I just read, with great interest, an article in the April 1998 issue of CQ magazine, about the WORLD (last) flight of Ms Amelia Earhart and Mr. Fred Noonan in 1937, not the least was the removal of the C.W. key (to save weight) because both she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disliked working C.W." (read: "neither were competent C.W. operators")
This extremely interesting article written by Mr. Bill Orr W6SAI goes on to report: "Because the removal of the trailing wire antenna (with it's motor driven reel, which is an antenna tuner, the length played out sets it's resonant frequency) left only a fixed length "V" antenna running from the tip of each (of the two) vertical fins (rudders) to a post mounted near the front of the plane, an antenna that worked so poorly that on 3.105 MHz their 30 watt transmitter delivered only about ½ watt and on 6.21 MHz only about 3 watts (due to mis-match and loading coil losses) to the antenna. Was this a problem? "
Voice transmissions with little understood other than a weak WX report could have been replaced with positional reports (NUMBERS from the navigator) to the stations trying to track them. (the plane signed KHAQQ) For more, the article starts on page 52, there is a nice bibliography and "Amelia Earhart" got me several nice HITS on YAHOO, including pictures of Ms Earhart the plane and it's motors. (animated) The search continues today for the remains of the travelers OR the plane. See the reports of the `Kanton Mission' which began February 14, 1998