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Author Topic: The Question of 2-2-V-1  (Read 1093113 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #90 on: February 11, 2014, 06:47:41 AM »

Top sepia image to the right as you look at, the row of holes seem wider spaced than those on the inside of the piece? Why would this be?

They are, of course, the same holes so they are exactly alike on the inside and the outside. The illusion you describe is due to the bowed-out shape of the sheet.  The surface of the sheet is closer to the camera in the photo of the exterior.
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #91 on: February 11, 2014, 09:40:50 AM »

Quote
"That said, I doubt it is likely.  It did first fly in 1938 and was introduced in 1942, but its construction - by what I've found so far, appears to be more typically flush, heavier military.  I found a few pictures on Wiki so far - lots of flush rivets on outer skin. 

It did have lovely lines  despite other challenges to its performance."

Quite an innovative design for a pre-WW2 plane Jeff, mid engine to allow for the machine guns to be installed forward of the cockpit, tricycle undercarriage but, shame about the performance and inherent problems with the skin stress. Fully flush riveted as you noticed and nice streamlined lines as well, good looking plane.

From a recovered P-39 project regarding problems with the skin

During testing and combat reports, the one thing the Soviets were discovering was that the P39 suffered a structural weakness of the rear fuselage. After thorough testing, the Soviet LII (Flight Research Institute) and TsAGI (Central Aero and Hydrodynamic Institute) recommended a number of improvements to be undertaken at repair workshops from mid 1944.

These were recorded as: -
 Defect and modification. - Twisting of rear fuselage and skin deformation.
 All Q models up to and including the Q21 to have the following.
 a. Two additional skins around radio compartment hatches.
 b. fuselage longeron reinforcing member
 c. two supports to forward tailplane spar attachment joints
 d. two plates to reinforce the port forward fuselage beam. 

Items a and c are clearly visible on ‘White 23’. These skins have been added over the red star and have covered segments of it. Whether or not it was deemed important, the star was not repainted.

All Q series models were to have the following work undertaken to the fin.
 a. reinforce fin leading edge with additional skin.
 b. add third fin/fuselage attachment point.
 c. reinforce the forward and rear post with additional profiles.
 d. additional plates at the middle of the rudder hinge.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p39/


I was aware of these problems as I have read up on this model many years ago and wondered if the problems were due to the mid engine arrangement adding unexpected stresses along the length of the fuselage when manoeuvring.

From a P-39 restoration project regarding the riveting

"In fact, what shines through every facet of this 28+ year project is the ingenuity Ian applied not just to replicating the work of "Mr Bell and his many thousand work force of WW2" but to the very design and building of numerous tools. The P-39 features an external skin flush riveted throughout. These rivets require 'countersinking' and when holding thin metal STRESSED skin in place, this means deforming the inner edge of the hole - an operation called "dimpling".

http://www.qaww2.com/p39-project.html

Good find, Jeff Victor - and very interesting history on the Airacobra.

By some contrast to the Airacobra story on structures, attached is a close-up of the wing root / forward fuselage / engine ring cowl on a Spartan Executive.  The Spartan was a product of roughly the same period in airframe development as the Electra (Lockheed Electra model L10E TC is number 590, the Spartan Executive model 7W TC is number 628).  In studying this I see 'conventional' metal construction similar to what we'd see today - with some fine-point variations: rivet size in primary structure, and rivet type.  Note that the Spartan displays some distinctly similar features to the Electra in terms of construction, right down to brazier rivets (smooth dome appearance, constant radius head vs. the double-radius semi-flattened top of the more modern universal head rivet).  This includes a consideration of sizes used in primary structure - #3, #4 and #5 braziers being evident in various different rows (#3 rivets not so common on later war-era types). 

This exercise has gotten very educational for me, I'm finally getting to use some of that boring old stuff from Embry-Riddle days about aviation regulation and the history of, and what it really did at the 'nuts and bolts' level (literally): both the Lockheed Electra and Spartan Executive were built under the old Department of Commerce - Aviation Bureau (1926 - 1938) 'Aero Bulletin 7A' standards, so no wonder we see the shared features in construction.  The bulletin itself does not prescribe exacting information as to rivet size, etc. - but the practices used by industry then to meet the strength criteria of the day are clearly common, much as they remain today albeit with newer materials and fastenings (and updated regulations and guidance).  By all this we can tell a great deal about design and construction practices during early-to-mid 1930's for all-metal airplanes such as the Electra and Executive, all prior to the war and emergence of the CAR standards that were introduced in 1938. 

Now I realize the real import of the introduction of the more modern Civil Air Authority in 1938: it just 'happened' to coincide with a major effort to modernize for war production.  Things like tougher strength and fatigue standards (including practices with regard to common fastener sizes and how to build more robust airframes) were taken up; efforts to standardize and reduce complexity in production were undertaken; we have seen that sheet metal production took-off and the markings were modernized to an automated roller operation in lieu of hand-stamping of the past.  The AN470 universal head rivet emerged at some point in this transition as an acceptable replacment for the older brazier, round head, flat head style rivets previously used in specialized areas of the airframe - such as seen in the L10E and Spartan Executive (braziers being common to air-passage external areas where flush-riveting was not necessary).  Tooling and inventories were thus simplified and airframes became more robust as experience was gained and applied through new standards. 

In the teaching I was subject to in the 1970's, #3 rivets were considered inferior for fatigue reasons - it is just a diminutive fastener with limited capabilities - and as I look back I realize experience came to bear: the next size #4 is far superior in strength and simply a better choice for resistance to destructive forces, hence no doubt the teachment of "do not use #3 rivets in primary structure" that I have cited so many times before.  It was not part of the knowledge in the mid-thirties, nor is a well-designed and built airplane a death-trap because of its use - but time moves on and realities set some things toward robust improvement.  War is a great catalyst as well.  So we see pre-war machines that were elegantly and lightly-enough built, but we also see a standard that has disappeared with time and experience: they could not be certified in today's environment.

All of this further underscores for me just what a unique piece of aviation repair history we are looking at in 2-2-V-1 - it is nearly certain to be from your grandfather's Oldsmobile, not from your dad's (speaking for my generation...).  More clearly now it would be an extremely odd-ball item to have occurred on any of the wartime birds known to have been in the Niku area.   As has been noted, it is also American - the AN standards were distinctly such. 

The B-24 (see 'Crash at Sydney Island') has already been discussed as a possible donor and I among others do not see it as a likely source for 2-2-V-1 for reasons already discussed.  But, the DC-3 was a product of the same era as the L10E and Spartan Executive - and as a later variant was larger and more modern than the predesessors DC-1 and -2.  Especially so for the war-time produced C-47.  Our greatest potential donor may be the crashed C-47 at Sydney Island (another TIGHAR bulletin), which had been built only in October of 1943 (which the bureau number of that airplane, C-47A-60DL serial (bureau) number 43-30739 bears out); that makes this candidate a distinctly 'war time production' airplane which was well past the era of older rivet styles and construction practices of the mid-thirties. 

Also, consider the newness of the airplane at the time of the loss - not even two months old; other than the known repair to a wing-tip, it is probably reasonable to surmise that it was not a great candidate to have had such a repair skin present.  Further, any shop in the area doing sheet metal repair would have by default likely been supplied with later materials than we see in 2-2-V-1 due to more modern war mobilization efforts to place facilities and materiel in the field.

I've gone on too long - again - but consider these points and how they point further into the unique nature of 2-2-V-1; the potential for parent / donor airframes gets distinctly slimmer.  The nature of what we see points to a repair of a fairly large area - such as very much consistent with a belly skin on NR16020.  Short of import from far away Australia / New Gunea / New Zealand / Japan, there just are not a large number of potential donors in that part of the world for this combination of features - size, vintage, material type / style - it was a unique period and practice of aircraft building and repair that produced what we see now.

Enjoy the picture of the Executive - and more at this link.

- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 10:00:44 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #92 on: February 11, 2014, 09:48:10 AM »

Jeff (and everyone quoting Jeff),

You say "This further underscores for me just what a unique piece of aviation repair history we are looking at in 2-2-V-2"

Please everyone, the artifact is 2-2-V-1 not 2-2-V-2 - Note the thread topic

Nit picking, I know, but before it gets further institutionalized in the discussion, lets get it straight.

Andrew
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #93 on: February 11, 2014, 09:59:02 AM »

Thanks Andrew, my bad - I will correct to "2-2-V-1" through-out my own posts - well, in last post: the thread topic should make it plain otherwise that we're talking about 2-2-V-1 (and I've so little time left at moment).
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 10:01:54 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #94 on: February 11, 2014, 10:06:41 AM »

Number problem notwithstanding, Jeff has done a great job placing the construction practices evident in the artifact in context with the historical period they clearly represent.  Anybody else smell smoke?
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Tim Collins

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #95 on: February 11, 2014, 10:21:27 AM »

Anybody else smell smoke?

Have any of the [usual] naysayers from far and wide chimed in yet about the apparently smoldering gun-like object?
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #96 on: February 11, 2014, 10:32:31 AM »

Anybody else smell smoke?

Have any of the [usual] naysayers from far and wide chimed in yet about the apparently smoldering gun-like object?

I'd welcome any well thought-out criticism.  As far as broad-shot 'could be anything' pot-shots, that doesn't cut it here, the information that can be seen in 2-2-V-1 is far too specific now, IMO, of course.  But that's why I would welcome any intelligent challenge to my opinion: it must be a credible alternative to hold water. 

That artifact got to Niku by some rational means and there can only be so many reasonable sources and paths for it to have done so: critics need to study the potential sources and make the credible case.  In full context, I believe we have a clear answer now - and I was far from an easy sell on this myself.

In short, this metal absolutely smokes.
- Jeff Neville

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #97 on: February 11, 2014, 10:35:00 AM »

Have any of the [usual] naysayers from far and wide chimed in yet about the apparently smoldering gun-like object?

Not yet, but we really haven't put out the word properly.  All of this needs to be pulled together in a comprehensive paper with photos and citations.  I'll do that as soon as I can.  Meanwhile let's continue to look for anything we may have missed that would change the picture and cool the barrel.
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Jerry Germann

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #98 on: February 11, 2014, 09:10:12 PM »

This is the belly of c/n 1052 in the subject area.  As far as we know this is original construction.  I believe these are all #3 rivets but I can verify that when I'm at there New England Air Museum on February 16.
http://tighar.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1426.0;attach=7219;image

I was wondering if the skinners (crew who installed the AL clad panels) would always begin by skinning the same side of each new unit and overlap each plane the same. ...if the belly of the Electra is the same as this example, would the keel portion depicted on the artifact ( placed as thought) be the under lap layer of skin?  Is there any evidence of this? 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 09:30:15 PM by Jerry Germann »
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John Ousterhout

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #99 on: February 12, 2014, 12:52:18 AM »


(devil's advocate mode ON)
I've read comments elsewhere (especially in the Wrecks of the Pacific website) that a lot of pre-war aircraft were destroyed in the early days of the war.  Someone is bound to say that those aircraft might be the source of 2-2-V-1.  Is there a solid argument against that hypothesis?

Also, I vaguely recall reading somewhere in these forii that Lockheed sold at least one L-10 to Japan, and there were several used by pre-war airlines in the South Pacific region.  Have those been documented well enough to rule them out as sources?

(devil's advocate mode OFF)
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #100 on: February 12, 2014, 05:37:03 AM »


(devil's advocate mode ON)
I've read comments elsewhere (especially in the Wrecks of the Pacific website) that a lot of pre-war aircraft were destroyed in the early days of the war.  Someone is bound to say that those aircraft might be the source of 2-2-V-1.  Is there a solid argument against that hypothesis?

More than an argument against that 'hypothesis', I'd ask what is the basis for it?  Let's work with facts, not comments

This is exactly what I meant when I welcomed intelligent challenges (not demeaning your point, you are merely sharing what you've noted and rightly pointing out that there will be 'challenges', no doubt) - foggy 'might bes' are far from substance.  We have very distinct 'substance' in 2-2-V-1 - what substance do the commenters offer?  What pre-war aircraft were destroyed; where were they destroyed?  Were those types a possible source (American made, metal stressed-skin, etc.)?  Were the locations plausible sources for a piece of wreckage to find its way to Niku?

We'll always have those who will say 'could be anything'.  We have an artifact of very distinctive features that turned up in a most unlikely place.  As I said before - pick another island, any island - see how well this can be duplicated; if pre-war dural with antique #3 brazier rivets is so common because of a flood of Pacific pre-war wrecks then we'd have big reason to doubt.  I presently and seriously doubt that is the case.

Quote
Also, I vaguely recall reading somewhere in these forii that Lockheed sold at least one L-10 to Japan, and there were several used by pre-war airlines in the South Pacific region.  Have those been documented well enough to rule them out as sources?

(devil's advocate mode OFF)

I think it is well known that Japan did have at least one Electra (and probably used it to reverse engineer a similar airplane, if not having built under license even, as may have been the case).  There were definitely Electras in the south and western Pacific - Japan, Australia, New Zealand - and I believe New Guinea.  No doubt some accessible islands were visited by those as well - but far away Gardner? 

If our part is what many of us now believe it to be, it either flew there on an Electra with extraordinary range (look at Niku on map and consider access) or someone imported it.  Import is possible - but that part, from where?  Now you have to consider the islander's migrations - did they have access to the places where this sort of wreckage was likely to have deposited itself by a crash?  It is not clear to me that they would have had that - the places we know of so far don't include losses of the type that would have produced this. 
- Jeff Neville

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John Ousterhout

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #101 on: February 12, 2014, 02:19:47 PM »

As I understand from some of Ric's postings, the printed "ALCLAD" clearly seen in this Japanese Flying Boat wreck example in New Guinea was applied by machine, while the lettering found on 2-2-V-1 was stamped or stenciled by hand (please correct me if I've got that wrong), which clearly indicates the artifact was of pre-war manufacture.  Was Japan building aircraft using ALCLAD purchased from the US before the war, or was there some other way for them to get it during the war?  I'm confused by the timing of the sequence of events - when was the transition from "pre-war" hand stamping to "war-time" machine stamping "ALCLAD"?  I assume the change took place after the L-10 was repaired but before Japan stopped buying from the US. 

Papua is a long ways away from Gardner Island, but the Japanese lost quite a number of these large flying boats during the war in places much closer.  See This Pacific Wrecks page

(later update -  found in Tiger Tracks Volume 12, number2/3:  "...the labeling was hand-stamped, a practice replaced by rolled-on labeling when aluminum production boomed after 1939."
Doesn't this indicate that the Japanese ALCLAD examples were produced after 1939, but before 1941?)

I found an interesting book review of Japanese Aircraft Equipment 1940-1945  that might contain some information on early-war and pre-war Japanese aircraft.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 08:55:31 PM by John Ousterhout »
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John B. Shattuck

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #102 on: February 13, 2014, 08:57:52 AM »

To the educated it smokes quite well... and I appreciate the depth and erudition of Jeff's posts.  Problem is that I predict there will be unsubstantiated counter explanations to explain away the presence of 2-2-V-1.  To the general public I believe the mystery will remain unresolved and still subject to some of the rather entertaining theories out there, unsubstantiated and without hard evidence though they may be.  I'm on board, I think it smokes, but to employ what is clearly some speculative prediction, I don't know that we have crossed the "any idiot" thresh-hold.

My opinion only...

JB
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #103 on: February 13, 2014, 09:11:48 AM »

I don't know that we have crossed the "any idiot" thresh-hold.

I agree.  The challenge is to present the case in such a way that any idiot can understand it.  I'm not sure it can be dumbed-down that far. 

The other way to approach it is to solicit endorsements from unimpeachable third party sources who do have the education to smell the smoke.  If we really have a solid scientific case for 2-2-V-1 being a piece of NR16020 the results of our analysis should be replicable.  Who then, would the public consider to be an unimpeachable source?
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John B. Shattuck

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #104 on: February 13, 2014, 09:21:28 AM »

The NTSB and the Smithsonian come to mind.  Could be others as well; but if those two organizations found that the only reasonable explanation for the presence of 2-2-V-1 is AE's plane, I think it would be accepted as truth.  Again, my opinion.

JB
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