Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tell Me Another One; Amelia Earhart Edition

The essence of TIGHAR’s report this week is that the piece of aluminum was a patch replacing a navigational window. News photos at the time show the shiny patch on the side of Earhart's Electra, which was installed during an eight-day stopover in Miami.
Their evidence happens to be a patch of aluminum that was allegedly used in a field repair? Of all of the aluminum used to skin an Electra, they find the one piece which can't be matched up to Lockheed's blueprints for the airplane?


TIGHAR's really excels at, so far as I can see, separating fools from their money. You'd be better off placing a deposit for a Moller Sky Car.


Expatriate Owl said...

Remember that meteorite, found in Antarctica a few years back, that they say came to Earth from Mars?

I'm still trying to come to terms with that one.

And now, this piece of aluminum scrap?

The best wishful thinking I can do for either is a cum grano salis.

Will said...

The article I read on this patch was saying that they made the claim due to the unique rivet pattern. But, it also said it was a factory specified upgrade. I'm thinking that due to the structure design, there might only be one logical pattern, and it may also be part of the specification for the panel. I wonder if the people making the claim are aware of this sort of manufacturing detail? When you get aircraft engineers involved, they tend to get fussy about doing it right. For more on aircraft vs automobile engineering, check the hassles Ford had when they tried to get their B-24 plant into gear in WW2. They hired Charles Lindbergh to make it work.

Comrade Misfit said...

Will, keep in mind that it's TIGHAR which is making those claims.

Anonymous said...

It's possible that this is a piece of Earhart's plane, but (and this is a big but) it depends on the alloy used. The most common aluminium alloy used in that time and into WWII was 2024T3. In the 2000 series the principal alloying ingredient is copper. It was found that this alloy corrodes very easily, so Alclad sheets were developed. On each side of the sheet is a thin (.001 -.003) coating of pure aluminium.

Pure aluminium (1000 series) has very little strength compared to alloy and cannot be heat treated so it is used for non-structural parts such as interior panels. Since the patch replaced a window there would be no reason to use a structural alloy. If the material that was used to create the patch was 1000 series it is pure aluminium which is very corrosion resistant.

The corrodible 2024 alloy structure, including the skin, formers, stringers, ribs, and rivets, of the airplane could have corroded away in the salt water, leaving the corrosion resistant patch intact.