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Thread: Burma Spitfires - Discussion Open To 23.59Z 25/01/15

  1. #1
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    Burma Spitfires - Discussion Open To 23.59Z 25/01/15

    Just heard a brief mention on ITV News at Ten tonight that as part of Cameron's visit to Burma - agreement has been reached to release 20 Spitfires from Burma that were stored underground...

    At first I thought I had imagined hearing it - but after a quick google came up with previous rumours around of crated new Spits being buried etc, I assume there is some provenance to this 'rumour' then if it's been announced by UK Government.

    20 Spits that one would assume all have data plates - therefore restorable and flying at Legends some time soon if anyone has the odd millions sitting around etc

    Ex-RAF & Custodian of Hawker Hunter XF382 @ MAM
    Volunteer with The Events Team

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    Would these perhaps be these aircraft ?

    http://www.spitfires.flyer.co.uk/burma.htm

  3. #3
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    I was with it right up until the word 'underground'.

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    Mark12 is probably booking his plane ticket as we speak!

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    Yeh they have just mentioned it on sky news, what great news!!

    Even though the female news presenter said she couldnt understand what all the fuss was about? arent they just a bunch of old rusty relics????

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    Would they even have that many left??
    There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And spiders. F**k spiders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasop View Post
    Yeh they have just mentioned it on sky news, what great news!!

    Even though the female news presenter said she couldnt understand what all the fuss was about? arent they just a bunch of old rusty relics????


    Is she taking the P*ss?!

  8. #8
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    Is there a 13 day time difference between Burma and the UK? :diablo:
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  9. #9
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    Two words: Bull Shi*
    20 Spitfires from "underground" sources. Forget it.
    Those who can.....do,
    Those who can not.....teach (that's me!)

  10. #10
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    They are there, it's just a matter of seeing what condition they are in

  11. #11
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    At this rate everybody will have one! "Common as bugs on a bumper!"
    I have kleptomania,But when it gets bad
    I take something for it.

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    Ye of little faith. This has been ongoing for years.

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  15. #15
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    I don't know where to believe this. but what state would they be in after being Raised from the ground?? I know the Aussies did the same with the F111 after they Retierd them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
    Ye of little faith. This has been ongoing for years.
    There are however differing accounts to the fate of these aircraft

    .... there is suggestions Mountbatten later had them dug up and buried more securely in a top secret bunker hidden at Bundaburg airport in Queensland,

    .....and Tighar have recently identified via ROV and sidescans that apparantly might reveal 20 spitfire crate "shapes" sitting on the seabed near Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific, and are seeking additional funding to digitally enhance the images.

    smiles,

    hopefully this Burma story or rumour actually delivers a tangible and evidenced outcome than most other buried treasure stories.
    (I assume however Tighar has been called in to assist and lead the recovery)

    regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  17. #17
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    20 Spitfires in Burma? THIS seems more likely...

    flying pig
    Last edited by Dr. John Smith; 14th April 2012 at 02:55.

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    OK, suspending my disbelief for a moment, IF these "Spitfires" really do exist, then my money would be on most (if not all) of them being the survivors of the 20 de-navalised Seafire Mk.XVs delivered in 1952. They were test flown long after arrival in Burma between March and September 1953. After the test flights, the Seafires were transferred to Mingaladon AB, and then to Hmawbi AB north on Rangoon. Here, they were issued to No. 1 Sqdn, and used for counter-insurgency operations in the northern part of the country. The Seafires soldiered on until 1957/58, when they were replaced by Hawker Sea Furies.

    UB-401 G-15-212 May 1952 ex SR451, Air-tested in 1953. No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-402 G-15-213 1952 ex SW799, Air-tested 1953. No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54.
    UB-403 G-15-214 June 1952 ex SR642, Air-tested March 1953. To No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-404 G-15-215 May 1952 ex SW863, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-405 G-15-216 1952 ex SR471, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-406 G-15-217 1952 ex PR355, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-407 G-15-218 June 1952 ex SR534, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-408 G-15-219 1952 ex PR455, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-409 G-15-220 1952 ex PR376, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Preserved at Shante AB by 1987, at Mingaladon AB by 1995. Currently preserved at the Defence Services Museum, Yangon. Noted as such on 18 February 2005.
    UB-410 G-15-221 1952 ex PR400, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-411 G-15-222 1952 ex PR423, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-412 G-15-223 1952 ex SW817, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-413 G-15-224 1952 ex PR453, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-414 G-15-225 1952 ex SR462, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Gate guardian at Hmwabi AB by 1970. To Mingaladon AB in 1995, stored. Sold to USA in 1999.
    UB-415 G-15-226 1952 ex PR422, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Gate guardian at Hmwabi by 1960, at Meiktila 1995. In 1996, it was painted as `UB-414´, and has since then been used as a travelling exhibit.
    UB-416 G-15-227 1952 ex PR454, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-417 G-15-228 1952 ex SR470, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-418 G-15-229 1952 ex PR407, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-419 G-15-230 1952 ex PR462, No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.
    UB-420 G-15-231 1952 ex SW899, Air-tested 1953. No. 1 Sqdn, Hmwabi AB 1953/54. Fate unknown.

    source http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/waf/aa-e...f-aircraft.htm
    Summary: On these 20 airframes, one is definitely preserved (SR462), and two (UB-409 and UB415) were confirmed still existing (in 2005 and 1996 respectively). That leaves 17 unaccounted for

  19. #19
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    These are not Burmese Air Force Spitfires.

    These are considered to be former RAF Mk XIV's with potentially further Mk VIII's downstream.

    They are considered to have been buried circa 1946 in wooden crates with a view to possible recovery in the future at a time when there was much political upheaval on the Indian sub-continent.

    This has been trundling along for twelve or more years.

    The political climate has never been better.

    Perfect timing for Vol. II of the boo...

    ...and yes I have seen the ground penetration scans.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark12; 14th April 2012 at 06:02.
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_pilkington View Post
    There are however differing accounts to the fate of these aircraft

    .... there is suggestions Mountbatten later had them dug up and buried more securely in a top secret bunker hidden at Bundaburg airport in Queensland,
    Alright, I've been caught out, their not buried in Bundaberg, their buried in Oakey! (Its zeros and P-40's hidden at Bundaberg)
    - I was just trying to stop Peter from finding them - smiles

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/busi...-1225995654752

    "The underground hangar story centres on reports of a squadron of 16 to 18 Spitfires, supposedly Mk XIVs in crates, hidden in underground storage, with spares and fuel, to be used in retaking Queensland in the event of a Japanese invasion forcing a retreat to the infamous Brisbane Line.

    Believers of this theory say the Mk XIVs never saw service with the RAAF because they were specially imported to be hidden."
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12 View Post

    These are considered to be former RAF Mk XIV's with potentially further Mk VIII's downstream.

    They are considered to have been buried circa 1946 in wooden crates with a view to possible recovery in the future at a time when there was much political upheaval on the Indian sub-continent.


    See - their obviously the same RAF Mk XIV's relocated from Burma to Oakey, specially imported to be buried, in fact they are Mark XIVB's a model specially built and corrosion treated by Supermarine to withstand long term burial for the RAF.

    regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 14th April 2012 at 06:11.
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  21. #21
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    This has indeed been ongoing for some number of years, and has nothing to do with the aircraft operated by the Burmese postwar. Mind you, if they knew they were there, I'm not sure why thy didnt use them at the time!

    Seems an odd thing for the PM to bring up on one of the first diplomatic visits by a major western power for years......!

    20 Mk XIV's - I hope the engines have survived, or there will be little point in the whole escapade!



    Bruce

    (edit - yeah, what Mk12 said!!)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12 View Post
    These are not Burmese Air Force Spitfires.

    These are considered to be former RAF Mk XIV's with potentially further Mk VIII's downstream.

    They are considered to have been buried circa 1946 in wooden crates with a view to possible recovery in the future at a time when there was much political upheaval on the Indian sub-continent.

    This has been trundling along for twelve or more years.

    The political climate has never been better.

    Perfect timing for Vol. II of the boo...

    ...and yes I have seen the ground penetration scans.

    Mark
    I don't suppose they crated back up Ginger's RN135 did they?

  23. #23
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    When Mark 12 makes a posting like that, I'd suggest to these who are complete cynics that it might be better to sit back and see what happens...the individuals driving this forward have a lot of resources and influence, if it's possible to get these aircraft to fly, they will fly. And many will benefit from this, this is not the work of someone driven by a desire to line his own pockets.

    All in all, exciting news I'd say.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12 View Post
    These are not Burmese Air Force Spitfires.

    These are considered to be former RAF Mk XIV's with potentially further Mk VIII's downstream.

    They are considered to have been buried circa 1946 in wooden crates with a view to possible recovery in the future at a time when there was much political upheaval on the Indian sub-continent.

    This has been trundling along for twelve or more years.

    The political climate has never been better.

    Perfect timing for Vol. II of the boo...

    ...and yes I have seen the ground penetration scans.

    Mark
    Well I'm convinced....!!
    There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And spiders. F**k spiders.

    Daren Cogdon

  25. #25
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    So, how much for one and where do I pick it up?
    Author explaining the state of historic aviation;

    "[...] I don't get any fangirls, just old guys trying to tell me stuff I already know."

  26. #26
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    BBC

    From the BBC:

    "British and Burmese authorities could work together to find 20 Spitfires buried in Burma at the end of the World War II, officials say.

    The case of the missing planes was raised when PM David Cameron met Burmese President Thein Sein.

    A Downing Street source said it was "hoped this will be an opportunity to work with the reforming Burmese government".

    The exact location of the planes is unknown.

    The planes were buried in 1945 by the RAF amid fears that they could either be used or destroyed by Japanese forces, but in the intervening years they have not been located.

    At the time they were unused, still in crates, and yet to be assembled.

    Until a general election in 2010, Burma was ruled for almost half a century by a military junta.

    It has been reported that experts from Leeds University and an academic based in Rangoon believe they may have identified the sites where the craft are concealed using sophisticated radar techniques.

    On Friday, officials said President Thein Sein was "very enthusiastic" about the prospect of finding and restoring the planes.

    A Downing Street source said: "The Spitfire is arguably the most important plane in the history of aviation, playing a crucial role in the Second World War.

    "It is hoped this will be an opportunity to work with the reforming Burmese government, uncover, restore and display these fighter planes and get them gracing the skies of Britain once again."

    Exciting news.

  27. #27
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    Telegraph:

    "The Prime Minister secured a historic deal that will see the fighter jets [ LOL] dug up and shipped back to the UK almost 67 years after they were hidden more than 40-feet below ground amid fears of a Japanese occupation.

    The gesture came as Mr Cameron became the first Western leader to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy campaigner held under house arrest for 22 years by the military regime, and invited her to visit London in her first trip abroad for 24 years.

    He called on Europe to suspend its ban on trade with Burma now that it was showing “prospects for change” following Miss Suu Kyi’s election to parliament in a sweeping electoral victory earlier this year.

    The plight of the buried aircraft came to Mr Cameron’s attention at the behest of a farmer from Scunthorpe, North Lincs, who is responsible for locating them at a former RAF base using radar imaging technology.

    David Cundall, 62, spent 15 years doggedly searching for the Mk II planes [LOL], an exercise that involved 12 trips to Burma and cost him more than £130,000."

  28. #28
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    Guardian

    "David Cameron has reached an agreement with the Burmese authorities to dig up the remains of up to 20 RAF Spitfires that were buried in Burma two weeks before the atom bomb was dropped on Japan. A group of Spitfire enthusiasts, who believe they have identified the whereabouts of the planes at airfields using radar technology, will have the right to start digging. The agreement, reached with President Thein Sein at his palace in the Burmese capital of Naypyidaw, raises the prospect of doubling the number of surviving Spitfires.

    Of the 21,000 built, only 35 remain in a good enough condition to fly. There are potentially 20 buried in crates under Burmese soil.

    A No 10 source said: "The Spitfire is arguably the most important plane in the history of aviation, playing a crucial role in world war two. It is hoped this will be an opportunity to work with the reforming Burmese government to uncover, restore and display these fighter planes and get them gracing the skies of Britain once again."

    The saga of the Burmese Spitfires dates back to the closing days of the second world war. Shortly before the Americans bombed the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, Earl Mountbatten of Burma ordered the Spitfires to be buried in Burma. Mountbatten, an uncle of the Prince of Wales who was then supreme allied commander of South-east Asia Command, feared that the Spitfires could have been used by the Japanese. The allies had driven the Japanese out of Burma in April of that year. But Mountbatten feared that the Spitfires could provide the Japanese with a great advantage if they captured them after a successful reoccupation.

    The Mark 14 Spitfires had recently arrived in Burma in crates. They were shipped into the country along the Burmese death railway built by allied prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation.

    Japan eventually capitulated after the second atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August, three days after the Hiroshima bombing. But the planes appeared to have been forgotten in the Burmese soil."

  29. #29
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    Finally, that most balanced of papers, the Daily Mail

    "...But the Mark II Spitfires in the secret haul never saw action. Earl Mountbatten issued an order for them to be hidden in 1945 to prevent foreign forces from getting their hands on them as the British army demobilised. The aircraft, straight from the production line, were buried in crates at a depth of 4ft to 6ft to preserve them...

    ...Experts say those found in Burma would be worth at least £1million each to collectors nowadays, such is the rarity of the much-loved aircraft. Their whereabouts became lost after the RAF struck off their locations from their records. But aviation enthusiasts, aided by experts from the University of Leeds and a Second World War veteran who witnessed their burial, believe they have now discovered their locations using ground penetrating radar technology. Downing Street said the Government wants to unearth the aircraft and restore them to their former glory.

    The condition of the cargo boxes and aircraft, whose wings and body are buried separately, is unknown. But experts are hopeful that they are well preserved.

    A Downing Street source said that Mr Cameron had secured an agreement from the Burmese president to help Britain excavate the aircraft in a joint heritage project. ‘The Spitfire is arguably the most important plane in the history of aviation, playing a crucial role in the Second World War. It is hoped this will be an opportunity to work with the reforming Burmese government to uncover, restore and display these fighter planes and get them gracing the skies of Britain once again,’ they said.

  30. #30
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    It's going to be a rush to get them ready for the jubilee fly past

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