TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart Search Forum => General discussion => Topic started by: Ric Gillespie on October 04, 2016, 09:37:10 AM

Title: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 04, 2016, 09:37:10 AM
TIGHAR researchers Dan Brown, Bill Davenport and I have been trying to figure when an interesting series of photos was taken (see August 10 1936 on the Google Docs timeline (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EWWg4KlVwc0s07Fv6MLoiWORRe-pAJI1ZPBpQ_raux0/edit#)).  August 10 was Dan's initial best guess but we now agree that that can't be right.  Below are my thoughts.

I agree that all of these photos were probably taken on the same day. They’re the only photos I’ve seen in which AE is wearing that blousy jacket.
I think these are very early photos. The ship was registered by Lockheed in the Experimental category on July 19, 1936.  Elmer McLeod made the initial test flight on July 20. There are no photos known to have been taken that day.  The first photos of the completed (or sem-completed) airplane were taken at the press event/photo op on July 21 when AE introduced the airplane to the media. For that event it carried the incorrect and technically illegal registration markings NR16020.  By August 2, when McLeod and AE flew the airplane to San Francisco, the markings had been corrected to X16020, so these photos predate August 2.

In the July 21 photos I can’t see a wire on the belly antenna masts.  I suspect the radios had not yet been installed.  That same day, July 21, in a letter to Locheed, Earhart authorized Paul Mantz to accept delivery of the aircraft in Las Vegas on her behalf.  Although the letter is dated two days after the airplane was inspected, a day after its first flight, and on the day Earhart first flew in it, the letter of authorization says "you are hereby authorized to deliver when completed Electra airplane No. 1055 which you are now constructing for me …"  Apparently Earhart did not yet consider the airplane to be ready for delivery.

But in the iconic photo of AE striding in front of the plane, the antenna wire is clearly there - so these photos were taken after July 21 but before August 2.
Also, wherever these photos were taken, it wasn’t at Union Air Terminal, Burbank.  This is a small scruffy airport.
The Purdue website has the arms-spread photo date February 12, 1937 but that's clearly wrong.  February 12, 1937 is the date AE announced her world flight at the Barclay Hotel in Manhattan.  The photo was probably released to the press that day.

My best guess:  Contrary to her plan on July 21, she decided to ride along with McLeod and Mantz on July 24 for the flight over to Las Vegas to take formal delivery of the airplane. While they were there, Elmer took a few photos for her.  She’s clearly exuberant in the photos.  It’s her birthday and her new airplane is officially hers.  It’s also possible that on another day she and Mantz took the airplane somewhere, but I don’t think Mantz was yet checked out in the airplane.  McLeod goes with her to San Francisco on the August 2, not Mantz.

If we can find a photo of what the airport in Las Vegas looked like in 1936 we may be able to see that dumpy little hangar or find that mountain in the background.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 04, 2016, 11:16:09 AM
Can't help you pictures of the airport (yet) but that sure is a sizeable dent in the side of the fuselage of a brand new airplane just forward of AE in the "striding" photo.  Oops!!  :o

Here's a link to some history of airports in Las Vegas.  Seems the field she would have used is now (was) the parking at the Sahara Hotel/Casino.

http://www.ellejet.com/aviation-history-las-vegas.php

Here's all I can find about Anderson Field/Rockwell Field.  No pictures unfortunately.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anderson_Field_(Nevada)

Here's a site with pictures.  Check out the  picture at the bottom.

http://knpr.org/knpr/2015-08/las-vegas-takes-skies

Attached now is a picture of Rockwell Field from same place as Karen's.  I has a piece of a building in it.  Oops! It got cropped when I copied it from the site.  Go to Karen's picture, search on airplanes and it's on page 4 of the images (#153).

Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Karen Hoy on October 04, 2016, 12:12:25 PM
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/objects/pho/7582

The University of Nevada at Las Vegas has a few pictures of Rockwell Field, probably from the 1920s. This one shows the background in the most detail. No mountain or building or much of anything else.

I'll contact the library there if you want and ask if they have better pictures.

Karen Hoy #2610CR
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 04, 2016, 01:03:18 PM
According to one source, Rockwell Field was closed in 1930, and Western Air moved to a different field, but where?  Stay tuned?
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 04, 2016, 01:16:35 PM
I think they moved to Alamo Field which became the first McCarran Field which then became Nellis AFB.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 04, 2016, 01:44:45 PM
Might help if we could figure out who took the pictures.  Mantz?  McLeod?   ???
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 04, 2016, 02:00:11 PM
Can't help you pictures of the airport (yet) but that sure is a sizeable dent in the side of the fuselage of a brand new airplane just forward of AE in the "striding" photo.  Oops!!  :o

No dent.  That's a reflection of the left engine.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 04, 2016, 02:06:27 PM
Might help if we could figure out who took the pictures.  Mantz?  McLeod?   ???

It wasn't Mantz.  He's in one of the pictures.  (There are several more pictures on the Google Docs timeline. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EWWg4KlVwc0s07Fv6MLoiWORRe-pAJI1ZPBpQ_raux0/edit#heading=h.cy8bw8srook1
See August 10, 1936
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 04, 2016, 02:32:10 PM
Given the different source attributions (Purdue, eBay, White Star Lines) it looks as if the pictures were taken by an unknown third party.  Cannot think of any reason for the White Star Line connection.  Can anyone else?  Does Purdue have further source information? Negatives?
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 04, 2016, 02:46:35 PM
Given the different source attributions (Purdue, eBay, White Star Lines) it looks as if the pictures were taken by an unknown third party.  Cannot think of any reason for the White Star Line connection.  Can anyone else?  Does Purdue have further source information? Negatives?

Purdue is no help. They think the arms-stretched photo was taken ca. February 12, 1937.  They say they have the original and one duplictaed copy.

I think the best guess for a photographer is Elmer McLeod.  This was not a press event and that airport is small potatoes. "Here, Elmer, take my camera and take some pictures."
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Friend Weller on October 04, 2016, 03:12:09 PM
Not that it matters much but in the "spread arms" photo, the clouds were cleverly stripped in.  All the other photos from that same "Blousy Jacket" shoot show clear skies with the exception of the one with the column of smoke.  I wonder if that had a bearing on why the Electra was turned during the photo taking or if it was turned to get better front light for the photo of her standing on the empenage??
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 04, 2016, 03:16:10 PM
Not that it matters much but in the "spread arms" photo, the clouds were cleverly stripped in.  All the other photos from that same "Blousy Jacket" shoot show clear skies with the exception of the one with the column of smoke.  I wonder if that had a bearing on why the Electra was turned during the photo taking or if it was turned to get better front light for the photo of her standing on the empenage??

I hadn't noticed that.  Interesting.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: James Champion on October 04, 2016, 05:33:04 PM
OK - the clouds being added now makes sense. I was trying to determine which direction the background was (N, S, E, W) by the sun angle. It looked like the sun was behind the clouds, but the shadow of the Electra was wrong.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 04, 2016, 07:37:34 PM
 Online histories imply that there was only one airport in Las Vegas in the summer of 1936, the one which in 1941 was renamed McCarran Airport, but which was not in the same location south of downtown as the present-day McCarran Airport.  It was northeast of downtown Las Vegas.
   The Alamo Field four miles south of Las Vegas, which eventually became present-day McCarran Airport, was not established until 1942, and so was not operational in 1936.
   In 1930 there was "a new airfield," unnamed in this account, which in 1941 was renamed McCarran Airport and then was taken over by the U.S. Army Air Corps and used as a gunnery training school during WW2.  Since that base was re-opened by the Air Force in 1947, we may infer that its location was somewhere on the current Nellis AF base.  Since the airfield that was new in 1930 was renamed in 1941, we may infer that it was in operation during the summer of 1936, but we are not told what its name was in 1936.  Was it the same location as the "Las Vegas Army Airfield" in this 1942 photo?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nellis_Air_Force_Base#/media/File:Las_Vegas_Army_Airfield_-_1942_-_USAAF.jpg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nellis_Air_Force_Base#/media/File:Las_Vegas_Army_Airfield_-_1942_-_USAAF.jpg)

Here are the online histories which are my main sources so far: http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/mccarran-international-airport (http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/mccarran-international-airport) and http://www.ellejet.com/aviation-history-las-vegas.php (http://www.ellejet.com/aviation-history-las-vegas.php)

An excerpt from the former:
   Las Vegas and Clark County joined the commercial air travel routes on April 17, 1926, when Western Air Express touched down at Rockwell Field. Western Air Express moved to a new airfield in 1930, when Rockwell Field closed. The new airport attracted the U.S. Army Air Corps and became a flexible gunnery training school during World War II. In 1941, the field was renamed McCarran Airport, honoring Nevada's U.S. senator, Patrick McCarran.
   Though the Gunnery School closed in 1945, the Air Force wanted to reopen the local base in 1947, as long as commercial air traffic could be moved to another airport. The county reviewed possible sites throughout the valley and settled on George Crockett's Alamo Field, which was about four miles south of Las Vegas on the Los Angeles Highway—today's Las Vegas Boulevard. Crockett agreed to sell his airport to Clark County, thereby retaining his business at the airport.

And from the latter, ellejet site:
   Western Air Express continued to use the airfield successfully until 1929, when they then moved to the new McCarran Field, which is now Nellis Air Force Base.
   McCarran Field was also known as Western Express Airfield and was little more than a dirt runway, a water well and an operations shack. The field was shared between the commercial flights of Western Air Express and the US military. However with conflict and war becoming inevitable throughout the world and considering that the military’s gunnery was under construction, commercial flights there became few and far between.
   There were however a few commercial flights operating at McCarran Field in 1942, when George Crockett established Alamo Airport, the site of the now illustrious McCarran International Airport.


Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 05, 2016, 04:49:57 PM
I emailed Mark Hall-Patton, the administrator of the Clark County (Nevada) Museum, with our question.  He was listed in a link supplied in a previous post by Bill Mangus, as having given a talk on the history of aviation in Las Vegas.  I invited him to examine the photos posted above in this thread.  Here is his reply, dated today, Oct 5, 2016:

Your email was forwarded to me.  I do not believe these images were taken in Las Vegas.  It is true that Amelia had a gypsum milling operation in the Moapa are[a] some years before, but that is her only known tie to southern Nevada.  The airport in 1936 was known as Western Air Express Field, and was a few miles outside of Las Vegas.  In these photos, the housing in the background appears too close to the airport.  I am also unaware of any hangers like the one in one of the photos.  Hope this helps.
 
Mark Hall-Patton
Administrator
Clark County museum system
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on October 05, 2016, 06:12:06 PM
Attached pls find a clip from the Coast & Geodetic Survey 1935 Airway map, courtesy of the NOAA historical charts site.

http://historicalcharts.noaa.gov/historicals/preview/image/133-06-1935

There are two airports at Las Vegas, the official one, and another, probably much smaller strip called "Bulldog," close to boulder dam.    I wouldn't bet on Bulldog, but it isn't impossible.

adr
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on October 05, 2016, 06:23:50 PM
unfortunately, there is no USGS topo map coverage of Las Vegas for the relevant period, at least as can be found on-line in "topoviewer."
http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/maps/TopoView/viewer/#4/40.01/-100.06

Las Vegas was mapped by USGS in 1908, and apparently not again until 1952.  By 1952, the airport area had been massively built up.

adr 
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on October 05, 2016, 07:46:15 PM
So, "Bulldog" is actually Bullock Airport, later Boulder City Airport.  It was apparently built to support construction of Boulder Dam, and had scheduled air service from 1936 to 1949, with a TWA terminal built in 1938.  There were apparently 3 x 4,000' runways, all dirt, and a number of adjacent buildings.

Here is a site with some historical maps and pictures:
http://www.airfields-freeman.com/NV/Airfields_NV_LasVegas.htm#bouldercity

adr
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 06, 2016, 10:53:42 AM
I received this from Illana Short, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas a few minutes ago:

"I wanted to follow up with your  request for information regarding a visit from Amelia Earhart to Las Vegas in July, 1936.  In 1936, the only airfield in Las Vegas was on property that currently now belongs to Nellis Air Force Base. The first private airfield, Sky Haven, did not open until December 7, 1941. I also checked newspaper records from both of the Las Vegas newspapers that were active in 1936, and there was no mention of a visit from Earhart in either newspaper. The Las Vegas Review did have two articles about Earhart, but they were from 1932 and 1935. So, if she had visited in 1936 it would have been a major news story and covered by the newspaper. Finally, in looking at the photographs that you provided, the scenery does not match photographs from Las Vegas at the time. The settlement in the background isn’t right, and no mountains are visible in the photograph. Also, the weeds and plants don’t appear to be from our desert landscape."

Have to reconsider CA someplace, I guess.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 06, 2016, 11:49:45 AM
So, "Bulldog" is actually Bullock Airport, later Boulder City Airport.  It was apparently built to support construction of Boulder Dam, and had scheduled air service from 1936 to 1949, with a TWA terminal built in 1938.  There were apparently 3 x 4,000' runways, all dirt, and a number of adjacent buildings.

Here is a site with some historical maps and pictures:
http://www.airfields-freeman.com/NV/Airfields_NV_LasVegas.htm#bouldercity

adr

The hangar that still exists at Boulder City has a pitched roof, while the hangar in the photos of AE has a curved roof so I don't think that the AE photos were taken in Boulder City.  Maybe there was another hangar there, but ...

Also, the photos of the TWA hangar in the website you link also has a curved roof line, so I think those photos are not all accurate in that they are of Boulder City airport.

Andrew
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Leon R White on October 06, 2016, 01:18:57 PM
There is the old Glendale air terminal, the field at Lockeed factory (which may have already become Lockheed airport in some way. Later to be Burbank Airport, and now Glendale Pasadena Burbank, Bob Hope Air terminal. 
But.  There is another private field just a 'spit' away but on the other side of the (now) Interstate 5 Freeway (and San Fernando Road). It is known as Whiteman airport.  The link below discusses various airports in the area around Lockheed.  Perhaps it is one of these.  My father was the only 'on call' doctor for the San Fernando Valley in the early mid 30's.  Because of all the farms etc. there were a lot more "landing strips" then we all realize today.  But, he didn't have any specific comments re: this effort.  And the beginnings of Van Nuys airport may have been in action.  The low mountains remind me of the mountains behind Sylmar and Pacoima here in the San Fernando Valley.

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Airfields_CA_SanFernan.htm 

Perhaps one of these??

Leon
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: James Champion on October 06, 2016, 01:31:04 PM
Did Amelia really go to Las Vegas, specifically, to receive the Electra for tax purposes, or just to the general area near Las Vegas, or just over the state line into Nevada?

Also, does anyone have access to a vintage antique Jeppesen book listing airports. He first published an initial version of his 'little black book' of airport information around 1934 our of his basement in Utah. Since he lived nearby, he may have a fairly complete listing of airports, even minor ones, in that part of the west. It might even have a description of the airport surface that matches what is in the photos - unpaved, dirt, no rocks, no grass, weeds and sage, houses nearby.

I've never seen an early Jeppesen, but from what I've heard it might have details that will help identify the airport, such as houses within walking distance where one might find a phone, transportation into town,  a place to stay, or help and/or fuel. The airport of the photos looks somewhat inactive. The weeds are up and are not flattened from traffic, taxing, or dead from the shade of parked airplanes. The low camera position makes the hanger look overgrown, because the camera is positioned right down on the ground. The hanger doesn't appear to have much in it, but there is visible the root rib of a large wing.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on October 06, 2016, 04:57:17 PM
Andrew-
I think you have the right answer, but for the wrong reasons.  So, there were two hangers  , a curved roof hanger, shown in the 1938 "TWA" photo, and a slightly later, pitched roof, "Navy" hanger, presumably built during World War II.  The Navy hanger is still present, but the curved roof hanger disappeared between 1980 and 1994. 

However, on the Freeman website, if you look at the tri-motor photo dated 7/29/1936 (!) you will see a little shed with a sunshade and a sign, described as "Boulder City Airport Waiting Room."  Behind the waiting room, you can see mountains.  Moving on to the 1938 TWA photo, you can see that same shed, only now it is sitting right in front of the curved roof hanger.  I conclude that 1) the curved roof hanger WAS at Boulder City Airport;  2) the curved roof hanger didn't exist on 7/29/1936, and 3) therefore, AE couldn't have been standing in front of it in July or August 1936.

adr
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 07, 2016, 06:03:32 PM
I'm certain now that the photos were taken at Burbank. There's a photo of c/n 1060 VH-UXH in front of the same hangar: "This shot is from the Pete Clukey collection and came from Lockheed Aircraft (now Lockheed Martin) files. It depicts VH-UXH at a very sparse and barren Burbank in 1936 prior to its shipment to Guinea Airways." Source: edcoatescollection.com.

Dan Brown, #2408
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bruce Thomas on October 07, 2016, 06:45:49 PM
I'm certain now that the photos were taken at Burbank. There's a photo of c/n 1060 VH-UXH in front of the same hangar: "This shot is from the Pete Clukey collection and came from Lockheed Aircraft (now Lockheed Martin) files. It depicts VH-UXH at a very sparse and barren Burbank in 1936 prior to its shipment to Guinea Airways." Source: edcoatescollection.com.

Dan Brown, #2408

I was curious to read the full narrative for the photo you've found for VH-UXH (http://edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austu/VH-UXH.html), and in doing so I discovered this sentence in the long writeup about a second picture shown as part of that aircraft's history:
Quote
The name on the nose is "C.J. Levien" in honor of the founder of Guinea Airways, and there also appears to be a blemish to the aircraft's skin aft of this name
That reminds me of the suggestion earlier in this thread that there was a similar dent in the nose of Amelia's aircraft, to which Ric responded (https://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,1902.msg40997.html#msg40997) that it was just a reflection of the port engine. So it's interesting to see that another similar aircraft has caused someone else to see a dent in the aluminum skin, when in fact it's just a reflection of the engine.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on October 08, 2016, 08:38:22 AM
Bingo!  That hanger in the VH-UXY photo sure does look familiar.  Also, note the row of buildings, trees, and electric power pole and electric power pole in the background of the second photo.  This is a suburban location with more water than most of Southern Nevada.

Also, there are several aspects to the AE photos that strongly suggest that they are not snapshots, but rather the product of a photo session with a professional photographer:

1)  The composition of the photographs is deliberately dramatic, staged by someone with an eye for visual effects.
2)  The resolution is very high--probably reflecting the use of a 4x5.  I think it would be difficult to produce those results in the 1930s with a small-format camera.
3)  Note that in the first photo, the photographer actually got his camera (and presumably himself) right down to ground level to compose the shot.  the photographer is willing to get down and dirty to create the picture that is already in his head.
4)  Compositing the clouds into the background takes a certain amount of darkroom skill and probably a fair amount of trial-and-error to match the exposure.  It suggests both skill and motivation.  Note that there are two suns:  one behind the clouds, and a second sun casting shadows in the direction of the first sun.

adr
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Friend Weller on October 08, 2016, 10:04:03 AM
I'm not where I can look anything up right now but from the photo with the smoke, black smoke in a city setting usually means a structure fire of some sort. Perhaps with a date range in mind a news paper clipping might report on a fire that would correspond to what we see in the distance of that photo. Based on a guesstimate of the time of day we think the photo to have been taken would also give a direction from the airfield that the fire took place.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 08, 2016, 10:45:11 AM
I think Arthur is right.  Look at the windsock on the top of the hanger; look at the diagonal pole on the right front corner appearing to hold up the hanger (it's  probably not really!); look at the vertical boards/slats/composition of the front wall above the hanger door.

You don't see the mountains behind NR16020 because of the camera position.

The date and time of day may be a little in question but I think we've nailed down the location.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 08, 2016, 02:29:26 PM
Thanks and kudos to Dan Brown for finding that hangar in Burbank!
   Friend Weller suggests using the dark smoke in one photo to help with the dating.  I have one possibility that falls within the time window.  The front page of the Los Angeles Times for Monday Aug 3, 1936 carried a story about a fire the previous day at a Standard Oil refinery and tank farm in El Segundo, which I think was not far from present-day LAX.  The story states that "the black smoke clouds" from the fire "spread over the countryside."  The cause of the smoke was burning aviation fuel from a large tank that had exploded.
   I think the direction of El Segundo from the Burbank airport would have been roughly south-south-west.  If someone tells me that that is not the direction shown in our photo, well, it will not be the first nor last of my wild guesses to have gone up in smoke...
   (I have made a pdf clipping of the L A Times article using newspapers.com, but so far I have not found a working link to it.)
   
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 08, 2016, 02:40:07 PM
The Timeline Document for 2 August 1936 says:

"Flight from Burbank to Mills Field Alameda/San Francisco with McLeod. Stayed overnight in SF. Source: “Amelia Earhart in Test Flight Here”, Oakland Tribune, Monday August 3, 1936."

It's plausible the pictures could have been taken that morning before they left. 

Arthur's idea that they were taken by a professional photographer is a good one.  These pictures have been out in the public for years, although some are trying to make money off of them.    At this late date it is probably impossible to determine who took them and who "owns" them.  Did Mantz have a photographer working for him?
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Friend Weller on October 08, 2016, 02:51:52 PM
The smoke plume in that photo is too well-defined to have come from El Segundo and still look like a column of smoke. From that distance it would be more a part of the Southland's haze and smog.  I'd offer that the source of the smoke is within a mile from thd camera. Additionally, photo appears to have been taken in the afternoon so I'd guess the smoke to be east of the airfield (I grew up not far from Burbank and understand the lay of the topography and seasonal sun angles), again within a mile or two.  I think we're close on this one folks....
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 08, 2016, 08:28:33 PM
Thank you, Friend, I accept your analysis of the smoke in the photo of AE standing on the tail, and will resume perusal of the LA Times for the time period, working backward from Aug 3, 1936.  It was too much for me to expect that it would be a front-page story with a photo...
   But a couple of questions for you, as one familiar with the Burbank area.  In the photo of c/n 1060 = VH-UXH, with the hangar behind it and the mountains in the background, in what direction would you say the camera is facing?  Not east or east-northeast?  And on what basis do you judge that the smoke is east of the airport?  And note the windsock in both photos.  Isn't the wind there usually from the south during the day?  Or do I have it backwards?
    (As a footnote to our notice of VH-UXH, how coincidental is it that both that craft and another Electra made it to Lae, that fall, for a few months service there in the fleet of Guinea Airways, before being transferred back to Australia in Feb 1937?  Even though this detailed chronology of VH-UXH (http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/electra-10/vh-uxh.htm (http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/electra-10/vh-uxh.htm)) states that it was flown from Australia to Wau (Papua New Guinea), the hop between Lae and Wau was a regular one for Guinea Airways, and their staff in Lae no doubt became familiar with those two Electras, some months before they serviced Earhart's in late June.  But yes, the engines were different, because those were Model As.)
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Friend Weller on October 08, 2016, 11:00:33 PM
The San Gabriel Mountains run east-west, separating the San Fernando Valley (Burbank is at the eastern end of the valley) from the San Joaquin Valley and the Mohave. Looking at the photo of VH-UXH we see the mountains in full illumination (few shadows in the draws) which would logically follow as the San Gabriels are north of Burbank.  If we were looking at the coastal mountains to the south, the illumination angle would be steeper (north slope being illuminated at a very small angle) and the draws would have greater shadowing.

If we believe that NR16020 was turned either following or preceding the "Amelia striding" photo to take the "Amelia standing on the tail" photo (relatively change of the sun angle for best subject lighting) and knowing that VH-UXH was turned similarly (tailwheel right off the edge of the pavement), then from the orientation of the mountains we can deduce that both aircraft were facing roughly east with the mountains on the aircraft's port side.  If that's indeed the case, our smoke column is to the east.

As to the wind, I lived to the west of Burbank and our wind came more from the north-east as it circled in the valley. I hope this helps.....
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 10, 2016, 09:00:33 AM
Union Air Terminal in Burbank was a polished facility and the many photos of NR16020 known to have been taken there reflect that.  Was there some scruffy, unkempt corner of the field where these photos could have been taken? And why would AE and Mantz take the airplane there for a photo shoot?
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 10, 2016, 10:08:16 AM
Agreed this is curious. There are quite a few photos of Lockheed/Burbank facilities spanning this time period but I can't spot any candidate for the hangar in question.

Dan Brown, #2408
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 10, 2016, 11:02:03 AM
If it's not Union Air Terminal/Burbank, then the identification in the caption for the VX-UXH is wrong.  I quite sure that's the same hanger in both photographs.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 11:50:57 AM
I am sure that it is Burbank - I was able to match the ridgeline in the VX-UXH photo in Google Earth. The camera is facing just slightly north of due east.

I would also agree that the hangars match - there are numerous features that line up right down to the shading of the vertical stripes above the open door.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 12:59:57 PM
Here is a photo of the Lockheed complex in 1928:

(http://wesclark.com/burbank/lockheed_aerial_1928_turkey_crossing.jpg)

The camera is facing almost south... the ridge in the VX-UXH photo is behind the camera. Take note of the hangar dead center in the photo - I am wondering if this is our hangar. Note the prominent stack a few buildings to the north, which can be seen in the VX photo. Also note that just south of the closest plane to this hangar is what appears to be a paved section of ramp, which is what VX is parked on. If my speculation is correct, the Electra would have been parked close to the grass landing strip, in a logical place after exiting the factory complex.

I also found another photo of the whole airport complex in 1936. The important point is that the Lockheed plant was a considerable distance away from the main runway/terminal complex and was separated by undeveloped fields. So, it doesn't seem so odd that the gaudy terminal building is not on display here. Lockheed bought the entire airport in 1940 and considerable expansion followed during WWII.

EDIT: Just to expound on that, check out this diagram from 1939:

(http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Lockheed_CA_plan_39.jpg)

The Lockheed plant had its own gravel strip which was separated from the Union Air Terminal, and there were actually houses and fields in between. In the second Electra photo, nose-on, I think we are seeing that strip just behind the plane. In the distance are the houses, trees, and telephone poles in those fields.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 02:07:44 PM
I found another photo... here is the hanger, complete with the diagonal brace on the right:

(http://dmairfield.com/airplanes/NC336H/images/NC336H.jpg)

Taken from this page: http://dmairfield.com/airplanes/NC336H/index.html (http://dmairfield.com/airplanes/NC336H/index.html), the caption says Lockheed Vega NC336H, ca. June 1929, Burbank, CA.

I think all of this demonstrates that this hangar was used for aircraft construction by Lockheed (note that a year later this side of the plant became the Vega subsidiary) and it would not at all be unusual for the newly-completed Electra to be parked out front. I think the photos in question were taken just after the plane rolled out. What do you think?
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 10, 2016, 02:24:30 PM
... I think the photos in question were taken just after the plane rolled out. What do you think?


I think you guys are AMAZING!   ;D
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 10, 2016, 02:40:18 PM
Good get Kevin. Notice that airfields-freeman.com dates a nearly-identical image (Lockheed plant 1930.jpg, with planes on the ground in exactly the same positions) differently: "A 1930 aerial view of the buildings at the original Lockheed plant (courtesy of Dan MacPherson)"‬. The website wesclark.com has a wider view cited as 1928.

This (‪lockheed_wide_aerial_1928.jpg‬) must be an east-facing view taken on the same date. But, how many differences can you spot from this (‪original_lockheed_plant_1928.jpg‬)? Sources: wesclark.com.

Dan Brown, #2408 (edited 10/14/2016)

Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 02:57:24 PM
I hope I am not beating a dead horse here, but I was browsing the timeline and saw the photo from the White Star Line Archives. The mountain in the upper left of the picture matches exactly in Google Earth today; it is the easternmost peak in the Verdugo Mountains due north of Burbank. Apparently the fire roads have been there forever because they look identical today. As noted in the timeline the weeds by the engine are the same, therefore this picture and the mystery pictures are at the same location. My conclusion is that the photos were taken in front of the hangar at the Lockheed plant; the Electra is parked facing west.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 10, 2016, 03:13:05 PM
Great work, Kevin Roll!
In interpreting your 1928 photo of the Lockheed complex, it's helpful to have in mind that the Burbank airport and terminal were not completed until 1930.  Memorial Day weekend was the official opening.  So the Lockheed airstrip as depicted in 1928 predated the United Airport and fancy terminal, which were yet to be built, on a separate parcel of land about a mile to the west of the original Lockheed complex.  Lockheed maintained this airstrip all through the 1930s and into the early 1940s, as a facility separate from the Burbank airport.
   Here's an excerpt from the Burbank airport history from Wiki, under the name until recently, Bob Hope Airport:
The airport has been United Airport (1930–1934), Union Air Terminal (1934–1940), Lockheed Air Terminal (1940–1967), Hollywood-Burbank Airport (1967–1978), Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (1978–2003), Bob Hope Airport (2003–2016), and Hollywood Burbank Airport (2016-).[3]
Boeing Aircraft and Transport (BA&T) was a holding company created in 1928 that included Boeing Aircraft and United Air Lines, itself a holding company for a collection of small airlines that continued to operate under their own names. One of these airlines was Pacific Air Transport (PAT), which Boeing had acquired because of PAT's west coast mail contract in January 1928.[7] BA&T sought a site for a new airport for PAT and found one in Burbank. BA&T had the benefit of surveys that the Aeronautics Department of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce had conducted starting in 1926 to identify potential airport sites.[8]
It took BA&T a year and the cooperation of the city to assemble the site.[9] The 234-acre (0.95 km2) site was rife with vines and trees and the ground had to be filled and leveled, but it had good drainage, a firm landing surface, steady winds, and good access to ground transport.[10] Construction was completed in just seven months [1929-30]. In an age when few aircraft had brakes and many had a tail skid instead of a wheel, runways were not usually paved; those at Burbank had a 5-inch-thick (130 mm) mixture of oil and sand. There were no taxi strips, but the designers left room for them. Two of the runways were over 3,600 feet (1,100 m) long; a third was 2,900 feet (880 m); all were 300 feet (91 m) wide. Generous dimensions, and the site had room for expansion.[11]
External image http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15799coll65/id/25826/rec/1 (http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15799coll65/id/25826/rec/1)
 Aerial view of the Union Air Terminal Building at Burbank Airport, August 1935 [looking SE]
United Airport was dedicated amid much festivity (including an air show) on Memorial Day weekend (May 30 – June 1), 1930. The airport and its handsome Spanish revival terminal was a showy competitor to nearby Grand Central Airport in Glendale, which was then Los Angeles' main airline terminal. The new Burbank facility was actually the largest commercial airport in the Los Angeles area until it was eclipsed in 1946 by the Los Angeles Airport in Westchester when that facility (formerly Mines Field, then Los Angeles Municipal Airport) commenced scheduled airline operations.
The Burbank facility remained United Airport until 1934 when it was renamed Union Air Terminal. The name change came the same year that Federal anti-trust actions caused United Aircraft and Transport Corp. to dissolve, which took effect September 26, 1934. The Union Air Terminal moniker stuck until Lockheed bought the airport in 1940 and renamed it Lockheed Air Terminal.
[end of excerpt from Wikipedia]
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 10, 2016, 03:23:20 PM
While we're on a roll, can we identify the location for the photo provisionally placed at July 19 1936 in the timeline? Visible elements are: an unmarked 10E, sitting on a concrete pad, next to a building having at least 5 peaked roof sections adjacent to a large flat-roofed section, with a wire fence and grass along the opposite edge, trees in the background, and a diffuse plume of smoke on the horizon. The source is the Purdue archives, with no other information. Exactly where and when was this photo taken?

Dan Brown, #2404
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 03:24:25 PM
(replying to Harbert)

That is correct, but it seems that even into the 1940s the two complexes were somewhat separated. See e.g. this photo from 1940:

(http://www.aerofiles.com/AP-lockheed1940.jpg)

That is still Lockheed's own strip we are looking at, not the main runways of Union Air Terminal (they were to the south, off the bottom of this picture). I also see that there have been drastic changes since 1928 in this image... the small hanger is long gone and many larger buildings have been constructed.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 03:36:12 PM
While we're on a roll, can we identify the location for the photo provisionally placed at July 19 1936 in the timeline? Visible elements are: an unmarked 10E, sitting on a concrete pad, next to a building having at least 5 peaked roof sections adjacent to a large flat-roofed section, with a wire fence and grass along the opposite edge, trees in the background, and a diffuse plume of smoke on the horizon. The source is the Purdue archives, with no other information. Exactly where and when was this photo taken?

For starters, I disagree with the statement in the timeline that there are no markings. The Purdue page has a much larger view of the image and the numbers are visible on the port wing. They appear to be the 'NR' form, which would place the photo prior to Aug 2, correct?

Now let me track down that building.  ;)
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 10, 2016, 03:52:13 PM
You are correct sir, on the original Purdue photo at least "R16020" is visible under the wing. Not sure about an "N" though.

Dan
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 03:54:12 PM
The answer may be right there in the photo from 1940 that I posted above. You can see that the large building in the center has ridges on the right (east) but not the left side. The little bit on the south side might be a recent addition that was not present in 1936. The fence on the left in the target image would make sense as this is the direction towards the airstrip.

I also note a small detail in the target photo: there is some sort of stand on the right side of the image labeled "DEPT 16". This led me to this page:

https://books.google.com/books?id=Xj074U6FMNQC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=lockheed+dept+16&source=bl&ots=wUXMVYgLYy&sig=0Td5Y3rS09Ju52ttIDmYEdIvDAk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqiqmNmdHPAhVLQyYKHf1rBaw4ChDoAQgqMAI#v=onepage&q=lockheed%20dept%2016&f=false (https://books.google.com/books?id=Xj074U6FMNQC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=lockheed+dept+16&source=bl&ots=wUXMVYgLYy&sig=0Td5Y3rS09Ju52ttIDmYEdIvDAk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqiqmNmdHPAhVLQyYKHf1rBaw4ChDoAQgqMAI#v=onepage&q=lockheed%20dept%2016&f=false)

...which confirms that there was in fact a Department 16 at Lockheed, although I have not been able to find out much about that. A few years later in the early 40s we find them building Vegas, so there could plausibly be a connection to the Electra.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 10, 2016, 05:57:00 PM
You guys are doing great.  I have the following in a private email from forum reader John Hart:

Your debate about Burbank Airport is confusing Union with Turkey Crossing facilities.  The Electra Pics are obviously at Turkey Crossing, the old Empire China Plant, not Union Airport down the road where Lockheed moved in 1940.

http://wesclark.com/burbank/lockheed_aerial_1928_turkey_crossing.jpg

This map shows the relationship between Union Airport and Turkey Crossing in lower right at junction of railroad tracks:

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/usa/burbank/maps/map-burbank-1949.jpg

By 1940s it was known as Lockheed plant B-1and looked nothing like it did in 1936.

Lots of pictures on the wesclark.com website.

In this photo you can clearly see the windsock on the small curved-top hangar and the small dark shed to the right side:

http://wesclark.com/burbank/original_lockheed_plant_1928.jpg

Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 10, 2016, 06:00:35 PM
The upshot of all this is that the series of photos we're discussing may well be the earliest pictures of the new airplane before it was moved over to Union Air Terminal for the press event on July 21.  The possible absence of the cockpit hatch in one photo may indicate that the photos predate full completion and inspection of the aircraft on July 19.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 10, 2016, 06:59:43 PM
I found this photo:

(http://industriallosangeles.org/images/lockheed/lockheed04.jpg)

It came from http://industriallosangeles.org/sites/lockheed.html (http://industriallosangeles.org/sites/lockheed.html) and is titled Burbank Lockheed Plant Employees, Ansel Adams, 1940, Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library. The roofline and windows are identical to the Purdue photo. Now, instead of an empty ramp we see a busy yard with a gate and a road. I would say this is either a nearby part of the plant with identical architecture (possibly even the opposite end of the same building), or else the heavy development of the plant changed the scene from 1936-1940.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 11, 2016, 12:12:04 AM
  The information supplied by John Hart, and posted by Ric above, shows that until 1940 the Lockheed plant was near where San Fernando Road jogs eastward to cross the railroad tracks, quite a way east of where the new Burbank airport and terminal were built in 1930.  That Lockheed facility location was called "Turkey Crossing."
  The fact that the Lockheed factory and adjacent airstrip were about a mile east of the Burbank airport in 1936 explains why Lockheed test pilot Elmer C. McLeod's logbook distinguishes "Lockheed" from "Burbank" in his entries for AE's Electra.  The relevant page is reproduced in the Timeline, under 20 July 1936.  McLeod's entire logbook for 1936 is accessible here: http://dmairfield.com/Collections/McLeod%20Collection/Log%20Books/19350627-19380202_Pilot_Log.pdf (http://dmairfield.com/Collections/McLeod%20Collection/Log%20Books/19350627-19380202_Pilot_Log.pdf)
    For July 20 McLeod wrote "First Test A & E Lockheed to Lockheed."  For July 21, 22, & 23 he wrote "Test - Lockheed."   For July 24, he wrote "Del Las Vegas, Nev." (On AE's 39th birthday he delivered the plane to Paul Mantz as her agent in Las Vegas.  Delivery in Las Vegas was a common ploy to avoid California state sales tax.)  For July 25 he wrote "Test Burbank to Burbank."  On Aug 5, 8, & 9, he wrote "Test Burbank."
   We may presume that after AE took ownership on July 24, her Electra was hangared at Mantz's facility.  I'm guessing that Mantz's hangar was adjacent to the Burbank airport (then Union Air Terminal).  So McLeod was continuing test flights after delivery, but out of the Burbank airport, rather than from the Lockheed plant.
   
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 11, 2016, 06:57:51 AM
   We may presume that after AE took ownership on July 24, her Electra was hangared at Mantz's facility.  I'm guessing that Mantz's hangar was adjacent to the Burbank airport (then Union Air Terminal).  So McLeod was continuing test flights after delivery, but out of the Burbank airport, rather than from the Lockheed plant. 

I think that's right.  The July 21 photo op was clearly shot at Burbank so the airplane was moved over to Union on, or prior to, that date.

Funny, but somehow it's really poignant to be able to look at these photos - which have always been just more photos of AE and her Electra - and suddenly see them in context and understand what's going on.  We see Amelia almost giddy, finally able to embrace her "realization of a dream."  This is why we do this research, to increase our understanding and achieve a cleared picture of historical events.
As we continue to place photos of the people and the aircraft in time and context, we'll learn more.  Never doubt that what you do here on this Forum is historically important.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kurt Kummer on October 12, 2016, 10:37:13 PM
There's a great website called "Abandoned and Little-Known Airfields" by Paul Freeman.

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/

If you click on "California" and then "San Fernando Area" you'll be able to scroll down to a great deal of information about Lockheed's airfield in Burbank.  There are interesting photos, maps and stories about the airfield from a 1930 aerial view to a 2004 USGS photo of it now:  a shopping center.

Fair warning:  once you take a look at this wonderful website you may be looking at it for hours and hours!
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 13, 2016, 12:50:19 AM
Thank you, thank you, Kurt Kummer!  All is now clear, from all those maps you found for us, as to exactly where the Lockheed airstrip was in 1936, in relation to the Burbank-United-Union-Lockheed Air Terminal!
  I had come across that Paul Freeman website, but had not thought to look for Burbank under San Fernando.  And I took statements that Lockheed was "adjacent to" the Burbank airport to apply to 1936, when in fact Lockheed did not build there until 1940 when they bought it for their major expansion.
  In July 1936, the Lockheed factory and its adjacent airstrip were about a mile away from the new Burbank airport, where Earhart would be housing her new Electra with Paul Mantz's United Air Services.  So Lockheed test pilot E. C. McLeod had to take off from the Lockheed airstrip and land the plane at the Burbank airport, aka United Airport or Union Air Terminal, in order to deliver it to Earhart for its public debut there on July 21.  (I had erroneously imagined its being taxied from one side of the airfield to the other.)
   So the set of photos we began investigating, including both the iconic AE striding and the AE with arms-outstretched-touching-the-props, were all taken in front of the small hangar at the original Lockheed plant, adjacent to the Lockheed airstrip, in the locale known as Turkey Crossing in Burbank.
   As to what date they were taken, the presence of the belly antenna implies that they were taken later than July 21, when the belly antenna appears to be absent in the photos. (See Ric's post below.) McLeod's logbook last mentions a Lockheed test flight on July 23.  (Of course it's possible the plane was back at the Lockheed plant, at some later date, without that having been recorded in McLeod's logbook.)
    And apparently, they were taken in the mid-afternoon, judging from the shadows of the props cast on the cowlings by the sun in the west.
   
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus on October 13, 2016, 06:59:17 AM
I guess all that remains now is for someone more computer literate than me to add some dots/arrows to the best airfield/factory photograph closest to the putative date of the AE photographs.  This has been a really fun exercise!

Ok Ric, we're ready for the next question :)
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 14, 2016, 10:18:07 AM
One more mystery.  In the photos taken at Turkey Crossing, the belly antenna wire is present. In the Burbank press event photos, the belly wire is gone.  McLeod's logbook shows that the airplane did not return to "Lockheed" before the registration numbers were corrected to X16020, so the Turkey Crossing photos must precede the photos taken at the press event at Burbank on 7-21-36. Why, I wonder, was the belly antenna removed?
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 14, 2016, 12:25:55 PM
Well, if there were no radios on the 19th and no antennas on the 21st, I'd hazard that any photo showing a radio antenna was taken after the 21st. Before the 24th McLeod's logbook shows only Lockheed (Turkey Crossing) and after the 24th only Burbank (Union) but we know the plane moved back and forth between them on other instances, such as to Union from Turkey Crossing for the photo op on the 21st.

Dan Brown, #2408
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 14, 2016, 12:41:37 PM
Well, if there were no radios on the 19th and no antennas on the 21st, I'd hazard that any photo showing a radio antenna was taken after the 21st.

I agree.  There is no mention of radios in the July 19th inspection report.  There were no antennas on the 21st.  The belly antenna is present in the Turkey Crossing photos.  The Turkey Crossing photos were probably taken after the 21st.

Before the 24th McLeod's logbook shows only Lockheed (Turkey Crossing) and after the 24th only Burbank (Union) but we know the plane moved back and forth between them on other instances, such as to Union from Turkey Crossing for the photo op on the 21st.

I see two possibilities:
•  Some Lockheed pilot other than McLeod (chief pilot Babe Headle?) flew the airplane.  I don't think Lockheed would let Paul Mantz fly their airplane while they owned it.
•  It was possible to taxi between the two airports in which case no flight would be logged (less likely).
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 14, 2016, 03:38:23 PM
I truly dislike having to make things even more complicated, but I think we have some reason to suspect that McLeod's logbook is not completely accurate in all details.
  Take the designation on the plane:  in his logbook, McLeod has 'X' for all 6 July dates, July 20 thru 25; for all 4 August dates, he wrote 'NR.'  But that is contradicted by the datable newspaper photos, which show 'NR' on the plane on July 21, and 'X' in San Francisco on Aug 3.  (It is as though he wrote 'X' in July when he knew that was what it was supposed to be, and then come August he decided to go with what he had seen on the plane in July, just about the time the 'NR' on the plane got painted over with an 'X,' possibly just in time for the Aug 2 flight to San Francisco.)
   That brings me to the second discrepancy I have noticed in McLeod's logbook.  We see that he logged flights on Aug 2 & 3 on another plane, but not one with 16020; & on the previous page 9, he logged flights on Aug 2 & 3 on yet another plane, but not 16020.  Then for Aug 7, he logged a one-day 16020 flight to & from San Fran.  From the news report and photo in the Aug 3 Oakland Tribune, we know that he and AE were in San Fran and Alameda on Aug 3, and they told the press that they had flown into SF the night before from Burbank, in one hour & 55 mins.
    As to the Lockheed versus Burbank airport entries, I'm inclined to think McLeod's logbook may have the airports right, with the possible exception of July 24 and July 25.  I don't think Lockheed would have let AE park the Electra overnight with Mantz until after she became the legal owner on July 24.  And I also suspect that there was still work being done on the plane at the Lockheed plant, which would have made it much more convenient for the plane to be left there overnight, even on the nights of July 24 and 25, after AE was the legal owner.
    Given the distance between the Lockheed airstrip and the Union airport, I agree with Ric that it's very unlikely the Electra could have been taxied or towed between the two.  P-38s were reportedly towed from one to the other down Empire Street during the middle of the night in the war years, but that was a rather different situation, right?
    Bottom line:  I don't think it's safe to conclude from McLeod's logbook alone, whether or not AE's Electra was at the Lockheed plant on any given date.  I think Ric is right, that our first hypothesis should be that first there was no belly antenna, and later there was one.  That gives us July 22 and 23 as the most likely dates, I think.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 15, 2016, 08:20:17 AM
I truly dislike having to make things even more complicated, but I think we have some reason to suspect that McLeod's logbook is not completely accurate in all details.

Thanks Bill. It does make things more complicated but it's a good illustration that even primary sources are sometimes flawed.  Unfortunately, inaccurate  and imaginative entries in pilot logbooks are not exactly unheard of.

  Take the designation on the plane:  in his logbook, McLeod has 'X' for all 6 July dates, July 20 thru 25; for all 4 August dates, he wrote 'NR.'  But that is contradicted by the datable newspaper photos, which show 'NR' on the plane on July 21, and 'X' in San Francisco on Aug 3.  (It is as though he wrote 'X' in July when he knew that it what is was supposed to be, and then come August he decided to go with what he had seen on the plane in July, just about the time the 'NR' on the plane got painted over with an 'X,' possibly just in time for the Aug 2 flight to San Francisco.)

As we know, on July 19, 1936 Lockheed had the airplane inspected and applied for registration in the Experimental category as X16020.  However, I just noticed that the application wasn't submitted until July 22, the day AFTER the Burbank press event. (Copy attached. Look at the bottom of the second page.)  Everyone seems to have assumed that it would be no problem for Earhart to get the NR16020 registration once she owned the aircraft, so they went ahead and marked it that way.
On July 27, three days after ownership of the airplane was transferred to Earhart, she filled out an application for the ship to be registered as NR16020 (see copy attached) and Lockheed provided a cover letter (copy attached).
But the Bureau of Air Commerce said no and they had to change the markings to X16020.
On August 7, Earhart had the airplane inspected for registration in the Restricted category (copy attached) but did not apply for the N (international flight) designation. The plane was subsequently marked R16020.
Approval to add the N did not come through until September 21 but the N was not actually painted on the ship for several months.

   That brings me to the second discrepancy I have noticed in McLeod's logbook.  We see that he logged flights on Aug 2 & 3 on another plane, but not one with 16020; & on the previous page 9, he logged flights on Aug 2 & 3 on yet another plane, but not 16020.  Then for Aug 7, he logged a one-day 16020 flight to & from San Fran.  From the news report and photo in the Aug 3 Oakland Tribune, we know that he and AE were in San Fran and Alameda on Aug 3, and they told the press that they had flown into SF the night before from Burbank, in one hour & 55 mins.

This is strange.  CFAZY was c/n 1063, a Model 10A.  According to the AAHS Journal accounting (which has proved to be quite accurate) it was delivered to Canadian Airways, Ltd. on Aug 1, 1936. McLeod's log says he made test flights in CFAZY on July 26, 30, 31, Aug. 1 and 2, and delivered the plane in Las Vegas on Aug. 3.  Regardless of what his log says, we know from the newspaper article that he flew X16020 to San Francisco with AE on Aug. 2 and was there with her on Aug. 3.  I guess it's possible that he made a test flight in CFAZY in the morning on Aug 2, flew up to San Francisco with AE that afternoon, and came back on Aug 3 in time to delivery CFAZY to Las Vegas that same day.  It still doesn't explain why he logged the two day San Francisco trip as one flight on the wrong day.


    Bottom line:  I don't think it's safe to conclude from McLeod's logbook alone, whether or not AE's Electra was at the Lockheed plant on any given date.  I think Ric is right, that our first hypothesis should be that first there was no belly antenna, and later there was one.  That gives us July 22 and 23 as the most likely dates, I think.
I'll always agree with you when you think I'm right. :-)  Most likely dates for the Turkey Crossing photos?  Certainly after July 21 and before August 2. Interestingly, the Las Vegas Bill of Sale lists the airplane as NR16020 with the NR crossed out and an X written in by hand, which suggests that the NR was still on the plane on July 24. Earhart's initial application for NR16020 didn't go in until July 27, so they didn't know they had a problem until the application was rejected. The application went to the BAC office in Los Angeles so it probably only took a day or so to learn that the NR was not okay.  My best guess is that the numbers were not changed until July 29, 30, 31, or even Aug. 1.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 16, 2016, 12:37:27 PM
I guess it's possible that he made a test flight in CFAZY in the morning on Aug 2, flew up to San Francisco with AE that afternoon, and came back on Aug 3 in time to delivery CFAZY to Las Vegas that same day.  It still doesn't explain why he logged the two day San Francisco trip as one flight on the wrong day.

I still trust that the logbook is an accurate contemporaneous record of times McLeod piloted the plane. After July 24th it was AE's plane and, since McLeod was consistent in noting instances when he "returned" an aircraft to the field of takeoff, I suspect that Mantz flew it back from Las Vegas to Turkey Crossing on the 24th (he was pretty adept at slinging it around for the movie soon thereafter). That would make July 24th, 1936, a strong candidate date of the Turkey Crossing photos. I think McLeod didn't record the flights to San Francisco and back in August because someone else, possibly AE, piloted the plane. There's no need to suspect that he omitted flights or logged a wrong date.

(I know, lots of trust, suspect, and think there... FWIW.)

For anyone interested, NC14946 (destined for the Spanish civil war) and NC4965 and NC9476 (American Eagle A-1 and Standard J-1 military trainers) are listed at airhistory.org.uk.

Dan Brown, #2408
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 16, 2016, 01:01:52 PM
There is one other point about McLeod's entry for the 24th though: it records that he flew 280 miles (about right for one-way from Burbank to Las Vegas) in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Seems fast, no?

Dan Brown, #2408
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 16, 2016, 01:57:35 PM
I suspect that Mantz flew it back from Las Vegas to Turkey Crossing on the 24th (he was pretty adept at slinging it around for the movie soon thereafter).
The flight from Las Vegas back to Burbank may well have been an instructional flight with McLeod checking out Mantz in the airplane.  As such, it would be logged by Mantz, not McLeod.  I also agree that Mantz was clearly comfortable in the machine by the time the Love On The Run sequence was filmed.  I wonder if this was the first multi-engine aircraft Mantz had flown.  As far as I know, his Hollywood work was all in singles.

That would make July 24th, 1936, a strong candidate date of the Turkey Crossing photos.

I don't see the logic.  If Earhart was around on July 24, why send Mantz to Vegas to accept delivery?


I think McLeod didn't record the flights to San Francisco and back in August because someone else, possibly AE, piloted the plane. There's no need to suspect that he omitted flights or logged a wrong date.

I agree.  McLeod was definitely there (per the newspaper article) but AE probably logged the flight.  I would imagine that she needed many hours of instruction before she was ready to fly the ship solo.

The trip to "S. F. airport 4 A & E." on Aug. 7 is interesting.  Is "S.F." San Francisco? The distance is right.  No return flight logged.  Maybe AE went with him.  A. & E. means Airframe & Engine. Take another look at the Inspection Report of that date (my post of Oct. 15 above).  The fuselage tanks have been removed.  Total fuel capacity is only 344 gallons.  They're having trouble with the long-range fuel system.
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Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 16, 2016, 02:00:00 PM
There is one other point about McLeod's entry for the 24th though: it records that he flew 280 miles (about right for one-way from Burbank to Las Vegas) in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Seems fast, no?

215 mph.  Haulin' butt.  Max cruise and a tailwind.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kevin A. Roll on October 17, 2016, 07:55:41 AM
197NM between the present-day North Las Vegas airport and Burbank. 280 miles (nautical or statute?) seems like a significant diversion...
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 17, 2016, 09:59:07 AM
197NM between the present-day North Las Vegas airport and Burbank. 280 miles (nautical or statute?) seems like a significant diversion...

McLeod would almost certainly be using statute miles.  197 nautical is 227 statute.  53 extra miles. 
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 18, 2016, 12:08:11 AM
   For July 1 (logbook p 9) McLeod listed a one-way trip to Las Vegas as 270 miles, not 280.  That made me wonder whether on July 24 his mileage may have included a ten-mile test flight, since he listed 2 trips (is that '2' written over an original '1'?).  But the trouble with that guess is that his listed time of 1:20 is consistent with a Vegas-only flight, without any additional time, even just 10 minutes, his minimum for a short test flight.
  On a couple of other points, I like your suggestion, Dan, that McLeod let Earhart log the Aug 2-3 flight to San Francisco.  I had not thought of that possibility.
   And as you say, Ric, McLeod no doubt let Mantz log the return flight from Las Vegas on July 24.  My guess is that Mantz's considerable self-confidence would allow him to consider himself competent to pilot the Electra, after just that one flight with McLeod, never mind what the authorities might think.
   That's an interesting question, whether AE's Electra was the first multi-engine plane Mantz had flown.
Don Dwiggins's biography of Mantz, Hollywood Pilot, recounts an incident in which Mantz took over the controls of a Ford Tri-Motor from its pilot-owner Howard Batt, in a vain attempt to avoid a collision with a power-line pole in landing at United Airport, Burbank (pp 47-48).  The night landing was being filmed for the 1933 movie, Central Airport.  Here's more info on the planes in the film: http://www.aeromovies.fr/articles.php?lng=en&pg=684 (http://www.aeromovies.fr/articles.php?lng=en&pg=684)
   There were three other Ford Tri-motors in the film, but I'm not clear yet on whether Mantz was piloting any of them.  From Dwiggins's book I gather that it was common for Mantz to arrange for the use in movies of planes that were being hangared with his United Air Services.  But apparently he had no access to a Tri-Motor in that way, because he called Batt to ask to rent his, which Batt refused.  But Batt did agree to pilot his ship himself, a decision he no doubt regretted, after the accident.   
  Mantz was the first tenant of the new United airport, according to Dwiggins, using the large hangar to the east of the terminal building (caption of photo 15, facing p 58).
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 18, 2016, 12:30:07 PM
   For July 1 (logbook p 9) McLeod listed a one-way trip to Las Vegas as 270 miles, not 280.  That made me wonder whether on July 24 his mileage may have included a ten-mile test flight, since he listed 2 trips (is that '2' written over an original '1'?).

We don't know the definition of a "trip."  My guess would be that one takeoff and one landing constitute a "trip."  More than one trip in one logged flight might mean multiple takeoffs and landings for practice, instruction, or testing.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on October 19, 2016, 01:35:53 PM
I want to apologize to Ric for having failed to recall that he had already posted for us a careful and thorough interpretation of McLeod's logbook, in this "new chronology" from one year ago:

Re: X16020
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2015, 01:00:16 PM »

In this post Ric had already answered almost all my questions about McLeod's logbook and what was going on with the Electra in July and August. 
      I promise, from now on I will consult that post first, to lessen the odds that I will be asking Ric to repeat himself!
     
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 19, 2016, 01:40:18 PM
I want to apologize to Ric for having failed to recall that he had already posted for us a careful and thorough interpretation of McLeod's logbook, in this "new chronology" from one year ago:

Re: X16020
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2015, 01:00:16 PM »

In this post Ric had already answered almost all my questions about McLeod's logbook and what was going on with the Electra in July and August. 
      I promise, from now on I will consult that post first, to lessen the odds that I will be asking Ric to repeat himself!
     

No apology needed Bill.  I had forgotten all about that and, thanks to our discussions here,  I now understand McLeod's logbook better than I did then.

Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Daniel R. Brown on October 20, 2016, 07:22:08 AM
Most likely dates for the Turkey Crossing photos?  Certainly after July 21 and before August 2.

Let's work it backwards. On August 31st when she arrived at Floyd Bennett the plane was painted in Purdue colors, radios were installed and registration was "R", so those things (registration, paint and radios) happened before departure from Burbank on the 29th. The paint job happened probably on August 17th in time to be photographed at Turkey Crossing on the 18th. There is radio (at least one belly antenna) but no paint in the "striding" photo so it was taken before August 17th. The August 7th BAC inspection records registration "R" but still (since first inspection) no radio, which leads me to think the "striding" photo was taken between August 7th and August 17th.

This is consistent with the change in registration from "X" on the 3rd to "R" by the 7th, but there is no way to reconcile any of this with the "NR" registration shown in the July 21st photos and in McLeod's logbook entries on August 5th and later.

Assumptions: radio antenna in "striding" photo = radio at least in the process of being installed; and BAC reports accurately document absence of radio. There are two belly antennas clearly visible in the November 21st photo at South Bend IN, but a dorsal antenna mast doesn't appear until December 10th.

Dan Brown, #2408
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 20, 2016, 08:02:14 AM
On August 31st when she arrived at Floyd Bennett the plane was painted in Purdue colors, radios were installed and registration was "R", so those things (registration, paint and radios) happened before departure from Burbank on the 29th.

Agreed

The paint job happened probably on August 17th in time to be photographed at Turkey Crossing on the 18th.

Agreed.  The Purdue colors needed to go on before Purdue president Elliot showed up to see the new airplane on August 20.

There is radio (at least one belly antenna) but no paint in the "striding" photo so it was taken before August 17th. The August 7th BAC inspection records registration "R" but still (since first inspection) no radio, which leads me to think the "striding" photo was taken between August 7th and August 17th.

Disagree.  In the "striding" photo the airplane is marked NR16020.  Those markings were replaced with X16020 before the August 2nd trip to San Francisco.

This is consistent with the change in registration from "X" on the 3rd to "R" by the 7th, but there is no way to reconcile any of this with the "NR" registration shown in the July 21st photos and in McLeod's logbook entries on August 5th and later.

The registration number X16020 in McLeod's logbook entries for July 20 through 25 are accurate as to the aircraft's actual legal status.  His entries for August 5 through through 9 show NR16020 and are in error .  They should show R16020.

Assumptions: radio antenna in "striding" photo = radio at least in the process of being installed; and BAC reports accurately document absence of radio.

Agreed.  No radio on July 19.  No radio on July 21.  Striding photo taken before August 2 shows radio at least in the process of being installed. Still no mention of radios in the August 7 inspection report.

There are two belly antennas clearly visible in the November 21st photo at South Bend IN, but a dorsal antenna mast doesn't appear until December 10th.

The second belly antenna was associated with the Hooven Radio compass that was installed while the ship was at Purdue in October.

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Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Kurt Kummer on November 03, 2016, 05:47:34 PM
Just to circle back for a moment to the 'Striding' photo taken at Lockheed's Turkey Crossing plant, it occured to me that there are lots of photos in Richard Sanders Allen's book "Revolution in The Sky."  And sure enough, if you page through the book you'll see several photos of Lockheed owners and their Lockheeds taken in front of that very same hanger. 
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Harbert William Davenport on November 28, 2016, 05:14:42 PM
I post in this thread because it concerns a film of a takeoff of the 1934 prototype Electra Model 10A, X233Y, from Lockheed Airfield, Turkey Crossing plant, Burbank -- the same airstrip from which Earhart's Electra first took off in July, 1936.

The 1934 prototype Electra Model 10A, X233Y, c/n 1001, was recently introduced to us by Ric Gillespie in Chapter One, page 4 of Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Electra:
https://tighar.org/Publications/Books/ElectraBook/Electra_Chapter_1.pdf (https://tighar.org/Publications/Books/ElectraBook/Electra_Chapter_1.pdf)
 

Now Dan Brown has sent me this link to a fascinating two-minute film of that prototype taking off from the Lockheed Airfield in Burbank (aka Turkey Crossing and Plant B-1).  The film was made on the day of the plane’s first test flight, Feb 24, 1934, for Fox Movietone News.
http://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A9629 (http://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A9629)

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.

Kudos to Dan Brown for this great find!

Here’s the info provided on that University of South Carolina webpage:

Title: Lockheed Model 10 Electra prototype--outtakes
Item Title: Fox Movietone News Story 21-332
Temporal Coverage: Filmed on February 24, 1934.
Description: Various scenes of a prototype Lockheed Model 10 Electra airplane (a twin-engine, all-metal monoplane). Scenes include the airplane being prepared for flight, the engines "warming up," and the airplane taxiing, taking off, and in flight. The experimental registration number for the airplane was NX233Y; the standard registration number was NC233Y.
Silent or Sound: Sound

Addendum of Nov 30:
     To see that the location of this film is the Lockheed plant and airstrip at Turkey Crossing, and not the United/Union Air Terminal one mile to the west, note that the same small Lockheed hangar that we earlier identified in the background of the Amelia Striding photo (see Bill Mangus’s reply # 27 above) also appears in the background at second 31 in the film.  Then note also that the airstrip as the prototype takes off is adjacent and parallel to elevated RR tracks.  This is true of the Lockheed airstrip, but not of any of the 3 runways at the United/Union Air Terminal.
     According to this Los Angeles Times story, the plane was to be flown over to the United Airport to be on public display the next day (Sunday Feb 25):
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7659768/electra_initial_test_flight/ (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/7659768/electra_initial_test_flight/)

Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bruce Thomas 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.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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.   ;)
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Friend Weller 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.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie on November 29, 2016, 07:59:14 AM
An awesome find!  Thanks Bill.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Bill Mangus 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.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Alfred Hendrickson on November 29, 2016, 11:03:54 AM
That is very cool! Love it!

Thanks Dan and Herb.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie 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.
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie 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. 
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Arthur Rypinski 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. 
Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Ric Gillespie 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. 


Title: Re: Research needed -Las Vegas airport in 1936
Post by: Don White 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