Episode 17

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Episode 17

Who can tell us the story associated with the set of photos below?

Clue #1:

The photo below is of the engine as manufactured:

Clue #2:

The engine is a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8 (2,800 cubic inch) 2-row 18-cylinder
(9 cylinders per row) radial engine:

Clue #3:

Clue #4:

The photo below is of the aircraft after manufacturing:

Clue #5:

The aircraft were manufactured in Akron, Ohio.

Clue #6:

The aircraft is a Goodyear Corsair FG-1 (F = Fighter, G = Goodyear) fighter plane.
The Corsair fighter was designed by Vought Aircraft in 1938 and production began in 1940.
During World War II, production expanded to include manufacturing in 1943 at Goodyear in Akron,
Ohio and Brewster in New York. There were 12,571 Corsair fighters produced in 16 variants.
Goodyear built 4,007 FG-1 (1,704 FG-1 and 2,303 FG-1D) Corsair fighters which utilized the
Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8 (2,800 cubic inch) 2-row 18-cylinder (9 cylinders per row) radial engine.

Goodyear also built 15 F2G (5 F2G-1 and 10 F2G-2) Corsair fighters which utilized the
Pratt & Whitney R-4360 (4,360 cubic inch) 4-row 28-cylinder (7 cylinders per row) radial
engine and a teardrop bubble canopy to serve as a specialized interceptor against kamikaze
attacks. The Pratt & Whitney R-4360, shown below, was the largest aircraft piston
engine to be mass produced in the United States.

Clue #7:

View Larger Map

The Portage Lakes consist of the lakes and reservoirs as identified below from north to south:

  1. Nesmith Lake
  2. Long Lake
  3. Dollar Lake
  4. North Reservoir
  5. East Reservoir
  6. West Reservoir
  7. Hower Lake
  8. Grape Lake
  9. Miller Lake
  10. Rex Lake
  11. Turkeyfoot Lake
  12. Mud Lake
  13. Nimisila Reservoir

Clue #8:

The Nimisila Reservoir is the last of the Portage Lakes to be created.
Nimisila Reservoir was built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration to provide more
water for the area and to provide work for people in the area during the Great Depression.

View Larger Map




The solution is given below.

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On Wednesday, July 28, 1943 test pilot Paul Van Keuren, 32, was making a routine flight in
a Goodyear Corsair FG-1 fighter plane (GAC #54, BuNo. 13045).
During the decent toward Akron Municipal Airport, the landing gear jammed and a wheel failed
to lower. Mr. Van Keuren then increased altitude to prepare to circle for a second landing
attempt but the engine failed. He then radioed the control room and pointed the airplane toward
Nimisila Reservoir. At 7,000 feet he leaped to safety in a parachute. The airplane crashed into
the reservoir and settled to the bottom in 18 feet of water. It remained underwater for two days
before Goodyear retrieved the airplane as shown in the photos below.
It is possible that small fragments of the plane remain in the reservoir but some
people erroneously believe that the entire airplane is still in Nimisila Reservoir.

Goodyear Corsair: