World War II Fighter Plane Found in the Sahara Desert After 70 Years

Discussion in 'Military History' started by asianobserve, May 12, 2012.

  1. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    World War II Fighter Plane Found in the Sahara Desert After 70 Years




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    In what historians are calling the aviation equivalent to finding King Tut's tomb, a World War II fighter plane has been found in the Sahara desert 70 years after it crashed. Even more impressive, the plane is perfectly preserved—it hasn't been touched and hasn't even been seen until now.

    The discovery of the single-seater fighter plane, a RAF Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, was made by Jakub Perka, a Polish oil company worker who was exploring the desert in Egypt. It's amazing to see the plane in such good condition, the cockpit is still intact and the plane was even loaded with ammunition, until it was removed by the Egyptian government for safety reasons. It's like finding a time capsule hidden in the sands of time.

    The plane was supposedly flown by Flight Sgt Dennis Copping, who was 24-years-old at the time. He was ordered to fly the plane to a British airbase in northern Egypt for repairs but ended up crash-landing the plane in June of 1942. No one is quite sure why he had to crash-land, there are bullet holes in the plane, but Copping was never seen again. Officials who have analyzed the plane wreckage say that Copping had survived the crash and even created shelter with his parachute and attempted to fix the engine but he couldn't escape the punishing heat of the desert. He died away from the camp site, in the desert trying to find civilization. The nearest town, his only hope of survival, was 200 miles away.

    The plane is supposed to be taken to the RAF Museum in London but since the discovery of the plane has been made public, locals and scavengers have reached the site and have started pilfering whatever they can get their hands on. Hopefully it won't be stripped bare. If it survived this long in the desert without getting buried or destroyed, it'd be a damn shame to see it disappear now.
     
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  3. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    wow...amazing...world wars saw the great destruction and disappearance of material objects. finding them here and there is so much fun and specially one with a story like this. finding copping remains is also a task brit museum can undertake.
     
  4. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    What's more interesting to me is that this plane has been sitting in the Egyptian desert untouched for almost 70 years! The pictures show that the plane is relatively intact considering the time it spent sitting on the desert floor.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It appears that the locals or caravans travelling were not interested.
     
  6. Koovie

    Koovie Regular Member

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    R.I.P. to the pilot, what a terrible death to die alone in the desert 200 miles away from the next town.....
     
  7. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  8. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    The P-40 and the P-38 flew in the North Africa campaign.
     
  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I was aware of the P-38 in that theater.
     

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