Forum logo How much fuel was aboard the Electra when Earhart and Noonan left Lae, New Guinea?


Both of the knowledgeable contemporaneous accounts (the Collopy letter and the Chater report) agree that the fuel load at takeoff from Lae was 1100 U.S. gallons. Bureau of Air Commerce paperwork on the airplane leaves no doubt that the total fuel capacity of NR16020 was 1151 U.S. gallons. The Chater report explains that they went out roughly 50 gallons short because they did not want to dilute the half tank of 100 octane fuel they had in a 102 gallon tank. They used 100 octane only for takeoff. The other tanks held the commonly available 87 octane. No 100 octane was available in Lae.


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