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Author Topic: Why did they pick the route they did / Why not hug the land (why equatorial route)?  (Read 13287 times)

Michael HALL

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No not some Hippie trip ;) but a thought on the route they took

Looking at the route map they chose a route that kept them travelling across water to a minimum this included dropping down to South America before taking the shortest route possible across to Africa

Looking at the route again, surely the same concept should have better been applied for crossing the pacific. The most land hugging route being up the Pacific coast and then across to Alaska and down Canada.

Has this been ever looked into why this I resume safer route was not chosen other than extra distance?. Safety over distance was clearly shown on the outward route so why not on the inbound?.

Political unrest between countries maybe?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 12:24:46 PM by J. Nevill »
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Bruce Thomas

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It's well known that AE was purposely flying a route that would circle the globe near the equator.  See, for instance, http://www.acepilots.com/earhart2.html#disappearance.  A contemporaneous newspaper account quotes her directly -- see Spartenburg Herald-Journal for Feb. 11, 1937.
LTM,

Bruce
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« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 12:05:44 PM by Bruce Thomas »
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Ric Gillespie

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The problem with taking the safer more northerly route around the world was that it had already been done several times.  In 1933 Wiley Post circled the globe solo in a single-engine Lockheed Vega.  The Earhart/Putnam team had to choose a route that would set a record and make news.  Apparently being the first woman to make the trip wasn't newsworthy enough.  They came up with the idea of taking the longest route around the world, as close as possible to the equator.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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The problem with taking the safer more northerly route around the world was that it had already been done several times.  In 1933 Wiley Post circled the globe solo in a single-engine Lockheed Vega.  The Earhart/Putnam team had to choose a route that would set a record and make news.  Apparently being the first woman to make the trip wasn't newsworthy enough.  They came up with the idea of taking the longest route around the world, as close as possible to the equator.

I count six previous around-the-world flights--all northern (shorter) routes.
LTM,

           Marty
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Patrick Napier Robinson

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I realize that the route they chose was closest to the equator.

But this question has bothered me for a long time.

Fred pioneered overwater navigation with Pan Am making the first Clipper flight from San Francisco
to Manila in 1935.  Why not fly from Lae up to Guam and make use of the Pan Am
facilities that Fred was already familiar with ?

Thanks...Patrobin
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Ric Gillespie

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Why not fly from Lae up to Guam and make use of the Pan Am
facilities that Fred was already familiar with ?

PanAm used flying boats.  There was no airfield on Guam in 1937.  Even if there was, what would going to Guam accomplish?  It's over 3,500 miles from there to Hawaii.
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Ric Gillespie

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In 1937, simply flying around the world was old news.  Earhart had to do something newsworthy to maintain her place in the headlines.  The whole point of the flight was the travelogue stories she filed every day with the Herald Tribune syndicate. She needed exotic destinations. 
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Chris Johnson

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Maybe as simple as people not seeing a reef edge as a viable landing strip, remember the mind set was dry land or lagoon. Oh and the island hadn't been surveyed as yet?
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Andrew M McKenna

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Jeff

Planning to land at Nikumaroro on the reef flat would have been pretty risky, tides, terrain, and all that.  Without a good survey, they wouldn't have known much about what was there.

Interesting thought to use Nikumaroro as at least an initial target that can be seen from a longer distance than Howland, and then navigate to Howland as your destination, but I think Fred was confident enough in his celestial nav to take the straight shot at Howland.  Perhaps too confident as we now know.

Andrew
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Dan Swift

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Lae to Wake to Hawaii would have made sense and not been enough out of the equator to really matter (in my opinion) since they already had covered almost the entire route.  But, I am wondering if it had a little to do with the brewing war coming with Japan and it's occupations at the time? 
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« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 01:14:31 PM by Dan Swift »
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Dan Swift

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Jeff, I may be the 'champion of "moot points".  Comes with a lot of practice. 
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