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Author Topic: Government Surveillance Flight Theories  (Read 74197 times)

Sheila Shigley

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #75 on: October 21, 2011, 11:26:38 AM »

Well...often "spying" is an attempt to avoid war rather than start it.  I agree pacifists mightn't always see it this way.  However, Roosevelt was a friend, and Japan was supposed to be adhering to a treaty--confirming adherence to the treaty (to protect America) wouldn't necessarily have to feel like warmongering.  In fact, it could be easily sold as the best way to avoid war.

As far as Bob's likelihood of confiding in W. Sanger, they were buds and colleagues, and I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time someone has excitedly told a colleague something they were supposed to keep to themselves.

But it does help form a potential picture of the alleged scenario--i.e. Bob had been asked to participate in mods, but W. Sanger had not; Bob was made aware of it, but W. Sanger was not (until Bob told him).  It implies a closer personal/professional relationship between Bob and Amelia, than between W. Sanger and Amelia (even though she may have come over for dinner several times, according to Wayne Jr., and may have parked her planes at W. Sanger's field.)

Maybe that's not so odd, really--Ops Managers are likely to have closer contact with clients than are General Managers.

No way yet of knowing whether the mods discussion took place.  But enough of the other things Wayne Green said about Bob Wemple have checked out that I feel intrigued to keep digging.  Wemple's worth it on his own merit at this point, lol. Interesting guy.





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Don Dollinger

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #76 on: October 21, 2011, 03:41:34 PM »

Quote
No way yet of knowing whether the mods discussion took place.  But enough of the other things Wayne Green said about Bob Wemple have checked out that I feel intrigued to keep digging.  Wemple's worth it on his own merit at this point, lol. Interesting guy.

Wayne was a child at the time and was also not a part of the conversation and it very well could be that he took an innocous statement for something it was not.  That is not to say that he is lying, just that his understanding of what was said was not what was meant by Wemple.  As Ric has stated more powerful engines could not even be installed and the statement says "that he had just outfitted her Lockheed with larger engines and extra fuel tanks" meaning he had actually performed the mods which the photos after her ground loop show that is not the case.

LTM,

Don
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #77 on: October 21, 2011, 04:49:00 PM »

Besides, installing bigger engines - even if that was possible - might make the airplane fly a bit faster but not farther.

Bigger engines that make more power also consume more fuel.  I believe that the range of the plane would be curbed in proportion to the increase in fuel consumption.

We know from the Chater Report how much fuel was onboard for the fatal flight.

We know that that amount of fuel is what the plane was originally designed to carry.

That is pretty good documentary evidence against the claim that Wemple helped install both oversize engines and oversize tanks.
LTM,

           Marty
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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #78 on: October 22, 2011, 08:39:57 AM »

From Tighar:

In relenting, Lockheed also offered to install a newer, 550 hp version of the R1340, the S3H1 variant. Known as the 10E, Pan Am bought 3 of these heavier but more powerful Electras and another 12 were eventually sold to other customers, one of whom was Amelia Earhart. In 1937 a one-off modification of the Model 10 was built for the Army Air Corps as a pressurized, high-altitude research ship. Designated the XC-35, the airplane is currently in storage at the Smithsonian's Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

I wonder if the conversation Green refers to was about Bob Wemple installing 600s (on a plane that previously had 450s)?  The "larger tanks" may have referred to the larger oil tanks.  From Tighar:

Lockheed specs show that the standard oil tank for the 10C and 10E was 8.5 gallons but an optional 11 gallon tank could be ordered. Numerous photos show that Earhart’s airplane was equipped with the larger tank.

What if the entire conversation Wayne Green recalls was about Bob performing mods we know took place on Electras, and that resulted in the configuration we know NR16020 to have used?

Probably a separate question altogether:  is there a chance the "one off" XC-35 was actually a "two off?"

What if AE and FN's route ended not being farther than planned, but higher?

[Corrected "550s" to "600s" above.]
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:44:02 AM by Sheila Shigley »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #79 on: October 22, 2011, 09:25:35 AM »

What if the entire conversation Wayne Green recalls was about Bob performing mods we know took place on Electras, and that resulted in the configuration we know NR16020 to have used?

Yes, I think the conversation was most likely about the difference between a 10A and a 10E Special (bigger engines plus massive fuel tanks in place of passenger seats).

Quote
is there a chance the "one off" XC-35 was actually a "two off?"

When you are dealing in abstract possibilities, there is no limit to the number of XC-35s that you may construct in your imagination.

The real question is, "Is there any evidence that NR16020 was an XC-35?  Is there any evidence that it was not?"

The bill of sale for NR16020 is for a non-pressurized aircraft.

Quote
What if AE and FN's route ended not being farther than planned, but higher?

To what end?  Why invest in that capacity?  I'm pretty sure that you don't just add the weight, cost, and complexity of a pressurized system just for the heck of it.  And I doubt that the engines would perform well at higher altitudes without some super-charging (more weight, cost, and complexity). The Wikipedia article on the "Lockheed XC-35 gives a nice overview of the differences:

"The United States Air Corps wanted the aircraft to perform high altitude research and to test the feasibility of a pressurized cabin. The Corps contracted with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to produce the aircraft at a total cost of $112,197. The requirements called for an aircraft capable of flying at no less than 25,000 ft (7,620 m) and having an endurance of 10 hours with at least 2 hours above 25,000 ft (7,620 m). Major Carl Greene and John Younger, both structures experts who worked for the Air Corps Engineering Division at Wright Field in Ohio were responsible for the design of the pressurized cabin structure. Greene and Younger worked with Lockheed to modify a Model 10 Electra with a new fuselage consisting a circular cross section that was able to withstand up to a 10 psi differential. New, smaller windows were used to prevent a possible blowout while operating at high pressure differentials. The cabin pressurization was provided by bleeding air from the engines' turbo supercharger, the compressor outlet fed into the cabin and was controlled by the flight engineer. This system was able to maintain a cabin altitude of 12,000 ft (3,658 m) while flying at 30,000 ft (9,144 m). The fuselage was divided into two compartments, a forward pressurized compartment, and an aft unpressurized compartment. The forward compartment housed two pilots, a flight engineer, and up to two passengers. The aft compartment provided accommodations for one passenger and could only be used at low altitudes since it lacked pressurization. "The XC-35 was fitted with two Pratt & Whitney XR-1340-43 engines of 550 HP (410 kW) each compared to the two Pratt & Whitney R-985-13 engines of 450 hp (336 kW) fitted to the base Model 10 Electra. The engines featured a turbo supercharger to permit the engines to operate in the thin air at high altitudes."
LTM,

           Marty
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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #80 on: October 22, 2011, 09:47:52 AM »

Agreed, Marty, it definitely wouldn't be for the heck of it; tons of Army and civilian time and money had been invested in the XC-35's development by July 1937, and Army Air Corps announced its "first perfomance flight" four weeks post-loss.  (Van Patten, Robert E. Air Force Magazine Online, Vol.86, No.1 January 2003)
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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #81 on: October 22, 2011, 09:52:52 AM »

Alas, hubbie tasks me for mundane housework so I won't be able to ck back in for a bit.

Just a note to say, as always, I don't presume anything so straightforward as "Bob installed turbos for the Army Air Corps," but rather want to explore any possible joint-purpose to AE's flight, given the military and civilian excitement and money surrounding the Lockheed Model 10 at that time.  AE was a friend of Roosevelt, and both she and her husband had extensive investment in the aviation industry.  The incentive to make the flight count towards something beyond a personal flight record couldn't have been higher.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:55:43 AM by Sheila Shigley »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #82 on: October 22, 2011, 10:08:26 AM »

... The incentive to make the flight count towards something beyond a personal flight record couldn't have been higher.

The payoff that we know about--for which there is contemporary documentary evidence--is the development of the airstrip on Howland Island, which strengthened U.S. claims to that island and would have "paved" the way (pun intended; you may laugh now) for more airport development in the Pacific. 

The evidence is presented in the first chapter of Finding Amelia.  The story begins here on p. 3:

"In 1935, the Bureau of Air Commerce established an American presence on three small, desolate, lagoon-less Pacific islands near the equator.

"A young bureau employee by the name of  William T. Miller was selected to head a project by which Jarvis, Baker, and Howland Islands were to be 'colonized' as the American Equatorial Islands. The colonization was to be accomplished using furloughed U.S. Army personnel assisted by young native Hawaiian graduates of  Honolulu’s Kamehameha vocational school. Five men—'one NCO, one cook, one first aid man, and two Hawaiians who could look after such matters as fishing and boating, and other miscellaneous duties'—would live on each island for nine months at a time, resupplied with food and water at three-month intervals."
LTM,

           Marty
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Ed Fitzpatrick

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #83 on: October 22, 2011, 08:15:03 PM »

 ;D

New to Forum.  Very nice to have a place to go to discuss some great theories and legends’ Richard! I finally got enough courage to share a few thoughts on Amelia Earhart and try not to get out of form or Category I hope.
I too was a Naval Aviator on C-118’s (FE) During Nam. So I’m pretty familiar with the P &W’s. Our Navy Pilots are some of the best.(AS you Know)
So much talk about the Cambridge Exhaust Analyzer being thrown out early.
My guess is after flying ¾ around the globe you pretty well know how to set your Fuel Mixture and head temp. I’m pretty sure we can estimate that AE would not exceed Gross Takeoff Weight. I would say she follows instructions well. I’m sure Kelly Johnson gave her Information with the Standard Engineering “ Built-in” Safety Factors. He would have erred on the Conservative side and not take her to full Military Power. I think it’s safe to say in the Navy we cruise at 10,000 ft  most of the time at a constant RPM and Speed until we burn off fuel, then cut back. Pretty sure they had snow in Australia and she had 20kn headwinds half way from LAE with weather improving and a tail wind. She had 1200 Gallons of fuel and a T/o weight not exceeding 16,500. They were very capable of maintaining an ave. weight of 13,000 lbs. And at 200 mph and should be able to do 4000 miles conservatively , I believe Howland was about 3500 mile trip. They had flown this distance several times during their flight already. She had Auto Pilot. About 150 miles out they would start their decent to 2000’. Then almost fly a straight in Approach to BAKER Island. A 4500 foot steel runway built a year earlier. At USCG Hawaii Head quarter has all Interior info on Baker Is. This was the Deception. USCG-Itasca unloaded Supplies and Boxed Radio equipment four days earlier. See Itasca Ships Log. Baker is only 45 miles from Howland with a runway! How did this get “Overlooked”.  Ok now for the SPY mission. She had an F-1 U.S.Navy Fairchild High Altitude with Rapid Action Carl Zeiss lenses 16MM 6 Roll Aerial “Spy” Camera made in 1935,but enhanced with Eastman Kodiak “Color” Motion Picture and/or Still frame. AE was a big Camera Buff. Can you imagine flying around the world without a camera? Even the German Zep’s had Cameras in 1932. If you look at most of her “stops” they were eventually manned by the Japs and Kraut’s. But what a great cover story. So how did they get her plane back from Hawaii to the US after the first “Accident”? Easy, they took the wings and Engines off and put them in a container and shipped them back. Other than establishing a Strategic Forward Base. Why in the Hell would anyone want to land on Howland or Baker Island anyway? If it was just a leisurely 40 Day Cruise like they were telling everyone I would think Fred would have chosen his normal flying route from Guam to Wake to Midway then to Honolulu, Don’t cha think! What in hell is so important about this tiny island in the middle of nowhere? Come on Folks. Within days the US Navy Now had reason to send 9 ships and 40,000 men to investigate these two pilots. IF you check these Ships logs I’m sure you’ll will see some interesting stops. I would love to see Standard Oil’s bill to Perdue Univ for her Gas Receipts’. Well, I just had to say it. Why keep this a secret any more. I think the Truth is far more interesting. Have Fun.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #84 on: October 22, 2011, 09:12:10 PM »

I think the Truth is far more interesting.

So do I.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #85 on: October 22, 2011, 09:20:34 PM »

;D

New to Forum. 

Welcome, Ed.  I'm glad you were able to get through.

Quote
They were very capable of maintaining an ave. weight of 13,000 lbs. And at 200 mph and should be able to do 4000 miles conservatively , I believe Howland was about 3500 mile trip.

This timeline of the second round-the-world itinerary says it was 2556 statute miles from Lae to Howland.

Quote
They had flown this distance several times during their flight already.

Not that I can see.  They had done 2400 statute miles to Hawaii on the first round-the-world attempt.  Lae-Howland seems to me to be the longest and most difficult leg for the second attempt. 

Quote
Then almost fly a straight in Approach to BAKER Island. A 4500 foot steel runway built a year earlier. At USCG Hawaii Head quarter has all Interior info on Baker Is. This was the Deception. USCG-Itasca unloaded Supplies and Boxed Radio equipment four days earlier. See Itasca Ships Log. Baker is only 45 miles from Howland with a runway! How did this get “Overlooked”?

Perhaps the documentation for this theory is weak?

Quote
Ok now for the SPY mission. She had an F-1 U.S. Navy Fairchild High Altitude with Rapid Action Carl Zeiss lenses 16MM 6 Roll Aerial “Spy” Camera made in 1935,but enhanced with Eastman Kodiak “Color” Motion Picture and/or Still frame. AE was a big Camera Buff. Can you imagine flying around the world without a camera? Even the German Zep’s had Cameras in 1932. If you look at most of her “stops” they were eventually manned by the Japs and Krauts. But what a great cover story. So how did they get her plane back from Hawaii to the US after the first “Accident”? Easy, they took the wings and Engines off and put them in a container and shipped them back. Other than establishing a Strategic Forward Base. Why in the Hell would anyone want to land on Howland or Baker Island anyway? If it was just a leisurely 40 Day Cruise like they were telling everyone I would think Fred would have chosen his normal flying route from Guam to Wake to Midway then to Honolulu, Don’t cha think! What in hell is so important about this tiny island in the middle of nowhere? Come on Folks. Within days the US Navy Now had reason to send 9 ships and 40,000 men to investigate these two pilots. IF you check these Ships logs I’m sure you’ll will see some interesting stops. I would love to see Standard Oil’s bill to Purdue Univ for her Gas Receipts’. Well, I just had to say it. Why keep this a secret any more. I think the Truth is far more interesting. Have Fun.

OOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooK.  I don't have time to point out all of the errors in this last paragraph.  It's been a long week and a long day.  Let me just say that the next ten or twelve hours of silence from me definitely does not constitute assent to the claims you have made.   ::)
LTM,

           Marty
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #86 on: October 22, 2011, 10:33:31 PM »

;D

New to Forum.  ...
Other than establishing a Strategic Forward Base. Why in the Hell would anyone want to land on Howland or Baker Island anyway? If it was just a leisurely 40 Day Cruise like they were telling everyone I would think Fred would have chosen his normal flying route from Guam to Wake to Midway then to Honolulu, Don’t cha think! What in hell is so important about this tiny island in the middle of nowhere?

-------------------------------

No I don't think since there was no runway on Midway, only a seaplane base.

gl
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #87 on: October 23, 2011, 07:53:01 AM »

... So how did they get her plane back from Hawaii to the US after the first “Accident”? Easy, they took the wings and Engines off and put them in a container and shipped them back.

Why the scare quotes around accident?  Not only are there pictures of the wreck, but a very large number of witness statements as well.

They used boxes and crates, not a container, to ship the Electra back to Lockheed for repair.
LTM,

           Marty
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Government Surveillance Flight Theories
« Reply #88 on: October 23, 2011, 08:19:09 AM »

One of the principal aims of TIGHAR's Earhart Project is to explore and demonstrate how to figure out what is true.  It' about learning how to find information and how to evaluate information. It's about how to sort fact from fiction, reality from fantasy. It's about learning how to think.
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