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Thread: Museum P40

  1. #1
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    Museum P40

    Just back from a mini-holiday.

    Spotted this in a museum.



    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  2. #2
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    OK, do you want to tell us more - - or shall we play 20 questions ?

    ......though doubtless there will be at least one other person on here who already knows

  3. #3
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    Let's leave it floating for the moment and see what's suggested
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  4. #4
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    That's some time capsule.
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo
    Spoil-sport!

    Let's see more shots like this from 'interesting' places.

    Mark

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    Moggy,

    I understood this aircraft was submerged in shallow salt water for something like 40 years, yet against the prevailing view among us all that salt recoveries from anything but oxygen depleted depths are not viable this airframe looks remarkably "clean" and solid despite that in your photographes(although I understand some damage was done to remove it quickly from the beach)

    Can you comment on its apparant condition ie corrosion etc from your inspection of the airframe? it doesnt appear to have significant new metal replaced?, has it undergone processes?? to counter the salt contained in the skin joints etc?

    thanks for the pics

    regards

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

  7. #7
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    I believe it had undergone some stabilisation process immediately after recovery. But from what I can see much of the structure was original.

    Here is the other side

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  8. #8
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    Plus this on the field at Albenga.



    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  9. #9
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    Moggy--

    Oh MY, that's spectacular. I'd thought this P-40 had been set out in a crash diorama in a museum near the recovery location. Clearly not...and all things considered, what stunning condition it's in.

    Nice two-seater "Gina", too.

    S.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for posting that Moggy

    It's a very interesting pic... the aircraft looks amazing considering it's been in the sea for so long. There was a ki-27 that came out of the sea off Thailand which is in similar - seemingly - excellent condition. Do you have any more pics, or perhaps close ups?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve T
    Moggy--

    Oh MY, that's spectacular. I'd thought this P-40 had been set out in a crash diorama in a museum near the recovery location.
    No, you were quite correct. The museum is only a few miles from the Anzio beachead where it ditched due to an engine problem and, as you can see, there is a mural of the invasion fleet behind it, plus a mural of the beach in front of it, whilst it stands on sand.

    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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    Soon after recovery it was immersed in a bath to get the salt out. Seems to have worked very well. If a windshield can be found she looks magnificent. Something is missing................

    Cees

  13. #13
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    I make no pretence to be a photographer. These are just hand-held happy-snaps with my three year old digi. Nearest I have to a close up is this of the engine. I can't believe there hasn't been some pretty extensive work done to this since it was raised.

    Moggy

    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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    Is this the one that ditched due to overheating, from what turned out to be a parachute stuffed into the chin? And didn't they have to cut the wings off to get it off the beach in the time alotted by the "authorities"?

    looks great, very interesting!

    cheers

    greg v

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    Yes, and also had some skin panels buckled due to bad handling to get her off the beach.

    Impressive exhibit

    Cees

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    She is however a beautiful artifact that demonstrates what should be done to this type of recovery. If the P-40 as a type wasn't plentiful I would say restore her but she has survived very well and makes a fascinating exhibit.

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    I like her this way!!

    While I normally prefer flying restorations, then good static restorations, there is just something so very "right" about the way they have done this display!

    This museum has my great respect, and appreciation for this wonderful job, which captures both the essence of this plane's service and the passing of time that has made such artifacts into much more than "just old airplanes"!

  18. #18
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    Agree with Bager1968 & DB completely on this one. It's a fascinating timepiece, wonderful to study as it is.

    Also agree with Moggy, in that it looks as if there's been some work done to it (e.g. exhausts stubs), but not too much to detract from the 'time capsule' appearance.

    We need to see more like this! Thanks for posting Moggy.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the thanks.

    I do agree with the bulk of opinion. Whilst there are a good few 'intact' P40s around this makes a fascinating exhibit in its almost-as-found state. It would have been a less impressive if fully restored, IMO

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  20. #20
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    'Can you see what it is yet?'

    I'm surprised no-one's mentioned the key thing about this P-40, which apart from it's originality is its rarity; as I understand it (I'm open to correction - I'm no P-40 expert!) it's the surviving P-40L, 42-10857 - with the 'F' (essentially the same) the only production P-40 engined with anything than an Allison engine, and in fact with a Packard Merlin, an engine Britain's usually keen to extoll the advantages of!

    There were two P-40F survivors both recovered from Vanuatu. One is under rebuild to fly, where it will be unique, by Judy Pay's Old Aeroplane Company at Tyabb Victoria. The other was traded to the RNZAF museum who are configuring it as the more common P-40E - I have to say a strange decision, as, given the spares support for Merlin engines, a trade for a more appropriate model would be possible and wouldn't involve spaying a perfectly good P-40F into an E model. However, it's their aircraft.

    So, currently this is the only static P-40F/L or if you prefer, the only Merlin P-40 on display anywhere in the world, and with a combat history being downed in front of the beach at Anzio.

    I'd also like to publicly thank Moggy for supplying copies of his pics for me to pass onto the Tyabb team as they are currently plumbing their engine, and it's a challenge, not least of which the P-40F and L are very badly documented, as it's so rare. I doubt the data in the photos will provide a 'eureka' moment for the restorers, but it would be nice to hope it might, and as they say, every little helps.

    (The Merlin P-40 is easy to ID from the front as it has no carb-air intake on the top of the cowling, but one inside the chin intake, and the nose-intake area looks deeper than the other Allison versions. Some P-40F's had a small fillet in front of the fin, I'm informed.)

    Cheers
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  21. #21
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    You know, I was looking at the engine bay image a day or so back and the thought crossed my mind as to how similar the Allison engine looked to a Merlin.

    Thanks for pointing that out James.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDK
    The other was traded to the RNZAF museum who are configuring it as the more common P-40E - I have to say a strange decision, as, given the spares support for Merlin engines, a trade for a more appropriate model would be possible and wouldn't involve spaying a perfectly good P-40F into an E model. However, it's their aircraft.
    James, did you see the state of the two aircraft when they were recovered from the swamp? They were not that great at that stage, The term wreck seems rather mild. And then when it was decided to 'rebuild' one to fly, all the useful components that might help the project -F model-wise were apparently stripped from the second airframe, according to what i was told by the Pioneer Aero guys, who've been watching the projects closely.

    What was left was a very stripped down, very wrecked second airframe. The RNZAF Museum went for that because it was an option that they could take to gain a representative type. They could in no way afford to buy a P-40E, and no-one would donate one, so they did a swap for their Corsair and got an airframe to rebuild. On arrival it could not really be considered an F model anymore as all the F parts were taken off, so I'm told.

    The term rebuild for this is also too strong. The airframe is really only a reference point for a new bulld. The wings are totally new built, and I think much of the fuselage is too. There is certainly very little of the P-40F aircraft in their new P-40E.

    That P-40F would not have been a viable project for flight or static without such treatment, a complete new-build of most bits. So, why build a P-40F when we never used them? Someone else could just as easily build a brand ne F and buy the data plates from the RNZAF Museum I guess.

    The swap of these two airframes seems odd - the Corsair was virtually complete and in reasonably good condition. I'm surprised it's not already flying. The P-40F however was not in any state close to the Corsair when it arrived, and a virtually new aircraft has had to be built and continues to be built. I wonder if there was more to the deal than a straight swap, and maybe something extra came along with the P-40. I hope so otherwise it seems like a rip-off, getting a plane you have to build from scratch for a complete airframe.

    Perhaps if they'd started from scratch with a P-40E new build they'd be not too much worse off and still have a Corsair which they at one stage planned to backdate to the correct mark. Oh well, at least it should fly again someday which it wouldn't have done at Wigram.

    And they cannot complain about the cost of the Crsair I guess as it was donated by Disney Corporation.

  23. #23
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    Dave/James,

    Would this be it? Captured at Wigram in April.

    Roundel police - Strange but true.

    Mark


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    Yes, that's the beauty. Complete with correct RNZAF Paciic roundel and white stripes designed to try to prevent the USAAF and USN from shooting our aircraft doiwn. Luckily on most occasions when our fighters were fired on they were bad shots and missed.The green/blue camouflage colours are also uniquely NZ too.

  25. #25
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    Hi Dave,
    Good points, and I'm happy to be corrected overall. I'd also like to add that I don't want to degenerate the excellent work being done by the RNZAF Museum team.

    I saw both airframes in 1992, two years after recovery. If they were Spitfires, they'd be in the UK and flying by now.

    In my view as an observer they were wrecks, and if the subject is important enough, both viable as rebuilds to airworthy. But I'm not involved with the rebuild, nor qualified in such things - I just know a lot of people who are.

    As to the details of the deal(s) I don't know and wouldn't comment if I did.

    We've gone around and around on identities and aeronautical 'badge engineering', and I don't think the general points of that discussion are appropriate here. I think it best I duck out of further discussion on the matter.

    Complete with correct RNZAF Paciic roundel and white stripes designed to try to prevent the USAAF and USN from shooting our aircraft doiwn.
    I'd be careful of that statement, as it's both inflammatory and not as accurate as some want to believe. The roundels on ALL allied aircraft dropped the red centre to avoid ALL friendly fire incidents. So before we get into a US vs everyone argument, it's worth bearing in mind there were enough examples of other allied friendly fire - all nationalities in the Pacific war have episodes that do them little credit, not just the US forces. The ships of the RN and USN (and I'm sure the RAN, RNZN and KLN) were very even handed, they shot at everything that flew on general principles.

    Now whose going to drop a match into the oil I've poured on stormy waters?
    James K

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  26. #26
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    I'm not trying to be inflammatory at all. I'm just going by the combat reports that RNZAF pilots made of aircraft such as P-38's and Corsairs bouncing them and shooting at them, and the actions taken afterwards by the chain of command when it was realised that many US pilots mistook our aircraft as being Japanese Tony's, and that the red in the roundel didn't help these matters.

    It's all in Chris Rudge's book 'Air To Air' as well as other books about our air combat in the Pacific about these friendly fire incidents. I'm not laying blame nor saying it didn't happen between other air forces at all. Of course it did and still does. At least two RNZAF P-40 pilots shot down other RNZAF P-40's (one over NZ!). It happens.

    The fact remains, those unique style roundels were developed because of the identification problems US pilots were having. The US and NZ were operating in the same sectors all the time but not always aware of who was where. It's all perfectly understandable. Today with the masses of technology it would not be acceptable, but then I can uinderstand.

    No doubt now though someone here will still accuse me of being "anti-American" as they always seem to.Yawn.

    As for the P-40F/Corsair deal, sure there are probably details of the deal we may not be privy to, and never will be, and it's not any of my business. It just seemed as a casual observation to be less than balanced and I wondered if Wigram had actually acquired something more for the collection than just the P-40. Any acquisition/donated item is interesting. To me anyway.

    I agree if the two F's were Spitfires they'd be flying, and both P-40's could have been made to fly too. I just doubt the Wigram one would be much less a new item than the P-40E is. It is, as it happens, being rebuilt to airworthy standards. This is standard policy in case they ever decide to trade an aircraft it's much more valuable an item if it can fly. They just won't fly it while in their possession.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Homewood
    I'm not trying to be inflammatory at all.
    I know you aren't trying to be inflammatory Dave. However it's important to put such remarks in context, which was what I was trying to do.

    In your own post you've acknowledged that RNZAF friendly fire happened, yet also state in the following paragraph that the marking on RNZAF aircraft were to prevent US attacks - which may be true of the documentation, but I'm sure they were appreciative that their fellow Kiwis (or Aussies, Dutch or Poms) wouldn't be attacking as well.

    Back to the subject of the thread, however, the USAAF P-40L. Points to the Italians for an excellent and thoughtful display of an ultra-rare aircraft. While it looks simple, it's evident that a good deal of expensive, awkward and easily overlooked museum quality conservation work has been done on the airframe, to preserve it, and it's interesting how a number of people have posted to say they appreciate the display.

    Big thumbs up all around.
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDK
    I know you aren't trying to be inflammatory Dave. However it's important to put such remarks in context, which was what I was trying to do.

    In your own post you've acknowledged that RNZAF friendly fire happened, yet also state in the following paragraph that the marking on RNZAF aircraft were to prevent US attacks - which may be true of the documentation, but I'm sure they were appreciative that their fellow Kiwis (or Aussies, Dutch or Poms) wouldn't be attacking as well.

    Back to the subject of the thread, however, the USAAF P-40L. Points to the Italians for an excellent and thoughtful display of an ultra-rare aircraft. While it looks simple, it's evident that a good deal of expensive, awkward and easily overlooked museum quality conservation work has been done on the airframe, to preserve it, and it's interesting how a number of people have posted to say they appreciate the display.

    Big thumbs up all around.
    Groan. As far as I am aware the RAAF, RAF and Dutch did not operate fighters in the same area as the RNZAF, hence the reason they did not get any mention. I have never seen any reports of the RNZAF Fighter Wing operating with anyone other than the USAAF, USMC and USN. As stated, one of the cases of an RNZAF vs RNZAF shoot down was in NZ during training, I have not checked yet to see where the other was. I'm not certain that it was in the combat area. You're making far too much of what I said and seemigly trying to stir it up. All I was doing was adding a little reasoning behind the different style of roundel seen on our combat aircraft, for the many who won't know.

    I agree with your last paragraph wholeheartedly however. The preservation of this aircraft is incredible. I'm amazed to see how well the paint survived.

  29. #29
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    recovery pic

    I found these of the P40 in my collection of wreck pics
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  30. #30
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    Thanks for posting those.

    The museum display includes some recovery pictures which, in retrospect, maybe I should have shot a frame or two of.

    I suspect those you have just posted were among them.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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