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Author Topic: The Question of 2-2-V-1  (Read 762661 times)

JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #990 on: June 06, 2014, 03:43:48 PM »

OK I know nuffink about plane construction but if you were covering over a window would you cut it to shape as an insert or would you just lay it over the aperture?

It can be done either way, depending upon need of function and / or expediency.

Earhart's window covering appears to be 'expedient', as best I can tell from the pictures we have - a mere covering that neatly enough simply overlaps the original skin on the Electra at the edges of the aperture.  It also has distinctly 'square corners', not the nicely-rounded radii of a 'plug' for that window.  Admittedly those photos are a bit grainy, so take with a grain of salt.

So it does not seem to be a 'neat' plug or insert, such as is the case with the Finch Electra on display in Seattle at the Museum of Flight (I have pictures but not at-hand for moment - will follow).  Finch's window 'covering' is fairly clearly a removable 'hatch' by appearance, with a distinct separation line; the outer air passage (skin) is flush to the surrounding skin.  It is also clearly vertically braced in the web area (major 'mid' or 'open field' between the boundaries).  As a 'plug', it also happens to have rather elegantly radiused 'corners' as opposed to the rather sharp corners on the Earhart airplane covering (which CAN be discerned clearly from the vintage photos).  2-2-V-1 clearly does not match the Finch airplane; it appears to be a possible candidate for the Earhart window covering, IMO.

What we cannot tell from the existing pictures found so far of the Earhart Electra window covering is how any mid-field rivet patterns are oriented - vital to the case for 2-2-V-1, obviously.  But it looks to be braced rather 'normal' to the surrounding skins (which arguably suggests a stiffener pattern more closely oriented to the existing longitudenal stiffeners on the bird rather than vertical to my eye - but can't be sure).  It also lacks the tell-tale gap around the edges that are noticeable on the Finch bird (no pun intended...) in the 'plug type' installation.  The bracing does not mean it would match existing 'stiffeners' in the Electra because, IMO, these could have easily been improvised as mere mid-field light-weight stiffeners to avoid the timpanic oil canning effects of airflow over a large, thin sheet.  That is of course speculation since so far we don't have details - but it is quite possible and a realistic position to explore, IMO.

I wouldn't know how to lay odds on this, but as Monty notes, I have a very strong 'hunch' about the possibility.  I realize there are still other mysterious questions about this artifact - some that may yet disqualify it.  But it has not been qualified as from another type as-yet despite a rather exhaustive effort (I was certainly exhausted after crawling around a number of museum pieces with TIGHAR in Dayton...), and this possibility seems vital in my view.

There is another string that was devoted to this prospect.  Go there to review previous discussions.  I closed that string after the focus shifted to the belly as it was believed that the rivet pattern was not right for this - but I'm not sure we really connected the dots on that at the time, and the belly was a good focal point for study (there are surviving examples of belly skins, whereas Earhart's window covering was a 'one-off' effort which wasn't duplicated among sister ships that we are aware of).

As to Nathan's suggestion (welcome aboard, Nathan) regarding possible stowaway on the N.C., I doubt it (and those who adhere to the font mystery as disqualifying would howl in agreement, I'm sure) - 1929 (year of ship wreck) was too early for this kind of material to show up as relating to aircraft construction.  The Boeings of the time ('29) were rag, steel and wood - the B247D didn't emerge for a few years yet (and would be the one Boeing product of the '30s that might contribute such an artifact).  I would put 'other airplane types' in the area before that (and the question remains: WHICH other types?  A Cinderella hasn't been found for this aluminum slipper yet...).

I'd like to encourage our followers to scour for a good picture of the covered window on Earhart's airplane - Niku enthusiast or critic matters not (some of our critics appearing here have contributed some outstanding finds and all of us at least share an interest in this quest, either way).  I wish I were as good at ferreting those things out as so many others have been, but just don't seem as able as some, so contributions of such pictures are asked...

Here is one from TIGHAR's files -

- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 03:50:03 PM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Chris Johnson

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #991 on: June 06, 2014, 03:56:21 PM »

If your just going to 'slap' some aluminium over a hole/window would you;

a) just rivet round the window

b) put a strengthened piece across it for extra Rivets.

f this peie was from a window cover why have rivets across ?
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #992 on: June 06, 2014, 04:17:14 PM »

If your just going to 'slap' some aluminium over a hole/window would you;

a) just rivet round the window

One would typically pick-up 'existing' holes, where possible; that includes, in this case, production holes along the bottom, forward and aft edges of the window as it seems to be arranged, plus the modifier-drilled (not production) row along the top of window (notice the upper edge of window / covering is at a higher waterline than the original stringer at that location, i.e. that stringer had been removed from the bay used for the window).

Quote
b) put a strengthened piece across it for extra Rivets.

Or more likely 'pieces' - and the pattern we see on 2-2-V-1 is entirely sensible to me.  This would be to resist a timpanic effect from oil-canning (know that odd sound an oil can makes?) where a light sheet is installed over a fairly large aperture, such as we see.  The 'skin' we see in this picture appears 'light' to me, i.e. easily on order of .032", for instance, so some light stiffengin would be entirely in order.

Quote
f this pei[c]e was from a window cover why have rivets across ?

For stiffening, as I've pointed out above.
- Jeff Neville

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Chris Johnson

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #993 on: June 06, 2014, 04:22:22 PM »

Too late over here to check but I've got an 'itch' that the window was treated with some kind of anti glair film so why cover it?
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JNev

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #994 on: June 06, 2014, 04:26:36 PM »

Too late over here to check but I've got an 'itch' that the window was treated with some kind of anti glair film so why cover it?

Put some lotion on your itch before retiring, it's from something else  :P -

That window is clearly covered in the photo above.  That fact is known as well - a clear window is visible in early photos (such as posted here below), and later it is covered.

- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 04:46:11 PM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Steve Lee

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #995 on: June 06, 2014, 05:13:10 PM »



We have very few photos of the patch and none of them is of sufficient resolution to see the rivet pattern. The window was originally installed to give the navigator an optically correct  way to take celestial observations from the starboard side of the airplane (the flat window in the cabin door served that function on the port side). No one knows for sure why it was removed and skinned over in Miami, but I have a theory.

Flying around the world from East to West as originally envisioned put the big window on the North-facing side of the airplane. Flying West to East on the second world flight attempt put the big window on the South-facing side.  I suspect that during the flight across the U.S. from Oakland to Miami they discovered that the South-facing window made the cabin unbearably hot.  Noonan reportedly felt that the elaborate navigator's station speced out by Mantz and Manning for the first attempt was excessive.  I suspect that, with AE's permission, he asked the Pan Am mechanics in Miami to replace the window with a patch.

Regardless of why it was done, it was clearly done.  Might the patch have ended up looking like 2-2-V-1?  We'll never prove that it did, unless we find better photos than we have now, but we might be able to show that it could or prove that it couldn't.


But air temperature typically decreases considerably with altitude .  At an altitude of 2000 meters, which was a typical altitude the Electra would be flying at I think, the air temperature would typically be about 12 degrees C, or about 50 degrees F lower than at the surface.  So even in the summer at the equator, the air temperature at the the sort of altitude the Electra typically flew at would be quite comfortable, maybe even a bit cool, so I don’t think it would be necessary to modify the window arrangement to make the cabin warmer.

I seem to recall a discussion somewhere on the forum about Amelia brining her leather jacket along during the world flight…
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #996 on: June 06, 2014, 05:53:41 PM »

So even in the summer at the equator, the air temperature at the the sort of altitude the Electra typically flew at would be quite comfortable, maybe even a bit cool, so I don’t think it would be necessary to modify the window arrangement to make the cabin warmer.

Not all of her flying was done at high altitude..  Let's here your hypothesis for why the window was removed and skinned over.

I seem to recall a discussion somewhere on the forum about Amelia brining her leather jacket along during the world flight…

No doubt about it.  She did have her leather jackleg with her.
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Steve Lee

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #997 on: June 06, 2014, 07:39:57 PM »

So even in the summer at the equator, the air temperature at the the sort of altitude the Electra typically flew at would be quite comfortable, maybe even a bit cool, so I don’t think it would be necessary to modify the window arrangement to make the cabin warmer.

Not all of her flying was done at high altitude..  Let's here your hypothesis for why the window was removed and skinned over.

I seem to recall a discussion somewhere on the forum about Amelia bringing her leather jacket along during the world flight…

No doubt about it.  She did have her leather jackleg with her.

I'm simply pointing out a problem with your hypothesis.  By the way, the temperature differential I cited from the linked to seems a bit large to me, but that's what the numbers were in the table. Anyway, the basic point is that it is considerably cooler and drier at altitude than it is at the surface, hence the phenomenon of cloud formation, and hence, Amelia's leather jacket on a flight that (sort of) followed the equator.


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Friend Weller

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #998 on: June 06, 2014, 11:03:48 PM »

What is the consensus on what appears to be a ripple in the aft center portion of the window covering (indicated by the arrow)?  Is it dipple on the photographic paper that was reproduced in the scanning process or could it be a distortion in the skin of the aircraft?
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Monty Fowler

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #999 on: June 07, 2014, 06:27:17 AM »

Anyway, the basic point is that it is considerably cooler and drier at altitude than it is at the surface, hence the phenomenon of cloud formation, and hence, Amelia's leather jacket on a flight that (sort of) followed the equator.

Sure, the air temp is cooler at altitude, but your theory doesn't take into account the fact that solar radiation, aka sunlight, can heat up things that absorb those rays. The cockpit of the Electra had relatively small windows and were at angles that might, or might not, block out most sunlight, depending on aircraft course and time of day.

The big window on the starboard side, however, would allow solar heating throughout most of a given day. I can see Fred not wanting to spend much time in a small area filled with blinding sunlight - we know that the inside surfaces of the Electra were treated with aluminum paint for corrosion protection, which would have led to a multiplier effect for any sunlight coming through that window.

Either way, as Ric has pointed out, it doesn't really matter why the window was patched over. It clearly was - and now the hunt is on for good exterior or interior photos of that part of the Electra from Miami onwards. I can see another call to Jeff Glickman in the near future.

LTM, who is waiting to see if the dry paint is really THE dry paint,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
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Steve Lee

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #1000 on: June 07, 2014, 07:01:46 AM »

Anyway, the basic point is that it is considerably cooler and drier at altitude than it is at the surface, hence the phenomenon of cloud formation, and hence, Amelia's leather jacket on a flight that (sort of) followed the equator.

Sure, the air temp is cooler at altitude, but your theory doesn't take into account the fact that solar radiation, aka sunlight, can heat up things that absorb those rays. The cockpit of the Electra had relatively small windows and were at angles that might, or might not, block out most sunlight, depending on aircraft course and time of day.

It's not 'my theory'. It's a fact that the atmosphere is cooler and drier at altitude.

The big window on the starboard side, however, would allow solar heating throughout most of a given day. I can see Fred not wanting to spend much time in a small area filled with blinding sunlight - we know that the inside surfaces of the Electra were treated with aluminum paint for corrosion protection, which would have led to a multiplier effect for any sunlight coming through that window.

Wasn't the big window that was covered up in the lavatory?  I can think of good reasons that poor Fred wouldn't want to spend much time there, and they have nothing to do with 'blinding sunlight' ;D.

Either way, as Ric has pointed out, it doesn't really matter why the window was patched over. It clearly was - and now the hunt is on for good exterior or interior photos of that part of the Electra from Miami onwards. I can see another call to Jeff Glickman in the near future.

Agreed- it doesn't really matter.

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Steve Lyle Gunderson

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #1001 on: June 07, 2014, 08:55:15 AM »

You probably already have it but just in case, here is a picture of that side with the skin added over the window.  I have never seen a really good picture of that side.
I checked this link and noted several issues. the 1st picture caption say's 'arriving in Miami' but the rear window is covered, The 3rd picture caption say's "getting prepared for take off from Miami' and the rear window is not covered. And the 2nd picture say's 'Amelia with Fred N', doesn't look like any pictures I've seen of Fred?
Also I didn't know she had originally landed at the wrong airfield when she flew to Miami, thanks to Fred.

LTM who believes it must be true because it's on the web.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #1002 on: June 07, 2014, 10:25:00 AM »

I'm simply pointing out a problem with your hypothesis.

The only problem with the hypothesis is that there is no way to test it.  All we can say for sure is that the window was there when she left Burbank and by the time she departed Miami ten days later the window had been replaced with a metal patch.  She made two stops on her way to Miami - Tucson and New Orleans, but they were just overnight stops, not enough time to do the replacement - so the work must have been done in Miami.  It seems clear that something happened during the flight from Burbank to Miami that caused them to decide to get rid of the window. What could that have been?  If the window had somehow been accidentally broken it seems like there would have been mention of that by someone.  There was an incident on the ground in Tucson involving an engine fire that was duly reported in the press.
For some reason they (AE, FN, GP, and mechanic Beau McKneeley were aboard for the flight to Miami) decided that the window was a bad idea.  The window had been there for the first attempt and it didn't get changed during the repairs, so the window was apparently not a problem when flying East to West.  The only things I can think of that were different between the flight from Oakland to Honolulu and the flight from Burbank to Miami were the direction of flight and the fact that the flight to Miami was done in three legs instead of one long one.  Flying West to East puts the window on the southern sunny side of the airplane and a series of shorter legs means the airplane is spending more time at lower altitudes.  The flight was made in late May across the southern U.S.   Four people aboard means that at least two people were riding in the aft cabin (ditto for the Oakland/Honolulu flight). I can't think of a better explanation for getting rid of the window than that it made it the cabin too hot.  If you can think of a better one, let's hear it.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #1003 on: June 07, 2014, 10:29:08 AM »

What is the consensus on what appears to be a ripple in the aft center portion of the window covering (indicated by the arrow)?

My best guess:  It's either a reflection that makes it look there's a dent there or it's a dent caused during ground handling (aka "hangar rash").
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Question of 2-2-V-1
« Reply #1004 on: June 07, 2014, 10:50:39 AM »

I checked this link and noted several issues.

There is nothing more common than inaccurately-captioned photos of Earhart and the Electra.

Also I didn't know she had originally landed at the wrong airfield when she flew to Miami, thanks to Fred.

That part is true.  Upon arriving in Miami she landed at the wrong airport, but whose fault it was is another question.  I've never before heard it blamed on Fred.  When she landed at the proper airport she blew the landing so badly that they had the PanAm mechanics inspect the landing gear for damage, but none was found.  All in all, it was an inauspicious arrival.

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