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Author Topic: 2-2-V-1 - patch?  (Read 1123188 times)

Joe Cerniglia

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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1260 on: January 20, 2015, 05:21:08 PM »


You know what they say - if a guy looks around the table and can't tell who the bloviator is, it's bound to be that guy.  Well, I guess it's me.

Ric's right.  Let's all keep an open mind.  This card game isn't up yet.  Jeff, I'm in touch on the PM.


Monty Fowler

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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1261 on: January 21, 2015, 01:33:49 PM »

It's like in the military, we have to hurry up and wait.

In my long years of experience with experts of all kinds, nothing will be gained by trying to prod them and get quicker results. Patience is a virtue, which I am still trying to master.

Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016

Diego Vásquez

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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1262 on: January 22, 2015, 11:25:52 PM »

.... The apparent poor fit of the edges of the artifact as they lined up with the structures in a stock Electra was explained in the bulletin as an optical illusion "from two radius curves that are intended to overlay upon each other, but instead have been separated."  The artifact was held closer to the camera than its actual position on (as) the skin would have been; therefore, the artifact looked bigger....

Joe – I'm not sure which photo you were referencing in your recent exchange with Jeff, interior or exterior, but I did note that in the Wichita video at approximately 08:36 – 08:39, the artifact is pressed closer to the wall than it is in the interior still photo that has been posted.  I have attached a capture from the video.  The artifact is pressed closer to the wall in the attached screen capture than it is in the report photo, but even this screen capture doesn’t really do the video justice.  I recommend that you, and anyone who is interested in whether or not the artifact fits within the vertical rivet lines of the Miami patch, check the video for yourself/yourselves from 08:36 - 08:39.  The video offers sharper resolution plus additional cues from movement and sound, thereby lessening or removing the optical illusion to which you referred.  The video appears to leave no doubt that the left edge of the artifact is in fact pressed against the lavatory bulkhead with no room for a vertical rivet line between the piece and the bulkhead.  At the same time the right edge of the piece extends well beyond the vertical rivet line at Sta 320, with no such vertical rivet line appearing on the piece.  Ric even made the spontaneous exclamation, “Boy that’s tight,” as he wedged the piece in. 

Ric – In the Wichita video from approximately 08:36 – 08:39, the left edge of 2-2-V-1 appears to be pressed up tight against the lavatory bulkhead, leaving no room for the vertical rivet line that was present on the Miami patch.  At the same time, the right edge of 2-2-V-1 appears to extend beyond the rivet line at Sta 320, yet no vertical rivet lines are present on 2-2-V-1. 

How is this apparent disparity in the horizontal fit of 2-2-V-1 accounted for?

Diego V.

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« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 11:29:15 PM by Diego Vásquez »

Bessel P Sybesma

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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1263 on: January 23, 2015, 01:56:46 AM »

Despite a lack of aviation and general engineering experience, I have been trying to follow the evolution of this discussion as best as I can. As far as my interpretation is correct, the doubts would seem to center around the exact positioning of 2-2-V-1 against the fuselage of the Wichita Electra.  Looking at the relevant pictures again, it appears that there is a discrepancy between the position of the tape and the position of the window frame as it appears in the original photographs.

On the original picture, the window frame seems to be a few cm's aft of the bulkhead, whereas the tape on the new picture is positioned at the exact edge of the skin at the bulkhead. I've attached a document showing what I mean.

This would mean that if the patch was installed only to cover the existing aperture of the window, using the rivet lines that the window frame was attached to, we have to reconsider whether or not 2-2-V-1 actually fits.

But then, we don't really know how the patch was fitted exactly, it may well have abutted to the skin edge at the bulkhead...


Ric Gillespie

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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1264 on: January 23, 2015, 10:35:34 AM »

I think it's time for a quick review.

On March 28, 2014 the members of the Artifact 2-2-V-1 Commission spent the day at the National Museum of the United States Air Force meeting with the Restoration Supervisor and other Restoration staff. We also performed detailed inspections of various aircraft in the collection.  The purpose of the trip was to see if we could find an alternative Aircraft of Origin. Among the TIGHAR group were Jeff Neville and Aris Scarla - both of who are highly experienced in aircraft structures and repair.  We had lots of bright, experienced people working the problem.  At the end of the day we had a consensus that:
"The available evidence now suggests that the artifact is probably not from a WWII combat or heavy transport aircraft and is probably from an airplane smaller and lighter than any of the military types that served in or transited through the Central South Pacific. If the artifact is from a repaired area, the repairs were probably done at the factory. The artifact is, without question, from an aircraft that suffered catastrophic damage somewhere in the Central South Pacific region. At present, of the known losses in the Central South Pacific, only Earhart’s Electra fits all of the requirements. Further research may yield additional information that will either support or refute the criteria."

We were also able to eliminate the hypothesis that the artifact came from a repaired section on the belly of Earhart's Electra.  NMUSAF Respiration Supervisor Greg Hassler and FAA Flight Standards manager Aris Scarla agreed that the repairs could not have involved a change in the rivet pitch as we had previously postulated.  This finding prompted a visit to the New England Air Museum by several 2-2-V-1 Commission members on May 30 to see if we could find someplace on the museum's Electra that had the correct rivet size, pattern, and pitch to match the artifact. 

On June 5, 2014 I reported to the Commission:
"We were not able to find anywhere on the New England Air Museum Lockheed 10 that met the criteria for a match to 2-2-V-1, even if the area was repaired in a way that did not require new engineering drawings.  There were two places where there were parallel rows of rivets and enough length without a crossing row.  One was on the belly in the area we had previously considered the best fit, but the rivet pitch there is 1.5 inches and we learned in Dayton that in a repair the rivet pitch cannot change.  The rivet pitch on the artifact is 1 inch so 2-2-V-1 cannot have come from there.
The section of the belly just forward of there has rivets with a 1 inch pitch but the skin in that area is .040, not .032.  So we're left with a case of "close but no cigar."  

All the other interesting things we've observed about the artifact are still true and we still have no good alternate Aircraft of Origin.  The mystery deepens.  If the paint test comes back positive for aluminum paint on the interior surface of the artifact the mystery will get even deeper.

BTW, we were easily able to match the piece of wreckage from the Idaho wreck to the trailing edge of the starboard-side outer wing panel on the New England air Museum airplane."

In other words, we were out of ideas.  The artifact did not seem to be from an Electra but neither did it seem to be from any of the other known possible Aircraft Of Origin.  Then Jeff Neville sent the following email to the group:

"Good work, Ric (and Lee / whomever was able to attend).

I am wondering again about the late-installed cover for the large nav window which was created and installed in Miami. It was a 'one off' mod / de-mod effort with potential for deviation from mothership details, IMO. Trouble is, no other example exists in true-to-NR16020 form that I know of - unless Finch's L10 at Seattle museum of flight has a faithful duplication of the cover. I've seen that one and it does not match 2-2-V-1- but I'm not sure there's a good record of the details of that job on Earhart's own bird to go by. What I'd give for a clear photo..."

I replied:
"Ya' know ....that's a very interesting hypothesis.  Needs looking into."

As it turned out, I had a speaking engagement at the New England Air Museum on June 15 so I brought 2-2-V-1 along to see if there was any chance it might fit the Miami Patch.  I was dubious and I only had a few minutes between the two presentations I was doing but I quickly taped off the supposed boundaries of the patch and held up the artifact.  I was surprised at how well it seemed to fit.  I grabbed a museum visitor and had him hold the artifact up to the airplane so that I could take a photo. I could only compare the artifact to the exterior of the airplane because the lavatory of the New England Museum Electra is fully restored.

It was clear that we needed to do a serious comparison of the artifact to an Electra. Through a Forum posting we became aware of the airplane being rebuilt in Wichita.  To make a long story short, on October 8, 2014 Aris Scarla, Jeff Glickman, TIGHAR video cameraman Mark Smith, and I met at Wichita Air Services.  TIGHAR paid for everyone's airfare, accommodations, etc.  We didn't exclude anyone who wanted to come. It was an expensive trip but we felt that an in-person comparison by knowledgable experts (Glickman, Scarla, and the folks at Wichita Air Services who have spent years rebuilding the airplane) was the only way to get a real feel for whether the artifact compared favorably with the structure of a Lockheed 10 and the limited information we have about the structure of the Miami Patch.

At the end of the day we all agreed that, based upon what we had seen, and given the "null hypothesis", there is a high-degree of probability that the artifact is the patch.  None of us was there to kid ourselves or try to fool anybody.   What you see in the photos and video are brief moments out of hours of inspection.  Capturing on film what we could see in person was difficult and we were (obviously) not successful in that regard.

Since then, despite warnings that:
"Because the artifact is necessarily several inches closer to the camera than the skin of the aircraft, it appears to be a bit too big to fit. That’s an illusion. As forensic imaging specialist Jeff Glickman explains, “While not intuitive, this is a common optical illusion. It results from two radius curves that are intended to overlay upon each other, but instead have been separated. The origin of the illusion becomes apparent when the two radius curves are looked at in profile and their edges projected down to a 2 dimensional plane.”  We've been bombarded with analyses from people - none of whom is a credentialed photogrammetrist and none of whom has had or taken the opportunity to compare the artifact to an Electra in person, who say the artifact doesn't fit.

2-2-V-1 may or may not be the Miami Patch but it is not going to be disqualified by amateur photogrammetric hair-splitters. 

I just shot a morning compiling this review.  Those who feel that the artifact does not fit the patch are welcome to their opinion but we're not going to waste any more time debating it here.



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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1265 on: January 23, 2015, 11:43:30 AM »

Very good re-cap, Ric.

I will always be grateful to you and TIGHAR for a well-organized and thorough 'expedition' to Dayton - it was a privilege to be a part of that team and a great couple of days well-spent.  It was also a great formative exercise in this research.  I am also grateful that you, Aris and Jeff Glickman went to Wichita to ply further into this - excellent effort.

Every TIGHAR in Dayton lent something of positive weight.  It was humbling to be among a diversely talented group like that and to watch the ideas come together.  I am flattered to be considered a fellow among the 'commission' you formed of that group, thanks for that.

I am also grateful for the credit you've given me for pressing the nav window cover possibility for 2-2-V-1.  It was simply too significant an artifact to give up on in my view and the notions I had then still hold true: the photos we see of that rapidly-appearing - then all too soon disappearing, window cover is an enigma that cannot be ignored; TIGHAR was holding an enigmatic artifact with more riddles in it than clear answers.  Wherever it eventually goes it has been a great journey exploring this thing, and I am proud to have been allowed some small role in it.

I respect your concern about how to approach critical commentary.  As I look back at the commission you formed among several of us and the care we all put into that, it comes to me that any further commentary as to critical review deserves the most sincere preparation and presentation to you and the commission.  I'm sure it will receive sincere consideration in return. 

We worked hard to get to what was presented; we deserve a chance to continue that work among ourselves if there is to be consideration of further commentary.  You and the commission - and TIGHAR at large, and the public for that matter, all deserve no less.  I'm sure none of us wants anything less than the very best analysis that can be produced.  In that spirit, anything further I may have to offer will come to you and the commission in full, for consideration.

Perhaps this approach is in the better spirit of what we hope to be.  I also would not care to see 2-2-V-1 bickered into oblivion and appreciate your thought in this regard.

- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R

Alfred Hendrickson

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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1266 on: January 23, 2015, 11:43:55 AM »

I just shot a morning compiling this review.

Thanks for taking the time to compile this, Ric. It really helped me understand things.


Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: 2-2-V-1 - patch?
« Reply #1267 on: January 23, 2015, 12:17:36 PM »

I have locked this topic for the time being.

It seems to me that the basic questions have been raised about 2-2-V-1.

The Forum is not the best place for TIGHAR to develop its report.

I will unlock the thread after TIGHAR has published whatever it wants to publish about its view of 2-2-V-1.  That will be the time to see whether TIGHAR's view is accurate and responsible and to discuss the data and methods used by TIGHAR in the publication.

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