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

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  • TallyHo!
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Oct 2014
    • 156

    I hope it's a horrible coincidence but was it's last reported sighting in a container outside the museum?


    • Fouga23
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2006
      • 2258

      Magister Aviation
      It's all in my book


      • Robert Edward
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Apr 2008
        • 153

        Click image for larger version

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        I should add that I found the pictures on Facebook this evening, if I can find the post again I will credit the photographer.
        If it is the one found in 2012, it isn’t in “Time capsule” condition anymore, is it?


        • Rocketeer
          trying harder
          • Jan 2005
          • 5256

          The engine below it certainly looks like the one found with D Copping P40 wreck. The plaque in OP post says it's so. Way to go RAFM! Then closing BoBH....well done
          Last edited by Rocketeer; 28th December 2017, 23:13.
          Tony Dyer


          • Propstrike
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Mar 2004
            • 4010

            How sad.

            That really is criminal, if it actually has happened.


            • JohnTerrell
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Apr 2010
              • 416

              Sadly I'm thinking it is the same plane as well, as all of the areas that are off/not right are the same areas that were most damaged or destroyed. As noted, the engine displayed below it looks identical to the condition and look of the engine in the aircraft when discovered. Also the props look like they're probably the originals, uncurled and pounded straight.


              • Zidante
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Feb 2013
                • 174

                If it is the same aeroplane then that is a historic artifact and poignant memorial permanently ruined and questions need to be answered.
                Somewhat ironic that the original pictures were dismissed as 'a model' when this seems to have now been painted to depict a particularly poor one too.


                • Guest's Avatar

                  Whilst a very sad state of affairs regarding the aircraft, the fact that Flt Sgt Copping is still 'missing' and the family await rational explanations and answers to their not unreasonable questions across recent years should not be forgotten.


                  • jeepman
                    infrequent poster now
                    • Apr 2004
                    • 1986

                    Absolutely unbelievable.

                    I trust everybody associated with its recovery, for all their fine words, are happy with the final outcome.........


                    • l.garey
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Feb 2006
                      • 1954

                      Very sad indeed. I agree with Tangmere1940 above that the important thing is to try to find and test those bones we discussed in such detail earlier in this thread. In spite of pestering the UK authorities, and trying to follow up what the Italians originally found and what the Egyptians did or did not do, we got essentially nowhere at the time. Now a bit more clandestinity seems to have been perpetrated concerning the aircraft. I can't find any Facebook (or other for that matter) reference online, as Robert Edward mentioned in post 2304.

                      Feeling bad
                      Last edited by l.garey; 29th December 2017, 09:33.


                      • richw_82
                        White Knuckle Airlines
                        • Nov 2009
                        • 1680

                        Time capsule to plastic toy and the pilot still missing. What the hell is wrong with this world.


                        • Propstrike
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Mar 2004
                          • 4010

                          I can't help but be reminded of Spitfire MV459 , which received some level of restoration before display in India.

                          I wonder how it felt to be grinding all that 70 year old paint off the P-40......
                          Attached Files


                          • Robbo
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jan 2000
                            • 1046

                            Laurence, the photos were posted by Steven Phipps in a group named "Tiger Tanks, Armoured Vehicles & Places of Combat From WWII till Today"
                   There's another photo from 11th November on the "SaharaSafaris Club" page.


                            • T J Johansen
                              Considerate hitman
                              • Aug 2004
                              • 1292

                              Right now I'm pretty happy they kept the info regarding the Maryland kinda low. Or maybe we'll see photos of it spinning on a pylon in 1960s style Airfix colors within a year or two.

                              Originally posted by Tiger Tanks, Armoured Vehicles & Places of Combat from WWll till Today
                              This P40 was only discovered and recovered from the desert in 2012. The Egyptian Air Force did an exceptional job restoring it for display.
                              Hmmm. I think the jury is still out on that one!

                              T J
                              Last edited by T J Johansen; 29th December 2017, 10:11.
                              "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!!!"

                              Jules Winnfield 1994


                              • scotavia
                                • Nov 2005
                                • 2832

                                While there are many unhappy about this display of the P40 I can see the logic.... there are many vehicles, tanks on display outside painted up and patched rather than displayed as found. In many places around the globe as suggested India is one where a public display of a wreck is not appreciated by senior figures. I understand that there is a museum display inside telling the story of the pilot and other items.

                                As Andy notes, it is a great shame that the remains of the pilot have not been found.
                                Last edited by scotavia; 29th December 2017, 10:23. Reason: add


                                • Sabrejet
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Mar 2010
                                  • 1763

                                  Not so long ago the same situation existed in the car/auto restoration world: it is only recently that the fact of "it's only original once" has sunk in. But it depends on the type and its provenance. If this P-40 had an unexceptional story (subjective in itself), then maybe a restoration would have been justified. But this one was very different in many ways. The same comparison could be made between a car in original condition with Targa Florio history and a Hillman Avenger.

                                  What does worry me is that this historic machine is being displayed outside and in less than ideal conditions. I can only hope that it finds itself indoors soon and that one day in the future some cutting-edge technology might be able to undo what has been done.

                                  I'd imagine that there is minimal chance of finding its hapless pilot, so his memorial deserves a much more respectful display.


                                  • Kuno
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Dec 2014
                                    • 58

                                    The el-Alamein museum is very close to the shore of the Mediterranean. Climatic conditions make it necessary that the tanks and trucks displayed in the open get a thick layer of protective paint avery few years...


                                    • CeBro
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Sep 2009
                                      • 2154

                                      Is that the same museum the Mk V Spitfire ended up in several years ago? Substantial wing etc.


                                      • Bruce
                                        Independent analyst
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 10226

                                        Shame. I think we were all hoping for better. However I suspect the P40 was a prize the directors of the museum couldn't ignore for long, and as the years dragged on, this was always going to happen.

                                        Regardless of the standards of the work done - and we shouldn't judge Egypt by our own standards, the aircraft is a monument to the war in the desert, and if one knows the story, to Copping himself. Perhaps at some point, the museum will acknowledge that.



                                        • Propstrike
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Mar 2004
                                          • 4010

                                          What next ? Patch up 'Lady be Good' with some fibreglass, cover it in Home Depot gloss paint and park it next to the P-40 .


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