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A Forum for those interest in vintage NON-military aircraft
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Re: Is it an Airplane? B25? Amelia's L10E?

Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:32 pm

Thanks for that update Dave. As you noted in your post, the Buka plane could be any number of planes. Including Japanese. I saw recently a tweet from @chasingearhart that Bill Snavely has received permit to enter the area immediately for more dives at the location and that more information will soon be availiable. I think it's gonna be a B25.

Re: Is it an Airplane? B25? Amelia's L10E?

Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:09 pm

Ref: Project Blue Angel

I looked at and listened to the youtube "Chasing Earhart: The Discussion Panel".... which was at last years Earhart Festival at Atchison.
Mr. Snavely gave a talk on the project and the screen behind him showed a picture which I took to be a downward view onto the top of the fuselage looking forward. My eyes caught a glimpse of what looked to me to be a hole in the top of the fuselage.

I am going to say here that I have looked at a cutaway drawing of a Ventura which has fuselage tanks. Venturas also had a side entrance door just aft of the wing trailing edge on the Port side. Mounted on top of the fuselage just forward of the door was a small Astrodome. Mounted aft of the door on the top of the fuselage is a Gun Turret. To fill the fuselage tanks with gas, there would be a filler door (or doors - two tanks fitted internally and underfloor tanks also) at a level above the level of the top of the fuselage tanks.

I am going to say that my considered opinion is that Mr. Snavely's wreck is a Ventura.

Looking at the Project Blue Angel Video again I do see a clue in the Photograph at time 2:23 where there is a shot of a diver on his side with left hand touching the fuselage. He is looking at where the entrance door would be situated. Again the view is downward looking and the camera is facing towards the front of the aircraft and there to the right of the divers hand is the hole in the top of the fuselage. Forward of the hole, maybe five feet is a roundish looking object which appears to me to be a=the Astrodome and the hole in the top of the fuselage is where the plexiglass of the top Gun Turret was.

A further clue is associated with what the young boy saw when it crashed, in that he said the left side wing was torn off in the crash landing. Looking at the photo in the video, the image of the trailing edge of the wing on the Starboard side can be seen just under the yellow line , yet the trailing edge on the Port side is missing and there is an empty space to the left where the trailing edge should be, In fact the trailing edge was the "Fowler" type Flap which ran from the wing root to the Aileron step. Therefore when the outer panel was torn off, it also tore off the Starboard Flap section.

Hence from an aircraft recognition viewpoint my opinion is that the wreck is a Ventura.

Regards, DB.

Re: Is it an Airplane? B25? Amelia's L10E?

Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:01 pm

correction to my last paragraph in the post above...

my psaragraph about the report of the 'Port' wing being torn off should have stated that the "Port" Fowler Flap Section would also have been torn off, not, of course the Starboard section as I wrote.
My appology there...

David B

Re: Is it an Airplane? B25? Amelia's L10E?

Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:18 pm

The Buka aircraft could have been measured by now. I wonder why the delay in finding out what it is? Now I think David is right..a Ventura.

In the meantime- its easy to measure the aircraft in the Orona lagoon image with Google Earth's ruler function.


An important feature is the nose to wingtip line...it passes from the nose ..through the left engine/prop hub on both this image and a drawing of the L10E.

Re: Is it an Airplane? B25? Amelia's L10E?

Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:34 pm

This image(s) represents the basic Orona idea: In searching for the LF homing beacon the flight expected to find, Noonan overshot the destination with his dead reckoning. The flight searched for a while, realized finding tiny Howland without a beacon was impossible, and then turned south to the Phoenix Islands and encountered Orona (Hull) Island where they made a successful crash water landing in the quiet lagoon surface. If Itasca had transmitted a LF beacon as requested, the world flight would have succeeded.


Re: Is it an Airplane? B25? Amelia's L10E?

Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:48 pm

The whole thing still looks like a Rorschach Test to me. One person might see a Lockheed aircraft, another might see ... something else.

Re: Is it an Airplane? B25? Amelia's L10E?

Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:56 am

Maybe the extreme of the raft is 6' 6" above floor level. As the raft unfurls about 1 1/2 feet remain on the floor- my guess. So overall the interior length is near 8'. We can't tell what the inflated length would be as the perimeter float doesn't unfurl.
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