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### AuthorTopic: Fuel usage  (Read 54128 times)

#### Neff Jacobs

• T2
• Posts: 54
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2015, 01:17:30 PM »

IF she ran at  52 54 GPH she would have had roughly 1 hour remaining at 1912Z, assuming crash and sink at 2013Z.

Earhart Arrived from Darwin with something like 335 gallons.
1100 - 785 = 315 gallons  plus 20 or so used for the 30 minute flight.

This is true at 44 GPH which is the average consumption over 1100 gallons following Johnson's telegrams.

I think the following is a better estimate:
It took 785 gallons to fill the Electra to 1100 gallons.
1100 - 785 =315 Gallons remaining after 8.2 hours operation.
Darwin to Lea 1200 miles
7.7 hours for 1200 miles = 156 mph
Working back from 480 thrust HP looks like 51 GPH or 392 Gallons  + 25 gallons for the 30 minute check flight
comes to 417 gallons used at the end of the Check flight
438 gallons added at Darwin - 417 used =  21 gallons  Therefore she arrived in Darwin with 294 gallons.
This is an estimate +/-wind and distance as flown.

Corrected margin was 40%

Neff
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#### Neff Jacobs

• T2
• Posts: 54
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2015, 01:36:36 PM »

Craig Romig  you may find this useful.
The LSC was a single engine plane of about half the Electra's weight that crossed the Pacific Brisbane, Fiji, Honolulu, San Francisco.  At 400 HP and down the LSC had similar speeds to the Electra.
Above 400 HP was off the Charts and into racing territory.
Note the LSC had a  Pratt & Whitney Wasp SE serial number 5522 rated at 550hp at 11,000 feet.  Normal critical altitude for that engine was 5000 feet.  According to P G Taylor LSC Navigator and co-pilot  the LSC flew "across 2100 miles of continent in 10 hours; she flew 200 miles at an average speed of 272 miles per hour"
272 implies the LSC was operating at 600 HP at 11000 feet for two hours.  That's crazy 1930s racer stuff but the long distance flights were mostly undertaken at less than 400HP.

All considered I think Earhart would have been better off in the Altair, but the LSC wound up in the drink also and nothing was ever found but one landing gear.  In any event you can trade between one and two engines almost one to one.
Neff
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#### Ric Gillespie

• Executive Director
• Posts: 6121
• "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2015, 01:52:07 PM »

IF she ran at  52 54 GPH she would have had roughly 1 hour remaining at 1912Z, assuming crash and sink at 2013Z.

And that's the fundamental problem with Crashed & Sank. The aircraft had the ability to remain aloft for 24.4 hours using the guidelines Kelly Johnson provided specifically for Earhart but the Crashed & Sank theory stands the scientific method on its head and begins with the received wisdom that she ran out of gas after only 20.2 hours of operation.  Proponents of Crashed & Sank have to come with ways to make her run out of gas when they want her to, and that usually involves requiring her to do something incredibly stupid.  You want her to blithely ignore Johnson's recommendations.  Elgen Long wants her to foolishly boost power to maintain speed against an imaginary headwind.  Amelia Earhart may not have been the aviation pioneer she was cracked up to be but she was an experienced long distance flier and I don't think she was suicidal.
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#### Bill Lloyd

• T3
• Posts: 105
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2015, 04:21:03 PM »

And that's the fundamental problem with Crashed & Sank. The aircraft had the ability to remain aloft for 24.4 hours using the guidelines Kelly Johnson provided specifically for Earhart but the Crashed & Sank theory stands the scientific method on its head and begins with the received wisdom that she ran out of gas after only 20.2 hours of operation.  Proponents of Crashed & Sank have to come with ways to make her run out of gas when they want her to, and that usually involves requiring her to do something incredibly stupid.  You want her to blithely ignore Johnson's recommendations.  Elgen Long wants her to foolishly boost power to maintain speed against an imaginary headwind.  Amelia Earhart may not have been the aviation pioneer she was cracked up to be but she was an experienced long distance flier and I don't think she was suicidal.

Amelia Earhart had demonstrated that she knew how to manage a long distance flight. Unless something drastically happened to cause loss of fuel it is hard to argue that due to mismanagement she wasted over 4 hours of fuel.

I can understand how she got lost and could not find Howland without a radio bearing but to simply fly the airplane out of gas is hard to imagine. She is at fault for not being competent enough to operate the radio and follow a bearing to the island and it was a little too much to expect Noonan to navigate them there. He probably got them close but who knows which way they went.

I have been lost over water in the Gulf of Mexico and running low on fuel and it is the worst feeling in the world. If they did stumble upon Gardner, it was luck. There was sufficient fuel to get there.
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#### JNev

• T5
• Posts: 778
• It's a GOOD thing to be in the cornfield...
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2015, 09:50:50 PM »

It's not a matter of finding the implausible, it is a matter of recognizing clearly stated understandings of Earhart's fuel management by Noonan and Putnam and that the lady often had discipline issues with many facets of her flying: radios, DF basics, taking off heavily laden without use of flaps as recommended by Johnson, etc., etc., etc.

Yes she made it to Ireland solo - but range wasn't the big issue in that one.  Nor had any previous leg of the round the world effort been as challenging.  She was gutsy and smart - and very lucky to make it to Ireland, for instance: broken exhaust manifold and bad weather should have defeated even the best of pilots, but she did it.  Great lady.

Who ever said she was suicidal?  That's far from the equation here - does that sort of suggestion stand the scientific method up more upright?  Does criticizing the very experienced Long for 'wanting' just the right thing when TIGHAR should perhaps seek to better support its own suppositions, such as the veracity of the post-loss messages?  Cannot those things stand on their own merits without taking Long down as abandoning aviation reason?

Noonan may well have gotten them close - good point, Bill; but I think it is far from a certainty that they had plenty of fuel to go beyond, as you state.  I too agree that it would have been luck if they did find Gardner (and I'm not against the idea - so not sure I fit the 'Crashed and Sank proponent' label, even if I do consider it a very possible outcome).

It is not a question of 'mismanagement', but that of exceeding a performance standard that had been reported before - meeting that of Johnson and abandoning that which caused his interest in improving her range capabilities - Johnson, who seems to have been imploring Earhart to embrace something better than she had before.  The very fact that he published that report and those telegrams suggests he was struggling to get her attention (in my view, yours may differ), and that some concern about her fuel management may have existed well enough.

Much doubt - I'll grant you all that; much unprovable, no matter your view - until the airplane is or may be found.
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R

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#### James Champion

• TIGHAR member
• Posts: 93
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2015, 08:29:08 AM »

There is a tremendous amount of information and discussions about fuel within the Tighar website. From the discussions within this thread it was indicated that there was about 40 +/- gallons of the 100 octane fuel remaining. It figures that this is the last fuel Amelia would burn.

My question are: What is the fuel burn rate when flying a lightly loaded NR16020 if burning 100 Octane?

and: How long could 100 Octane run one engine for just the radios at the necessary RPM if on the reef at Gardner?

Also, once on Gardner Amelia and Fred could have drained a few gallons from the fuel sump drains and transferred them to a single tank to keep the radios operational. There is always a little fuel remaining in the tanks that cannot be used or reached by the fuel pumps when in normal flight. This residual fuel is usually never calculated as part of the available fuel for purposes of range calculations. Is there any estimate of how much the Electra would hold of this unusable fuel?
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#### Chris Johnson

• T5
• Posts: 1069
• Trying to give a fig but would settle for \$100,000
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2015, 03:11:16 PM »

Ric/Jeff

Why don't you both take this matter between you off forum!

Ted Campbell

Ted got a point, it doesn't look very professional for an 'International research Forum'
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#### Bill Lloyd

• T3
• Posts: 105
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2015, 08:06:11 PM »

The fuel consumption issue has been discussed for many years on this forum and there are voluminous technical documents and in depth posts on the subject. It is a fascinating subject and the reason that it continues to be debated is because, I think, the case appears to turn on whether or not Amelia Earhart had fuel enough to get to Gardner Island from wherever she was at the time of her last radio transmission.

I think that we must start with the presumption that the Electra could fly for 24 hours on a full load of fuel. We can stipulate that Amelia took off with a full load and reported at 19 hours and 12 minutes into the flight "we must be on you but cannot see you", the inference here being that she thought that she had arrived in the vicinity of Howland Island.

I can find nothing but speculation and conclusory statements that Amelia was dilatory in her pilot duties. Perhaps her division of attention and concentration was not all that great, but she would have to be completely discombobulated to waste 4 hours of fuel without realizing it and making some sort of adjustment. I think that we must presume that she made a reasonable effort to comply with the setting Kelly Johnson provided her.

Notwithstanding, if she did waste fuel because she could not keep up with the task, a 2 hour wastage would still allow her to fly southeast and come upon Gardner. The last transmission at 20:13 GMT, "we are on the line 157" indicates to me that the nose of the aircraft was pointed to the southeast.

At one thousand foot altitude, Gardner island is visible at 35 miles distant. This being the case, Amelia was very fortunate, however, her luck was apparently fleeting.

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#### Neff Jacobs

• T2
• Posts: 54
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2015, 08:18:32 PM »

Craig,
If you Look at Lockheed report 487 you will see Earhart could fly very close to 200 mph at 60 GPH or with almost empty tanks 24 GPH at 95 mph.  So you can bound the amount of fuel.   You can do the math.  In the end exactly how much fuel was needed can only be bounded.   With 200 miles to cover presumably at a low enough altitude to be able to search I don't see how she could cover 200 miles on less than  48 gallons.  It would have been increasingly uncomfortable to run faster than about 130 mph in the daytime low altitude chop but maybe she was in a hurry to get it over with.
I hope this helps.
Neff
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#### Ric Gillespie

• Executive Director
• Posts: 6121
• "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2015, 08:37:26 PM »

The last transmission at 20:13 GMT, "we are on the line 157" indicates to me that the nose of the aircraft was pointed to the southeast.

That's an interesting point.  She said "157 337" not "337 157."  She also said "running north and south" not "south and north."  You can't run in two directions at once so she is apparently describing the sequence of the running.
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#### Ted G Campbell

• TIGHAR member
• Posts: 344
##### Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2015, 08:52:48 PM »

In her message I wonder if her fuel on board calculations included the 40 +- gallons of 100 oct. fuel.  I would guess it did not.  Why?  This was take off fuel and not considered cruse fuel.  Do we have any idea of where this fuel was tanked - left or right wing tank?

Just hoping - right tank, up slope of reef and available to right engine for gen. power.

Ted Campbell
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