In 1953, over Lake Ontario, X-2 46-675 exploded while still attached to the EB-50 Mothership. The result - the X-2 disintegrated and fell to the lake below. 40+ years later, there is a search for the remaining pieces of the X-2 on the bottom of the Lake.
Below are details on this recovery effort happening now - all courtesy of Lou Ricciuti.
** UPDATED 11/17/00 **
Camera and housing survived the 800 feet depth test offshore of Sodus Light in Lake Ontario. 400+ lbs. PER SQUARE INCH. 5000 lbs. total pressure over entire housing surface.
Neary TWICE the pressures found at the lost Russian submarine Kirsk! Was able to get video of the Lake bottom using the infrared capabilities of the camera and emitting diode through the 1.5 inch thick lens. Not a great distance for complete observation of the bottom, will only illuminate about 10 feet off the bottom surface. Had some difficulty in "bouncing" the housing off the bottom and causing murky clouds to be created.
Will be using a bottom plotter to judge the correct housing depth "flight level." Also will be using a GPS device to "implant" markings on the videotape at the location source on the bottom. This will prove invaluable to reconstruct the search pattern and document the locations of debris underwater. This will make all the State, Federal, as well as Acedemia, type officials very happy. All materials must be highly documented as to location, position and condition. That is, when we come across the desired parts of the X-2 or actually come across the debris field, it will need to be meticulously itemized and documented. Getting close now!
Live, real time portable video monitor has been acquired and will be used to do monitoring in the vessel at the surface. Weather is getting rougher each trip out and will suspend operations for the year soon. Incandescent light array will be complete and wired over the winter months and should prove to be VERY helpful in being able to suspend camera twenty, thirty feet or more from Lake's bottom, thereby allowing a much wider, more comprehensive visual scan of the bottom areas without clouding or entanglement, hopefully. A wider arc of downward vision if you will.
Have had some good news about the use of a 45 feet craft for the spring and will keep everyone updated as we go along. Thanks to all that helped and contributed directly and indirectly this season and to those who have wished this project well. Special thanks this year goes to: R. O'Keefe for putting up with me, B. Rohrer (X-2 progran technician)for his insight and opinions and more, To D. C. for the road trip and reconoittering, To Nancy, for putting up with me, To B.K.P. for his VAST electrical experience and technical assistance, To CEA for his consideration and contacts, To Bob Wicklund (sub pilot)and company in FLA. for sharing his expert and respected deep water submarine knowledge and constant interest in this project, To Carrie here for hosting my ramblings, To Craig Fuller at www.aviationarchaeology.com for his tenacity in obtaining the accident report (finally) from the AF, and many, many others. More to come as it develops. Lou R.