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Author Topic: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936  (Read 40769 times)

Bruce Thomas

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #75 on: November 28, 2016, 07:05:41 PM »

Great post, Bill! I really enjoyed viewing this neat film, and being able to listen to the roar of the engines as they prepared to taxi out and take off.
LTM,

Bruce
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #76 on: November 28, 2016, 07:40:22 PM »

This video certainly helped me to visualize the first takeoff of Earhart’s Electra from that very same airstrip, two years and five months later.

I hate the look of the windscreen on the cockpit.

The sound of the engines burbling along with the plane in the chocks is the best part, to my taste.   ;)
LTM,

           Marty
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Friend Weller

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #77 on: November 28, 2016, 11:07:54 PM »

Certainly worth the price of admission! I loved watching the clouds move along in the background before this Electra rolled out.  Very cool find.
Friend
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #78 on: November 29, 2016, 07:59:14 AM »

An awesome find!  Thanks Bill.
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #79 on: November 29, 2016, 08:14:37 AM »

Great find!!

The high pass over the field starting about 2:03. . . .what Itasca was hoping to see and hear on 2 July 37.  That's the first thing that came into my head when I saw that.

This brings the story more to life than any other clip I've seen.
Bill Mangus
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Alfred Hendrickson

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #80 on: November 29, 2016, 11:03:54 AM »

That is very cool! Love it!

Thanks Dan and Herb.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #81 on: November 29, 2016, 11:51:39 AM »

That was the first flight of cn 1001 on February 23, 1934.  Chief Lockheed Test Pilot Marshall "Babe" Headle was at the controls. The forward-raked windshield was all the rage at that time (also featured on the Boeing 247) but was found to be unsatisfactory and was soon replaced.  The same was true of the large wing fillets at the inboard trailing edge of the wings.  Note that Babe left the gear down for the first flight.  Smart move.  On a certification flight later that spring, one of the mains failed to extend and he had to make a one-wheel landing at Burbank.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #82 on: November 29, 2016, 12:41:42 PM »

We have 17 minutes of great unedited newsreel out-takes of NR16020 - almost 5 minutes of film shot at the July 21,1936 press event including take-off, fly-by, and landing; and about 11 minutes of film shot in early March 1937 when the airplane was being prepped for the world flight.  The last minute or so is from the Oakland departure.   The footage is from the UCLA Film/TV Archive and we can't publish it without licensing ($$$$) it but we can share it with researchers for research purposes.  If you're a TIGHAR Researcher in good standing and would like to see it, just send me an email and I'll send you the link. 
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 12:44:58 PM by Ric Gillespie »
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Arthur Rypinski

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #83 on: November 30, 2016, 07:41:52 PM »

Ric-
This is slightly off-topic, but I would recommend Robert Van der Linden's book on the development of the Boeing 247, which faced many of the same design challenges as the Electra.  According to van der Linden, the forward-swept windscreen on the 247 was intended to reduce daytime glare, but in practice produced odd reflections of ground lights at night, as well as increasing drag.  The forward sloping windscreen was eliminated in the later Boeing 247D, introduced into airline service in July 1934.   The more important modification in the 247D was elimination of the Townsend Ring cowling for the lower drag NACA cowlings also used in the Electra.  Boeing also chose a geared version of the Wasp for the 247D, the R-1340 S1H1-G, and three-bladed variable pitch propellers, The new engines some caused center-of-gravity problems that took some fixing.   Van der Linden indicates that these changes greatly improved the 247D's speed and range, and slightly improved the payload.  Most 247s were retrofitted to 247D standard, but only some of the retrofits had the cockpit rebuilt. 

 I have been puzzled that Lockheed (and AE) didn't use variable pitch propellers.  I think I remember that AE's Electra was retrofitted with variable pitch propellers, but she later had them removed. 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #84 on: December 01, 2016, 08:09:53 AM »

Thanks for the explanation of reasoning behind the forward-sloped windshield.  I've always wondered about that.

 
I have been puzzled that Lockheed (and AE) didn't use variable pitch propellers.  I think I remember that AE's Electra was retrofitted with variable pitch propellers, but she later had them removed.

Earhart's 10E was delivered with constant-speed props.  The blades were replaced after the wreck in Hawaii but the serial numbers of the hubs did not change.

Lockheed specs dated May 1, 1936 show the Model 10A (P&W 450 hp engines) and Model 10B (Wright 450 hp engines) equipped with "Hamilton-Standard Two-Way Controllable Pitch Metal Propellers"
The same specs show the Model 10E (P&W 550 hp engines) with "Hamilton-Standard Two-Way Constant Speed Metal Propellers."

 The controllable-pitch (same as variable-pitch) prop had been around since 1929.  Hamilton Standard introduced the constant-speed prop in late 1935. The full-feathering "hydromatic" prop didn't come along until 1938. (http://notplanejane.com/hamiltonstd_info.htm).
On a multi-engine plane, the inability to feather the prop (turn the blades knife-edge to the wind) in the event of an engine failure is serious drawback. A "windmilling" prop on a dead engine creates tremendous drag.

In a variable-pitch prop, the pitch of the blades can be manually adjusted from fine-pitch for takeoff to coarse-pitch for cruise. The pilot has to make frequent adjustments to the propeller control to keep the prop pitch appropriate to the throttle setting (manifold pressure).  In a constant-speed prop the pilot sets the propeller control to the desired RPM and the prop automatically changes pitch with throttle changes.

I've flown one airplane equipped with the old variable-pitch prop - a 1950s-vintage Ryan Navion owned by an Army flying club.  Pain in the butt.  The constant-speed prop was a big improvement.
I don't know of any multi-engine airplane now flying that does not have full-feathering props, including all of the Electras that have been restored to airworthy condition. 


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Don White

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Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
« Reply #85 on: July 11, 2018, 07:50:54 PM »

I'm reading through old Forum topics and I viewed the newsreel footage of the first Electra prototype on the U of South Carolina web site. In the same collection there are two sets of newsreel outtakes of the 3rd Annual Annette Gipson All-Women Air Race filmed on June 24, 1934 at which AE officiated as starter. Nothing perhaps new to discover here (unless it adds anything to the data on AE's arm length) but fun to see and hear her in action.

https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A20674

and

https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A20672

The Movietone footage in this collection appears to be all outtakes.

Don White
TIGHAR Member 4989A
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