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Author Topic: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland  (Read 359453 times)

Irvine John Donald

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #210 on: February 21, 2012, 03:48:49 PM »

Thanks Gary.  I haven't heard of this person before so I will look her up tonight and have a read. 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #211 on: February 21, 2012, 04:01:34 PM »


Gary
Sorry, I meant only to insert some levity into the discussion and forgot to add my usual LOL, LMAO, etc
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #212 on: February 21, 2012, 05:18:44 PM »

Ok Harry---because I was going to ask how in the world she could have been heard over Tabineua (?) in the Gilberts, and stil had time to fly over the Mandated Islands, and still make Gardner. NOT. Unless she could croos her arms and blink like Barbara Eden and go anywhere she wanted. I would guess, just for the heck of it, that she might need another 12-15 hours of fuel, and thank wasnt going to happen.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #213 on: February 23, 2012, 01:55:30 AM »

Very pistol, bore is about 1.5 inches. The cartridges are similar to shotgun shells, but instead of shot they may contain various color flares including parachute flares. This will fire a flare several hundred feet into the air, IIRC, one of the flares would reach 1200 feet.
Randy
Attached below is a photograph of the type of Colt Pocket Pistol that I believe Earhart gave to Balfour. Compare it to the photo of a Very Pistol available here. Do you think Balfour would have any trouble remembering which type of pistol she gave him?

gl
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 02:02:40 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #214 on: February 23, 2012, 02:26:52 AM »

Where did the idea come from that she left behind her life raft and other emergency equipment, like parachutes.

This article suggests she left some of the emergency equipment behind.  If the plane's fuel tanks were designed to intentinonally dump/seal fuel in emergency, it wouldn't be far-fetched that she may have left behind the life raft too.  Parachutes too - maybe?

Los Angeles Times | 9 July 1937
Mantz Continues to Hope for Safety of Aviatrix
Mantz, who personally supervised much of the technical preparations for the flyer's second attempt to gird the globe by air, disclosed for the first time that the expedition carried no water condenser.  "It ws left behind," he said.  "I learned yesterday that 'A.E.' deposited both the machine that manufactures water out of human breath and her hand-crank generator for the radio somewhere along her route from Miami to New Guinea.
I look at statements like this and then try to figure out if such things are even possible or if the statements  are misquotes or just plain B.S.
Looking at the claim that, at some point she had a "hand-crank generator" that she could discard along the way, what category does this statement fall into?.

What radio was the generator supposed to provide power for? There is no indication that she had a separate emergency transmitter since they hadn't been invented yet. The "Gibson Girl" emergency transmitter didn't come along until 1941. It weighed 33 pounds and was fairly large and was hand cranked but only put out FIVE WATTS of power. It was a big breakthrough by the Germans, such a big breakthrough that it was immediately copied by the Brits and the U.S. Based on this I don't think that there were any "emergency transmitters" that Earhart could have taken on her flight.

So then, what radio would she be powering with a hand-crank generator? Only one choice left, it must be her Western Electric Model 13 airplane radio transmitter. And what did this hand crank generator look like? We know that a hand crank generator for radios was developed near the end of WW2 and used through the 1970's. It was the GN-58 which was developed to power a low powered transmitter, the AN/GRC-9, that put out up to 7 watts AM and up to 15 watts CW (which then averages only 7.5 watts.)

Tube type radios need much more power input than the achieved power output. If you do the math to figure the number of watts the GN-58 made (multiply all the voltages by the currents to find watts and then add all of the different outputs together) you will find that it put out a total of 76.4 watts which was sufficient to power the AN/GRC-9 which was limited to an average of 7.5 watts. This power output was pretty much maximum effort for a big strong Army guy.

So, could we use this hand crank generator, or one with a similar output, an output within the capability of a human, to power the WE 13? Well it depends on how much power is required by the WE 13 transmitter. I have attached the specifications for that transmitter and the thing to notice is that it requires 65 amps at 12 volts. Multiply these two numbers together and you find that it needs 780 watts in order to put out its measly 50 watts of transmitted power. So can any human, hand crank a generator and make 780 watts? The answer is, absolutely not! And even if a human could, then that generator would have to be ten times larger and heavier than the GN-58, which weighed 40 pounds, so you would be looking at a hand crank generator weighing 400 pounds hidden somewhere in the Electra!

But wait, couldn't you just put out a weak signal by cranking out 76 watts with the generator and feeding that into the WE 13? Wouldn't that at least put out a five watt signal, one-tenth of the input power producing one-tenth of the output power? Uh, no. Vacuum tubes need power just to heat them up, quite a bit of power, before they can even start working at all. I remember warming my hands over my radio on cold nights and there was always that warm orange glow from the filaments in the tubes. So before we can get the WE 13 to transmit any signal at all we must power up the filaments in the five tubes and this takes 127 watts, 10.6 amps at 12 volts! So even if Earhart or Noonan could crank with all their strength on a hand crank generator they would not have been able to even warm up the tubes in their WE 13 transmitter so it couldn't transmit any signal whatsoever.

So would there have been any reason to have a hand crank generator on the plane, one that could be abandoned along the way, I think not.

Now the other claim, that she had a machine that condensed water out of a person's breath. Sounds good, but if it was so good why did they have to develop solar stills for use by our downed airmen in WW2? If you step back and give it a little thought you will realize that a water maker that just condenses the moisture in a person's breath is akin to inventing a "perpetual motion machine." As an absolute limit it could never produce more water than the person had already drank since that would be the maximum the person could ever breath out. But wait, people lose moisture through their skin and though their urine too, so all that water could never be breathed out and collected. And even the amount of moisture breathed out will not all be collected, some will escape the machine. So you would be in a downward spiral, losing more moisture through your breath, your skin and your urine than such a machine could ever make up. So in my opinion such a machine never existed and could never exist, and I'll wait for somebody to correct me on this.

The bottom line is that I don't think  you can take Mantz's statement and parlay that into a belief that Earhart left other "essential" survival equipment behind when she took off from Lae.

gl
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 04:08:28 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #215 on: February 23, 2012, 10:28:29 AM »


Gary
M'Man, are you sure that you aren't a nuclear physicist that went on to be a lawyer (and I am sure you are a good lawyer)?   LOL
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #216 on: February 23, 2012, 06:14:16 PM »

So, could we use this hand crank generator, or one with a similar output, an output within the capability of a human, to power the WE 13? Well it depends on how much power is required by the WE 13 transmitter. I have attached the specifications for that transmitter and the thing to notice is that it requires 65 amps at 12 volts. Multiply these two numbers together and you find that it needs 780 watts in order to put out its measly 50 watts of transmitted power. So can any human, hand crank a generator and make 780 watts? The answer is, absolutely not!
To put this in perspective, it takes one horsepower to generate 746 watts. Are you as strong as a horse?  An athlete on a bicycle can generate 0.2 hp (150 watts) for a short time and about 0.1 hp (75 watts) for a long time but this is by using the legs and the largest muscles in the body, not with a hand crank.

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #217 on: February 23, 2012, 11:03:04 PM »


But wait, couldn't you just put out a weak signal by cranking out 76 watts with the generator and feeding that into the WE 13? Wouldn't that at least put out a five watt signal, one-tenth of the input power producing one-tenth of the output power? Uh, no. Vacuum tubes need power just to heat them up, quite a bit of power, before they can even start working at all. I remember warming my hands over my radio on cold nights and there was always that warm orange glow from the filaments in the tubes. So before we can get the WE 13 to transmit any signal at all we must power up the filaments in the five tubes and this takes 127 watts, 10.6 amps at 12 volts! So even if Earhart or Noonan could crank with all their strength on a hand crank generator they would not have been able to even warm up the tubes in their WE 13 transmitter so it couldn't transmit any signal whatsoever.



gl
For those of you who don't know what I have been talking regarding the filaments heating up the tubes to get them hot enough to work and who don't know that the orange glow looks like just go out to your kitchen and make some toast. Look down into the toaster and you will see exactly the same orange glow coming off the heating wires in your toaster and you can warm your hands up over them. A toaster takes a lot of power and so do the heating filaments in radio tubes.

gl
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Erik

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #218 on: February 24, 2012, 07:54:49 AM »

Los Angeles Times | 9 July 1937
Mantz Continues to Hope for Safety of Aviatrix
Mantz, who personally supervised much of the technical preparations for the flyer's second attempt to gird the globe by air, disclosed for the first time that the expedition carried no water condenser.  "It ws left behind," he said.  "I learned yesterday that 'A.E.' deposited both the machine that manufactures water out of human breath and her hand-crank generator for the radio somewhere along her route from Miami to New Guinea.
I look at statements like this and then try to figure out if such things are even possible or if the statements  are misquotes or just plain B.S.
Looking at the claim that, at some point she had a "hand-crank generator" that she could discard along the way, what category does this statement fall into?.

I agree the article's explaination of the actual devices is pretty suspect.  BS is pretty strong accusation since other papers and articles also mention the water machine.  Something appears being discussed in the article as opposed to pure fabrication.

The 'water machine' may have been a bottle of water for all we know, and the words describing the 'generator' perhaps were butchered to simply mean a spare battery or something along those lines.  The details of what the two devices are is not so important per se.  Rather, the fact that some things were 'deposited' along the way (whatever they were) is the intent of my original post.  This suggests a willingness to get rid of 'stuff', whatever it was, in lieu of safety and perhaps poor decision making.

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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #219 on: February 24, 2012, 10:12:24 AM »


Erik
"...perhaps poor decision making."  ?
Just one among many.
Worst decision:  Taking off without knowing whether her RDF was operational or that she was operating it properly.  Even after having done a test and getting a result that her RDF wasn't   operating properly.  How's that for poor decision making??
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #220 on: February 24, 2012, 10:49:42 AM »


Erik
"...perhaps poor decision making."  ?
Just one among many.
Worst decision:  Taking off without knowing whether her RDF was operational or that she was operating it properly.  Even after having done a test and getting a result that her RDF wasn't   operating properly.  How's that for poor decision making??
I agree with you. You know that my position is that celestial navigation is accurate enough to find the island but they had planned from the beginning to have two independent methods for finding Howland, celestial and RDF. It is inconceivable to me that at this point they abandoned that careful plan and proceeded without the second method, the RDF, tested to be operational.

gl
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 08:31:31 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Erik

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #221 on: February 24, 2012, 11:03:46 AM »


Erik
"...perhaps poor decision making."  ?
Just one among many.
Worst decision:  Taking off without knowing whether her RDF was operational or that she was operating it properly.  Even after having done a test and getting a result that her RDF wasn't   operating properly.  How's that for poor decision making??
I agree with you. You know that my position is that celestial navigation is accurate enough to find the island but they had planned from the beginning to have two independent methods for finding Howland, celestial and RDF. It is inconceivable to me that at this point they abandoned that careful plan and proceed without the second method, the RDF, tested to be operational.

gl

Does that mean that you also agree it is likely she left behind some of her emergency/rescue gear too?
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #222 on: February 24, 2012, 12:02:59 PM »


Erik
I don't know what she left behind or didn't leave behind.  It pales to insignifance when compared to taking off w/o knowing absolutely that her RDF was working and/or that she knew how to communicate with Itasca's RDF.

She sealed their fate.  Without the RDFs she had to rely completely on P&DR (Pilotage and Dead Reckoning) and Cel/Nav and all the accumulative errors after the last "sighting, fix".  Is it any wonder that they didn't find Howland?  Then to make matters even worse, with her horrendous radio technique, she left the "Watchers/Rescuers" with a binary choice, do they search NNW (337) or SSE (157)?  Had she just said "running on line 337/157, heading SSE 157" the binary choice would be removed.
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #223 on: February 24, 2012, 12:30:32 PM »


Gary
 "...that at this point they abandoned that careful plan and proceed without the second method, the RDF, tested to be operational."

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that after the two days delay for repairs and chronometer  setting,  "get homeitis" set in  and the idea of a further delay to check out the RDF and fix it just didn't compute.  Call it over- confidence, arrogance, stupidity, all of the above, who knows?

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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #224 on: February 24, 2012, 03:38:10 PM »


Does that mean that you also agree it is likely she left behind some of her emergency/rescue gear too?
NO!
Go back and read what I wrote before, where did such an idea come from in the first place? Her husband, interviewed on July 2nd, stated that she carried her emergency equipment, see my prior post.


gl
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 03:57:28 PM by Gary LaPook »
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