YouTube // TIGHAR

YouTube // TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart's Lost Plane Spotted in a 1936 Film

YouTube // TIGHAR

YouTube // TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart and her twin-engine Lockheed Electra disappeared on July 2, 1937. Now, nearly 80 years later, Discovery News reports that the plane has been rediscovered—in a 1936 film cameo.

The MGM romantic comedy Love on the Run, starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, features spies, a runaway bride, and an undercover reporter. The film also contains a scene in which Gable and Crawford don flying suit disguises and make a great escape in an airplane, to much comedic effect. The actual flying stunts were performed by pilot Paul Mantz, who was Earhart’s technical advisor. It’s the flyer's only appearance in the movie; in other shots, a scale model was used.

The scene was shot eight months before the plane’s final flight over the Pacific Ocean. Not long after its stint in Hollywood, the Lockheed Electra was delivered to Earhart for her 39th birthday. It’s unknown whether she was aware of its role in the movie.

The cameo was recently uncovered by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), a group dedicated to investigating Earhart’s disappearance.

In the clip of the scene below, you can see the registration number R1602 on the right wing of the aircraft at around the 1:08 minute mark. The quick appearance is how the plane was spotted and identified.

While this discovery is an exciting one for Earhart biographers and researchers, the hunt for the actual plane is still underway to this day. Next summer, a new expedition called Niku IX will send two submersibles to comb a one-mile-long stretch off the coast of an island called Nikumaroro.

Ric Gillespie, executive director of TIGHAR, told Discovery News: "An abundance of archival, photographic and artifact evidence suggests that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan made a successful landing on the island's fringing reef.”

Gillespie believes the pair died on the uninhabited, waterless atoll and that the plane was washed out to sea. The teams—with the help of technology like high definition cameras, mechanical arms, and lights—will search for plane fragments in the area as deep as 6500 feet. Niku IX will be the group’s 12th search around Nikumaroro.

[h/t LiveScience]

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Courtesy of Flightradar24.com
Aircraft Tracker Visualizes One of the Busiest Days Ever in Air Travel
Courtesy of Flightradar24.com
Courtesy of Flightradar24.com

The skies look a lot more crowded today than they did a century ago. At any given moment, there are 9700 airplanes traveling through the air on average. Saturday, June 30 was an especially busy day for air travelers: Flightradar24 recorded 202,157 flights, the most the flight-tracking app has ever documented in a single day.

Since 2006, people have used Flightradar24 to see visualizations of aircraft making trips around the world. Each tiny yellow plane depicted on their map uses data from airlines and airports, and users can click the icons to learn the route, model, speed, altitude, and departure and arrival time of each craft.

Another way to use the app is to take in all the visual information at once. The sped-up GIF below from Flightradar24 gives you an idea of just how densely-packed the skies were that day, with thousands of planes swarming to and from the planet's most populous areas.

Commercial flight data is more accessible to the public than many people realize. To build their real-time maps, Flightradar24 uses radar, ADS-B (the technology planes use to broadcast their location), and MLAT (a method used to calculate the position of planes by measuring the time it takes them to receive a signal). To get an even more detailed scoop on the status of an airplane, you can tune into the live feed of a specific airport's air traffic control channel.

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iStock
The Secret to a More Pleasant Flight? Urinals
iStock
iStock

Even if you can deal with the lack of legroom, privacy, and decent meal options on airplanes, your patience may start to wear thin when it comes time to pee. Being stuck waiting in long bathroom lines on planes may feel like one of life's unavoidable annoyances, but according to WIRED, there's a way to make the experience more tolerable. The secret involves urinals and a bit of math.

At last month's Crystal Cabin Awards, a competition that recognizes innovation in aircraft interiors, Zodiac Aerospace introduced the Durinal, a two-urinal plane bathroom that takes the place of one toilet. Replacing a bathroom that serves all passengers with one that's made for only half the population may seem like a quick way to make the long-line problem worse, but there's some logic behind the proposed solution.

As Wouter Rogiest, a mathematician at Ghent University in Belgium, tells WIRED, gender-neutral bathroom lines are shortest when men have the option to head straight for a urinal. That's because it's quicker to use a urinal than a stall, and when men opt for the urinal, it frees up stalls for women. When he drew up an equation looking at hypothetical bathroom wait times at a concert, he found that a ratio of 14 toilets to eight urinals produced the most desirable wait times: one minute, 27 seconds for women and slightly under a minute for men. On a commercial plane, this ratio would come out to one or two Durinals per six conventional bathrooms.

Rogiest's concert equation isn't a perfect stand-in for airplane scenarios, so a more specific study would be needed before airlines could consider installing urinals. Unfortunately, if bathrooms with urinals do show up on airplanes, you can expect the spaces to be just as tight as they are now.

[h/t WIRED]

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