Flying the digital Electra has proven interesting. To build our navigation skills we have been using traditional navigation techniques, as well as Google Earth. This is a program no one, who wants to chart the Earhart flight around the world, should miss! We have been able to experience flying (in X-Plane) across the tropical mountains (10,000 feet!), and rough terrain of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and sunsets at Nukumanu Atoll. These sites must have also captivated Earhart and Noonan. And then, of course, there is the sunrise as they approach Howland Island. It was surprising to learn that we could easily pass Howland Island, and end up east of Earhart’s destination if we either lowered headwinds, but kept up speed, or changed Noonan’s clock by just a minute or two. And without a GPS it was easy to get lost if there were clouds below flight level obscuring the ocean. We also found the L10E had terrible visibility out of the cockpit — not a good platform for discovery of an island 1 mile long, and less than that wide.
Fred Noonan and Amelia Earhart meet well wishers in Caripito, Venezuela 1937.
Here is our digital Electra in a test flight over Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Earhart & Noonan flew over these same mountains at 10,000 feet.