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Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 From The Egyptian Desert

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  • Moggy C
    Moderator
    • Jan 2000
    • 20534

    Right, that's one each. Enough you two.

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

    Comment

    • Junk Collector
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Aug 2006
      • 1465

      I thought the whole point of having museums is to preserve and display artefacts from the past ?, particularly those items that have a particular story behind how they have survived the passage of time.

      If it flies in the US then I will never see it that's for sure, for many of us who would have loved to have gone to see it in it's original location, then a museum display is the next best thing. Not as if there are no P40's left flying in the world, at the end of the day it is down to who gets first dibs, or the most cash.
      Officially now a pensioner

      Comment

      • John Green
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2011
        • 6643

        Re 2096

        Lazy8

        It might be as you write. F./Sgt Copping's P40 might be beyond resuscitation; beyond economical repair. Because of damage inflicted by the crash and the passage of time and malicious hands, the reality of restoration to flight is a fantasy.

        All of that does not invalidate my argued point of general principle. If an airframe exists that reflects past conflicts and has rarity value even tho' a dozen might exist in different parts of the world, my argument is that rather than stuffing the sorry remains into yet another often tatty, dirty and unkempt apology of a museum many of which, altho' staffed by eager and pleasant unpaid volunteers are far from the aviation showcases that they should be so, consequently, few ever visit, the airframe should - if someone can be found with deep pockets - be returned to flight, where it belongs and where it can be seen by the many.

        Many of you it seems, have a problem with this order of priorities. That's your problem. I wouldn't mind betting that the number of 'museums' in this country exceeds the number of WW2 flying airframes. All or, most of them, stuffed with poorly displayed squalid tat and all, with an atmosphere of quiet desperation.

        Let me make this final point. I do not belong to the 'fly it at any cost ' brigade as some have stupidly suggested. Historic aviation is or should be a 'broad church' accommodating a variety of opinions. If it is your thing then museums have their place. I happen to believe that a flying machine is better flying than sitting on the ground, parked up, mouldering and gathering a comfort blanket of dust.

        Comment

        • David Burke
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jan 2000
          • 10028

          Its interesting that people have already decided that if it goes to the U.S it will go straight in a jig and emerge a new aircraft. As far as I can see no survey has been done as to its integrity - no one knows who has bought it or what their intentions are for it or if it has been sold at all !

          In terms of the aircraft -its perfectly possible to rebuild that aircraft with a lot more than a few remnants of her original parts . However that doesn't sound as dramatic as all of the original structure is thrown away to build a new machine !

          Comment

          • Bruce
            Independent analyst
            • Jan 2000
            • 10225

            David,

            In the first part of your post, you note that no survey has been done, and in the second part, you state that a rebuild could use a lot more than a few remnants of the original parts. Which is it?

            Google 'Dottie Mae' - a P47 currently under rebuild. Found in a German lake, it is currently 60% or so through a rebuild to flight. Make you own judgements from what you find.

            I would also note that even in the case of a static airframe - the Canadian Halifax, NA337 - much was replaced, and much was not refitted to the final product. I firmly believe that it is important how we represent history. There should always be a case for preserving original airframes, and not flying them all!

            Comment

            • jack windsor
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Dec 2008
              • 921

              Not wishing to step on anyone's toes or upset anyone, but in my humble opinion( not a expert or restorer) but someone who loves aeroplanes I go to shows and see them in their natural habitat the air and enjoy them. When I go to museums its to see some types I cannot see flying, and others that are at shows but in the museum surroundings it brings home that young men flew them, and did extraordinary acts, when at Hendon I saw the Halifax in its as found condition I thought of the crew and what they and others went thru, I've seen the Halifax at the YAM but to be honest I did not think of all the crews who flew it. The Lancaster at Hendon you look at it and see and think of the crews, the B of B flt. one and its great to see it fly but that's it for me anyway, the P.40 in a diorama would bring home what the likes of Dennis Copping did back then whereas a couple flying at legends does not.
              As I say my humble opinion, but getting away from the aircraft I still think our air attach needs to ask himself "did I do all I could in this case"...

              regards,
              jack...

              Comment

              • WebPilot
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2000
                • 1902

                I do not think this article has been quoted before, though it is from Feb last year. It contains a few factual errors (PK664 belonging to the SM, for example), but the author has the right of it overall - a factory fresh facsimile of a P40E based on reused parts of Flt Sgt Copping’s aircraft would be meaningless.

                http://thepipeline.info/blog/2015/02...still-missing/

                Grave robbery and looting of artefacts regardless of their archaeological context are hardly new things in Egypt though.
                Last edited by WebPilot; 7th January 2016, 12:34.

                Comment

                • 43-2195
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • May 2012
                  • 334

                  Would it be heresy for me to suggest that the tailwheel oleo be removed and placed in a new build P-40 fuselage and the flying aircraft be presented to the public as the only part of Lt Copping's P-40 still flying in the world today. Therefore considered a restoration of the original aircraft.
                  Whilst everything else sans the tailwheel oleo goes into a museum display.

                  Win/win.
                  SEEKING LOCKHEED P-38 PARTS, WILL BUY OR SWAP.

                  Comment

                  • Beermat
                    1 Registered Rank Loser
                    • Oct 2009
                    • 3643

                    Agreed, no one knows how much can be reincorporated. But that is not the point here.

                    A flying P-40 is great. There are several, and its perfectly possible to build more, without involving this aeroplane at all. Why take this one apart? If its only value is as a source of salvage then I guess it should be shipped straight to a scrappy.. they are best equipped to take it apart efficiently, after all. But surely that was not the point of rescuing it in the first place?
                    www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                    It's all good. Probably.

                    Comment

                    • snibble
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2015
                      • 122

                      HMS Victory has been mentioned and is a fail allegory. Go buy a model kit of Victory and then tell me about the figurehead. No one knows what Victory's figurehead looked like, it until it was chainsawed off recently had the figurehead from the old royal yacht "Victoria and Albert", but mr Airfix et al represent her wearing it at Trafalgar. There is far more lost in reconstruction than just metal. Examples of first line repair, perhaps work arounds or downright bodge ups which may or may not be authorised. Witness marks that may reveal techniques that may otherwise be unrecorded. Who knows what information may be deleted which we don't even know exists but may become readable 100 years down the line. You could take a brown bess musket and rework it to take a percussion cap and it would be a better tool for it but what does the observer get but a bang? There is a world of difference between an airshow performer and a true historical artefact containing evidence of it's use in anger in desperate circumstances and the literal and figurative fingerprints of men who served and fought it. To destroy this archeology for the sake of a flypast shows an enthusiasm for the aviation in the title of this forum but a contempt for the "historic". By this token no unflyable remains are worth recovering.

                      Comment

                      • David Burke
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 10028

                        'In the first part of your post, you note that no survey has been done, and in the second part, you state that a rebuild could use a lot more than a few remnants of the original parts. Which is it?'

                        Its both Bruce - no survey has been carried out. However as seems the concensus is everything is thrown away -I will play devils advocate .

                        Looking at the pictures again.

                        Windscreen -restore

                        Canopy - restore

                        Seat -restore

                        Internal cockpit fittings -restore

                        Elevators and Rudder -restore

                        Fin -restore

                        Fuselage components -restore

                        Fuselage skins - reuse maybe 10-15%

                        Frames - reuse maybe 10-15%

                        That's without looking at the wings.

                        Now that is far more than a beach restoration . If we compare that with a Hurricane restoration where the woodwork is discarded - fuselage tubes replaced - engine -replaced- wings resparred as a minimum the Kittyhawk could incorporate a large amount in a sympathetic restoration.

                        Interestingly as many have pointed out in the past - its 100% down to an owner to decide what they do with a machine ala 'its their toybox' -so pretty much whatever is posted on here regards what happens to it is irrelevant.

                        However -what I distinctly dislike is the notion that everything that goes to the U.S goes into a scrap bin and a new machine emerges. There are collectors in the U.S who appreciate and can fund a restoration to the specification they want. Maybe people would rather it ends in a similar position to the 'Lady Be Good' and die a slow death being reduced to scrap.

                        Comment

                        • Bruce
                          Independent analyst
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 10225

                          David,

                          Devils advocate - yes, you and me both. As I say, look at what is being done with Dottie Mae. Different aircraft, different circumstances. I am not calling it one way or the other.

                          There are indeed collectors who will use as much original as possible. The FHC FW190A-5 is a prime example - it was re-restored at one point, all new material being removed, and as much original reworked as possible to ensure that it retained as many original parts as could conceivably be made serviceable. It would never take a polish...

                          Regardless, I return to my point - we don't need to restore everything to factory fresh condition. On that, I know that you an I are in accord.

                          Comment

                          • jack windsor
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Dec 2008
                            • 921

                            [QUOTE=snibble;2285177]HMS Victory has been mentioned and is a fail allegory. Go buy a model kit of Victory and then tell me about the figurehead. No one knows what Victory's figurehead looked like, it until it was chainsawed off recently had the figurehead from the old royal yacht "Victoria and Albert", but mr Airfix et al represent her wearing it at Trafalgar. There is far more lost in reconstruction than just metal. Examples of first line repair, perhaps work arounds or downright bodge ups which may or may not be authorised. Witness marks that may reveal techniques that may otherwise be unrecorded. Who knows what information may be deleted which we don't even know exists but may become readable 100 years down the line.

                            I agree I visited Victory some 30yrs ago, and up at the front end there was work going on but from where we were allowed to go you could see chalk marks etc that had been uncovered when the outer timber had been removed, and we were told these had been used when either building or repairing her... (no not kilroy was here)...

                            regards,
                            jack...

                            Comment

                            • Junk Collector
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Aug 2006
                              • 1465

                              Why is there a negative attitude towards museums on here, many of which are supported by many members of this forum, would you say that if it were placed at Hendon or Duxford, it was in some sort of manky low level setting and not seen by many, I am sure the annual visitor figures for those locations, and not to mention the diversity of nationalities of visitors to these museums would give it a good arena to be in.

                              something of this nature would not end up in the local old airfield museum next to a couple of cockpits such is it's significance.
                              Officially now a pensioner

                              Comment

                              • DoraNineFan
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Oct 2005
                                • 233

                                Originally posted by John Green View Post
                                Re 2096

                                Lazy8

                                It might be as you write. F./Sgt Copping's P40 might be beyond resuscitation; beyond economical repair. Because of damage inflicted by the crash and the passage of time and malicious hands, the reality of restoration to flight is a fantasy.

                                All of that does not invalidate my argued point of general principle. If an airframe exists that reflects past conflicts and has rarity value even tho' a dozen might exist in different parts of the world, my argument is that rather than stuffing the sorry remains into yet another often tatty, dirty and unkempt apology of a museum many of which, altho' staffed by eager and pleasant unpaid volunteers are far from the aviation showcases that they should be so, consequently, few ever visit, the airframe should - if someone can be found with deep pockets - be returned to flight, where it belongs and where it can be seen by the many.

                                Many of you it seems, have a problem with this order of priorities. That's your problem. I wouldn't mind betting that the number of 'museums' in this country exceeds the number of WW2 flying airframes. All or, most of them, stuffed with poorly displayed squalid tat and all, with an atmosphere of quiet desperation.

                                Let me make this final point. I do not belong to the 'fly it at any cost ' brigade as some have stupidly suggested. Historic aviation is or should be a 'broad church' accommodating a variety of opinions. If it is your thing then museums have their place. I happen to believe that a flying machine is better flying than sitting on the ground, parked up, mouldering and gathering a comfort blanket of dust.
                                For my opinion..... By my count, there are currently 90+ survivors of P-40 types, with a respectable percentage of those airworthy or in rebuild. I think it is already achievable to view a P-40 in flight within reasonable travel from home, with a few exceptions perhaps. I think that puts the P-40 in the very top ranks of highest number of examples.

                                Copping's P-40 is unique because there is a level of tragedy connected to it. Nobody knows his motivations for flying into the desert. Suicide? Combat fatigue? Confusion? There is something to be remembered by leaving this plane as a display to mark the tragedy of war.

                                It is restorable? By today's restoration capabilities it looks like an easy project that would preserve much of the original plane. But it think it should be left as-is.

                                Where is the shipping container? From at least one description of General Sisi's coup and crackdown on rivals I think "anywhere but there" is the better option for the wreck currently.
                                Last edited by DoraNineFan; 7th January 2016, 15:45.

                                Comment

                                • Soggy
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Oct 2009
                                  • 188

                                  Originally posted by DoraNineFan View Post
                                  Copping's P-40 is unique because there is a level of tragedy connected to it. Nobody knows his motivations for flying into the desert. Suicide? Combat fatigue? Confusion? There is something to be remembered by leaving this plane as a display to mark the tragedy of war.
                                  Spot on mate. What I wanted to say, but didn't have the vocabulary.

                                  Comment

                                  • Mark12
                                    MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                                    • Jan 2000
                                    • 10863

                                    My understanding is that a deal was made under the new post-Mubarak regime, but before Morsi came to power, 24-30 June 2012 to 03 July 2013, and fired all the generals.

                                    It provided for the aircraft to be recovered from the military controlled territory and officially handed over to the UK government at a ceremony at El Alamein scheduled for 23 October 2012, the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of the battle.

                                    Indeed at the time there was talk of David Cameron and/or William Hague being at the ceremony to accept it on behalf of the British people.

                                    You had the Egyptian government, the Egyptian military, the UK Embassy, the RAFM, and the MoD, all involved.

                                    How much more 'security' or 'assurance' can one expect to get or do the critics require?

                                    Considering the P-40 had seen more vandalism in three months than it had in seventy years, and the fear was that it would be completely gone in three months more, it required quick action.

                                    In fact, the recovery was delayed from early June until late July because of the 'Arab Spring' unrest during which time more damage was done.

                                    I can get mildly offended by that.


                                    Mark


                                    .
                                    Last edited by Mark12; 7th January 2016, 21:50.
                                    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                                    Comment

                                    • Whitley_Project
                                      If in doubt apply heat..
                                      • Jan 2000
                                      • 2842

                                      Originally posted by Mark12 View Post
                                      I am sure you would be 'interested'...sorry but you will just have to take my word for it.

                                      PM sent.

                                      Mark

                                      .
                                      I'm afraid on this occasion your word is simply not good enough. You have been called out and found wanting Mark12.

                                      Some more questions, that you will probably choose not to answer...

                                      Did you value that Spitfire and were you involved in this deal?

                                      Comment

                                      • Mark12
                                        MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 10863

                                        Originally posted by Whitley_Project View Post
                                        I'm afraid on this occasion your word is simply not good enough. You have been called out and found wanting Mark12.

                                        Some more questions, that you will probably choose not to answer...

                                        Did you value that Spitfire and were you involved in this deal?
                                        Really? Found wanting? Did you get my PM on this matter?

                                        Yes, I valued the Spitfires for the RAF Museum and well before the P-40 was discovered and reported by the Italians.

                                        No, I was not involved with the P-40 deal in any way shape or form...but you will have to take my word for that.

                                        Mark
                                        "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                                        Comment

                                        • Bruce
                                          Independent analyst
                                          • Jan 2000
                                          • 10225

                                          Elliott,

                                          With respect, you have your sights on the wrong target. As we all know, Peter is very well connected in the vintage aircraft world, and as such gets to know a lot more than those of us on the fringe.

                                          Carrying out a recovery exercise, at a distance, at a sensible commercial rate is always going to be an expensive proposition.


                                          Bruce

                                          Comment

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