Image: U.S. Coast Guard
The mysterious vanishing of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan almost a hundred years ago, is one of the most prominent riddles in aviation's history. Their final resting place, at an unknown location somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, continues to vex historians and explorers alike; who would like to put an end to the continuous search now spanning close to a century.
In order to solve this enduring mystery, three East Coast companies are joining forces and resources to recreate the fateful flight's communications between the Lockheed Electra airplane and the US Coast Guard Cutter Itasca, the last known vessel to receive Amelia's distress radio signals before the transmissions went dark:
What we’re going to do is simulate the actual flight into what would be Itasca and simulate that flight that lasts part of her flight in 1937.
The ambitious simulation, which will be conducted at the end of this month (September) off the coast of Virginia in the Atlantic Ocean, will make use of a similar vintage model airplane furnished with period-accurate communications equipment in the hopes of triangulating and measuring the strength of the signals bouncing between the aircraft and the Navy ship:
It makes a perfect platform then for us to add on high-frequency antennas on it and direction-finding loop like she had on hers. Through the tests we can narrow down the band of how far was she for her last several transmissions.
When the test flight is completed, the team will analyze the gathered data using modern GPS technology to extrapolate Earhart's final location in the Pacific. If successful, they hope to retrieve the missing aircraft - or whatever remains of it - and bring it back to California for one last commemorative flight.
Almost 100 years after American aviator Amelia Earhart took her first flight her resting place has yet to be found but a local aviation group is helping to find an answer.