe that there is such a point and that point is reached when evidence indicates that an object(s) that would offer definitive proof is at a specific location or in a specific area and that, without responding to and securing that area before announcing the evidence, it would be possible for someone else to reach the area first and either destroy the evidence out of malice or claim the discovery for themselves. In TIGHAR's case, the evidence being destroyed before it could be collected and proven for what it is can be used to discredit the hypothesis of what happened to AE/FN, making the quest that much harder. The evidence being announced as a discovery by someone else, although proving TIGHAR's case, would still be a bitter pill to swallow. Having been in law enforcement for 22 years I can say that, when we have sufficient evidence to believe that something happened at a specific place we secure that place, obtain a search warrant, and locate the evidence we were looking for (most of the time). In this case you are dealing with an island controlled by a sovereign nation that is located in an inconvenient place with a less than hospitable environment, making the security and search for whatever the object(s) might be much more difficult. No, much as I'd like to know every detail and what it is that may be waiting to be found, some things need to withheld from the rest of us until the search is concluded. Although a tid bit released here and there does keep the forum moving. In a round about way I would believe that something is on the horizon, the thunderclap perhaps?   LTM- John
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2011, 09:52:58 AM »

I understand it, I just don't agree that the electrical equipment would stay dry even if it was mostly above water. IMO (you know what that will get ya lol) the surf action would have gotten anything in the lower portion of the craft wet. With one side of the landing gear stuck in a "channel" in the reef the nacelle on that side would be pretty close to touching the ground/bottom. drawing a line across the nacelle to the opposite landing gear how high does that place the fuselage above the ground/bottom??

I agree that would be a problem.
We don't know what happened.  All we can do is look at the clues we have and try to construct hypotheses to explain them. "Nessie" appears to be aircraft wreckage - possibly landing gear components.  It shouldn't be there 3 months after the event unless it's jammed in a groove.  It's in an area near the reef edge where grooves are common but the aircraft cannot have landed that close to the reef edge because the water is too deep and the reef surface is cut with grooves.  So the landing had to be further up on the reef flat where the surface is drier and smoother. in that area, the water level at high tide does not get high enough to cause a problem until after the credible messages have stopped.

 The current working hypothesis is that the aircraft landed intact on the high, dry and smooth part of the reef and was able to send radio signals for several nights before it was swept seaward. Nessie was left behind as the aircraft was swept over the edge. Why would it be swept seaward?  Normally the surf action on the reef in that area is west to east - straight toward the shore.  There are times, however, when the flow comes around the northwest tip of the island and surf travels NNE to SSW across the reef flat. Those conditions could drive the plane seaward.

I for one am very leery of believing any of the post loss messages. like I said, this is only my opinion and given the publicity I find it hard to make any hard and fast argument for the post loss transmissions.

That's okay. You haven't seen all the evidence yet. We're still tweaking the Post-Loss Radio Signals Catalog. We should have it ready for publication soon.

and we never will KNOW what happened with the plane during and directly after landing and in regards to any post loss signals. because of the nature of radio transmissions, and the amount of publicity at the time anyone could have (and did) make guesses as to what happened and create their own little recreation as fact. I like to think of radio similar to the internet. a "fact" can pop up without any known origins or traceability. with the likely condition of the wreckage it is UNlikely we will know what condition the plane was in when it finally landed.

I look forward to reading the catalog, but I always think in the back of my mind "how hard would it have been to look at a map and take a guess"
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david alan atchason

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2011, 10:19:28 AM »

Quote
Yes, your math is correct with 2755 lbs to spare. There is a problem with this, however.

This is why I need input from an aeronautical engineer. I don't think that the vents would be straight up open pipes, but what do I know? The air vents on the drive axles of my trucks had a cap on them, presumably to keep out dirt. Possibly a plane would have the same, to keep dirt out of the gas. Lockheed said the plane would sink, Putnam said it was designed to float. Did Putnam have sealing type vents installed on the wing tanks? I also read in Goerner's book that there was a spare battery in the cockpit for emergency radio. In any case, this was supposedly one of two L-10s that had auxiliary tanks installed. The others, with their factory installed regular tanks would float like a brick, I am sure. Another item that puzzles me is why did the plane in the Hudson float? Presumably they had full fuel tanks. Or did they? What if somebody goofed and they took off with empty tanks? The bird story was concocted, but the plane floated nicely on it's empty tanks. Far fetched? Do they have air spaces built into these new jets? I am an incurable skeptic.
To continue on, if Amelia actually landed on Niku, and by and by the waves sucked the plane out, maybe it would just float away??? That would be a logical progression of my conjecture.
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Chris Owens

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2011, 10:30:08 AM »

Quote
Yes, your math is correct with 2755 lbs to spare. There is a problem with this, however.

This is why I need input from an aeronautical engineer. I don't think that the vents would be straight up open pipes, but what do I know? The air vents on the drive axles of my trucks had a cap on them, presumably to keep out dirt. Possibly a plane would have the same, to keep dirt out of the gas. Lockheed said the plane would sink, Putnam said it was designed to float. Did Putnam have sealing type vents installed on the wing tanks? I also read in Goerner's book that there was a spare battery in the cockpit for emergency radio. In any case, this was supposedly one of two L-10s that had auxiliary tanks installed. The others, with their factory installed regular tanks would float like a brick, I am sure. Another item that puzzles me is why did the plane in the Hudson float? Presumably they had full fuel tanks. Or did they? What if somebody goofed and they took off with empty tanks? The bird story was concocted, but the plane floated nicely on it's empty tanks. Far fetched? Do they have air spaces built into these new jets? I am an incurable skeptic.
To continue on, if Amelia actually landed on Niku, and by and by the waves sucked the plane out, maybe it would just float away??? That would be a logical progression of my conjecture.

The plane in the Hudson sank.  By the time the captain took one last pass through the cabin before exiting, water was reportedly waist deep.  It floated for a while because pressurized aircraft have reasonably watertight hulls. How long it floats, and how fast it sinks, depends upon how many and what size holes you rip in the aluminum panels on the airplane's belly when you ditch. 


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david alan atchason

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2011, 10:51:33 AM »

Thank you for info. That clears that up, I am not much of a news-watcher, so I missed all that. They must have salvaged it from the bottom of the Hudson then?
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2011, 11:12:09 AM »

Another point I just thought of. The L-10 that landed in the water off Humarock. That Provincetown-Boston flight is only 20-25 miles as the crow flies. How much  gas did that plane have in it? Would you fly with almost empty tanks to save weight, or would you fill up and then fly a certain number of flights till the gas was low and then fill up again? With full tanks they would sink quickly. With empty tanks they might float a while. With empty tanks and empty auxiliary tanks is it possible they would float indefinitely?

generally a plane will only take on the amount of fuel it needs. sometimes if they will turn around and fly back without the ability to refuel at the stopover they will take more then required. the general rule is the plane needs to have enough fuel on board to complete the flight plus enough extra to make it to the an alternate airport (not including reserve). taking on uneeded fuel costs more. you can't carry as much cargo, you have to lift the weight of the fuel etc.
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Chris Owens

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2011, 12:26:04 PM »

Thank you for info. That clears that up, I am not much of a news-watcher, so I missed all that. They must have salvaged it from the bottom of the Hudson then?

There were many boats on the scene quite quickly, which allowed them to get lines onto the aircraft and prevent it from going all the way to the bottom while they towed it to the shore; it didn't really sink until it was tied up along shore:
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2011, 02:27:32 PM »

I look forward to reading the catalog, but I always think in the back of my mind "how hard would it have been to look at a map and take a guess"

Several people did and there were a number of hoaxes that were widely believed at the time, but our analysis of the reported receptions goes way beyond merely assessing content. Radio signals are electromagnetic phenomena with known properties and capabilities that can be reconstructed. 
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david alan atchason

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2011, 02:41:25 PM »

As I read in Goerner's book, Amelia had an extra battery installed in the cockpit so she could transmit if she was in the water. If that is true, there must also be a radio or emergency radio that could be powered by that battery. Otherwise what would be the sense of an extra battery? Farther along in his book there is another reference to the "emergency radio" I believe, but I would have to reread the book to find it. I'm wondering if Putnam and Mantz, who seems like an old pro, rigged up the plane so it would float and would transmit as long as it landed well in the water. Wouldn't Mantz  think of the wing tank vent problem right away, as I did? Didn't flying boats have some kind of system to keep water out of the tank vents, wherever they were? I mean even the slightest amounts could be big problems.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Could Earhart’s Transmitter Operate If Her Plane Was Afloat?
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2011, 06:41:52 PM »

I look forward to reading the catalog, but I always think in the back of my mind "how hard would it have been to look at a map and take a guess"

Several people did and there were a number of hoaxes that were widely believed at the time, but our analysis of the reported receptions goes way beyond merely assessing content. Radio signals are electromagnetic phenomena with known properties and capabilities that can be reconstructed. 

I never fail to find some interesting insights in tighars reports like this. We will see if it changes my mind on the validity of any post loss radio traffic.
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