Heat shields

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Artifact 2-1-V-18, was recovered during Niku I (1989). It was found near the remains of the village carpenter shop. It is a riveted aluminum structure that had a fragment of some kind of insulating material stuck to one side; the piece of insulation unfortunately has been lost. Another piece of aluminum sheet found in the same area, 2-1-V-2, matches the alloy type and general dimensions of 2-1-V-18.[1]

Senior technicians at a shop that installs business aircraft interiors later identified the artifact as a "dado"--a panel, often insulated, which covers and protects the juncture of the aircraft’s cabin flooring and the fabric-covered interior wall.[2] Military aircraft do not normally feature dados. The only civilian aircraft known to have been wrecked on Canton Island was an FAA Constellation that crashed and burned in 1962. By that time, the settlement on Nikumaroro was already in the process of being abandoned.

2-7-V-1 and 2-7-V-2 were found during Niku VP (WOF--2003).

Since the pieces seem to have been nailed to a wooden floor rather than riveted to the wall, it now seems that they may have functioned as heat shields between the heater duct and the gas tanks in the main fuselage of the Electra.

References =

  1. "Heat Shields: Detective Story"
  2. TIGHAR Tracks 11:3 (1995).