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Author Topic: Underwater airplane parts  (Read 34863 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 09:38:36 AM »

The Brewster Buffalo had a different engine/prop (Wright R-1820 and 3-blade prop) than the Electra but the general method of affixing the hub assembly to the shaft was probably similar.
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 10:07:25 AM »

However it happened, if Earhart's prop came off the shaft that entire hub assembly had to slide off - and for that to happen the nut on the end had to somehow go away.

Ric, not saying that a steel nut wouldn't corrode away in that environment whether there were dissimilar metals or not.  Since the engines nor the props have been found in one condition or another, all this is pure conjecture anyway IMO.  No telling what happened down there now since all that stuff is so corroded.  BTW Ric, have you gotten any more pictures of the Buffalo that might show more of the remnants of the plane and where they are in proximity to the engine.

Bad Bob, who was never spanked with a fly swatter.  ;)
Doc
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 10:14:27 AM »

Since the engines nor the props have been found in one condition or another, all this is pure conjecture anyway IMO.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

BTW Ric, have you gotten any more pictures of the Buffalo that might show more of the remnants of the plane and where they are in proximity to the engine.

Not yet.  Workin' on it.
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 10:31:05 AM »

Since the engines nor the props have been found in one condition or another, all this is pure conjecture anyway IMO.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Touché Shakespeare,

"Hamlet and Horatio are friends from university. They are both educated men, and Horatio has a hard time believing in things like ghosts. However, once they are visited by the ghost of Hamlet's father, they get spooked. Hamlet makes Horatio and the guards promise not to tell anyone what they have seen, and then he says this quote to Horatio. Hamlet is telling Horatio that earthly education and philosophy can't explain everything. Now that they've seen the ghost, their previous beliefs are turned upside down."

Bad Bob, who was never spanked with a fly swatter.  ;)
Doc
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« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 11:09:45 AM by Bob Lanz »
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JC Sain

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2013, 02:26:19 PM »

This reminds me of an airplane I found online looking at sunken ship wreck sites. I was surprised to see how much had deteriorated just not that much was left. Which is what this looks like not much to see.

http://www.ub88.org/researchprojects/f4ucorsair/f4u-corsair.html
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2013, 09:36:12 AM »

This reminds me of an airplane I found online looking at sunken ship wreck sites. I was surprised to see how much had deteriorated just not that much was left. Which is what this looks like not much to see.

http://www.ub88.org/researchprojects/f4ucorsair/f4u-corsair.html

Excellent data point Mr. Sain.  Thank you.  The amount of deterioration is similar to what we've seen in other aircraft near the California coast.  The rubber tire seems to have held up pretty much intact.
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2013, 12:55:07 PM »

This reminds me of an airplane I found online looking at sunken ship wreck sites. I was surprised to see how much had deteriorated just not that much was left. Which is what this looks like not much to see.

http://www.ub88.org/researchprojects/f4ucorsair/f4u-corsair.html

On the other hand, here is the write up, on the same web site, for the crash of a Navy TBM Avenger, again off the California coast. According to the information provided, this aircraft hit the water at 110 kts but both crew members survived the impact. The pictures attached to the article show that the engine apparently separated from the aircraft but no pictures of the engine are provide. However, large sections of the aircraft are shown as relatively intact even after all those years (1952-2007).
Woody (former 3316R)
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2013, 01:45:43 PM »

The Brewster Buffalo had a different engine/prop (Wright R-1820 and 3-blade prop) than the Electra but the general method of affixing the hub assembly to the shaft was probably similar.

In either case the pitch-change device has to be removed; the gland nut is buried well down inside the prop hub itself and is not easy to reach except with the right tool. 

If memory serves, the splined surfaces are typically case-hardened on those shafts on probably all makes of engine - it is a fairly common design feature.  There can be something of a natural stress riser zone in the transition area between splines and threads too - not so much to fail easily, but perhaps the right impact forces could have caused the nut/threaded area of the shaft to yield and fail, after which the same forces might have caused the prop to continue forward and off the shaft.  Props are not interference-fit onto splines like that, only close-tolerance.

The 'scenario' is pure posit on my part, of course, but it is hard to imagine that anyone went down there with the right wrenches to do what we see, and it would not have been done casually with a pipe wrench...

Below is a picture of the special tool/wrench used to remove/tighten the gland nut holding the Electra's propeller to the engine crank shaft. I remember reading somewhere, and I have not been able to find the reference right now, that AE and FN carried a tool like this with them on the flight. I don't know if that would include the "breaker bar" too or only the "socket" but IMO, probably both.

Here is a link to the picture of the propeller tool and a copy of the picture. This is also a good picture of AE's shoe.
Woody (former 3316R)
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« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 01:56:40 PM by C.W. Herndon »
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2013, 05:15:32 PM »

The Brewster Buffalo had a different engine/prop (Wright R-1820 and 3-blade prop) than the Electra but the general method of affixing the hub assembly to the shaft was probably similar.

In either case the pitch-change device has to be removed; the gland nut is buried well down inside the prop hub itself and is not easy to reach except with the right tool. 

If memory serves, the splined surfaces are typically case-hardened on those shafts on probably all makes of engine - it is a fairly common design feature.  There can be something of a natural stress riser zone in the transition area between splines and threads too - not so much to fail easily, but perhaps the right impact forces could have caused the nut/threaded area of the shaft to yield and fail, after which the same forces might have caused the prop to continue forward and off the shaft.  Props are not interference-fit onto splines like that, only close-tolerance.

The 'scenario' is pure posit on my part, of course, but it is hard to imagine that anyone went down there with the right wrenches to do what we see, and it would not have been done casually with a pipe wrench...

Below is a picture of the special tool/wrench used to remove/tighten the gland nut holding the Electra's propeller to the engine crank shaft. I remember reading somewhere, and I have not been able to find the reference right now, that AE and FN carried a tool like this with them on the flight. I don't know if that would include the "breaker bar" too or only the "socket" but IMO, probably both.

Here is a link to the picture of the propeller tool and a copy of the picture. This is also a good picture of AE's shoe.

Yup, can you imagine Amelia and Fred taking off that gland nut?  Who'd hold the prop still without getting lifted off the ground?
Doc
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richie conroy

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2013, 05:37:44 PM »

Hi Bob

Clearly in image you see Amelia holding propeller blade whilst it is being tightened.

C.W. Herndon

The reason Gallagher was able to identify the shoe, As being that of a woman's shoe, was because woman's walking shoe's of late 1930's The toe area was rounded not pointed.

http://www.fashion-era.com/flapper_fashion_1920s.htm scroll down to 1920 - 1930 shoes

You only have to look at images of Amelia an George Putnam for example to see his are pointy shoes were as her's are rounded

Thanks Richie 
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« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 05:49:02 PM by richie conroy »
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Dan Kelly

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2013, 06:19:49 PM »

Hi Bob

Clearly in image you see Amelia holding propeller blade whilst it is being tightened.


To me it just looks like she is holding on to it, rather than holding it for the mechanic. I'd be cautious with that photo because it is a posed photo which Earhart seems to have done a lot as part of the pre-flight publicity hype.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2013, 06:46:42 PM »

To me it just looks like she is holding on to it, rather than holding it for the mechanic. I'd be cautious with that photo because it is a posed photo which Earhart seems to have done a lot as part of the pre-flight publicity hype.

I agree. I've never seen any indication that AE participated in, or was much interested in, aircraft maintenance except as a photo-op.

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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2013, 07:04:46 PM »

To me it just looks like she is holding on to it, rather than holding it for the mechanic. I'd be cautious with that photo because it is a posed photo which Earhart seems to have done a lot as part of the pre-flight publicity hype.

I agree. I've never seen any indication that AE participated in, or was much interested in, aircraft maintenance except as a photo-op.

I agree. I only posted the picture to show what the tool looked like. I feel sure, if they indeed carried the tools with them, it was to ensure that the mechanics would have the correct items with which to work on the propeller, if necessary, which had to be done on the first flight. If you look closely at Bob Lanz's photo, attached below, you will see that the tip of the propeller, probably well padded, is resting on top of a maintenance stand while the mechanic torques the gland nut.
Woody (former 3316R)
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richie conroy

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2013, 01:04:47 AM »

Hi All

My Apologies for last post.

I was lead to believe, Not by anyone at Tighar. That a locking nut was designed to thread opposite  the object it was securing.

I.E if the propeller rotates clock wise the locking nut would have anti-clockwise thread  ::) My Bad

I also read that Lockheed in the 1930's designed some twin engines to operate, Right engine clockwise and Left engine anti-clockwise to steady ship better  :-[

Dangers of the web aye

Thanks Richie   
We are an echo of the past


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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Underwater airplane parts
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2013, 10:16:46 AM »

I also read that Lockheed in the 1930's designed some twin engines to operate, Right engine clockwise and Left engine anti-clockwise to steady ship better  :-[

The XP-38 Lightning had inward rotating propellers.  Production versions had outward rotating propellers.
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