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

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  • detective
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Sep 2013
    • 138

    The old saying " every cloud has a silver lining" and "out of all things bad may come some good" may apply here...albeit some way down a convoluted track.

    ...Now that this unfortunate event has occurred the absolute imperative is to have Dennis Copping's fate fully investigated, and literally "laid to rest". Then, and only then, can the ultimate fate of the airframe be discussed for any potential and mutually agreed flying or non-flying restoration. A carefully constructed diorama displaying an "as found" replica could be constructed, and the idea of a first class and correct fibreglass "ready for flight" replica for the Egyptian museum (to me) might very much appeal to them. At that point negotiations for the purchase of what's left as we see it today could pave the way for this unexpectedly pleasing outcome.

    ...This possible outcome then sees a very bad situation turned on its head, whereby we could have an invaluable potential flyer honouring Dennis Copping, while other parties have been duly recompensed, and their displays existing in a most correct fashion.....FWIW.
    Last edited by detective; 31st December 2017, 05:18.

    Comment

    • jeepman
      infrequent poster now
      • Apr 2004
      • 1986

      To excuse the restoration as being to “third world” standards because of its location is specious. You only need the google the Great Egyptian Museum at Giza to see the intent and what can be achieved.

      That restoration is pure technological and museological incompetence. No more, no less
      JM

      Comment

      • David Burke
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2000
        • 10031

        Detective- I think reality is the RAFM have already traded a Spitfire to have this P-40 moved . There isn't a bottomless pit of cash or Spitfires that can be traded to get this machine ! Reality is that if we get away from the Indiana Jones ideas - the P-40 has spent the majority of its existance in Egypt - the old ideas from the 1970s that the RAFM should scourer the world taking whatever they can from locals who don't appreciate them needs to cease .

        Comment

        • Propstrike
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Mar 2004
          • 4010

          Detective, finding some glimmer of hope is commendable , but I think this particular ship has sailed.

          Is anyone still actively investigating Flt Sgt Copping , after five years? Given the way things have panned out, such a respectful and committed endeavour would be very surprising. We know roughly how and where he met his fate, and that may be all we ever know.

          For many people, a replica diorama would be of little interest, as it is just that, a replica. The aeroplane was ( past tense) compelling because represented such a vivid and robust connection to WW2 , and the sacrifice of one man. Now that connection is irredeemably severed, and it can never be returned to what it was.

          Best leave it where it is now, as even in its new guise, it is at least displayed in the theatre where it operated, and the best place for a memorial to Flt Sgt Copping.

          Comment

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

            Propstrike: as I said in my post 2341 above, to my knowledge there is NO memorial to Flt Sgt Copping. The least we might expect of the museum people is that details of the pilot's story be told.
            Laurence

            Comment

            • stuart gowans
              Not a real Spitfire
              • Dec 2005
              • 2005

              The only reason it survived for so long, is that Egypt is third world, ultimately it has become a victim of that environment,(as it would have, had it been left in the desert) and who knows another uprising may be just around the corner, giving the opportunity for someone to destroy it completely.

              The blame falls entirely at the feet of the RAFM, who should have been smart enough to state "freight on board" in the contract; as said above there was no guarantee that the Egyptians would ever let it leave the country even before the "Arab spring".

              The director has long since resigned, and his replacement has successfully dismantled at least part of the museum that would have been it's home; (but it's early days, she may yet be able to ruin Hendon completely) fair to say that the RAFM haven't learned any lessons.
              Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

              Comment

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

                Did the Director resign to avoid any potential fallout from this farce ?. Has there been any sort of scrutiny on it, because there needs to be if there has not.

                Detective, your point about a replica doesn't really do it for many, there are lots of plastic planes and as new restorations around, the importance in this case was the originality and the story it told. Now it doesn't look a lot different to your average plastic plane you see in many museums, whats done is done now, hopefully now though, maybe it may raise the profile of the case to lead to the location of the remains of Denis Copping, that would be something positive
                Officially now a pensioner

                Comment

                • Propstrike
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Mar 2004
                  • 4010

                  Despite our current distractions, we will remember them......
                  Attached Files

                  Comment

                  • rreis
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Aug 2009
                    • 140

                    My wife immediate comment was "it is like the Christ restoration":

                    https://www.pri.org/stories/2012-08-...s-fresco-spain

                    to a better 2018, rreis

                    Comment

                    • QldSpitty
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 2628

                      And this one..Less 109 parts in it now I think.
                      https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-pho...-image74951193
                      "If the C.O. ask's you to be Tail End Charlie...just shoot him!!!....A Piece of Cake.
                      http://spitfirea58-27.blogspot.com.au/

                      Comment

                      • Supermarine305
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • May 2012
                        • 359

                        Jeepman:
                        To excuse the restoration as being to “third world” standards because of its location is specious. You only need the google the Great Egyptian Museum at Giza to see the intent and what can be achieved.
                        How much more attention is spend on the Giza museum as opposed to an aeronautical one? How much for funding does it receiver given that Egypt's economy relies so heavily on tourism and Tourists almost always go to Egypt to see the relics of the Pharaohs. And here is the clincher: How much international help and expertise is given the Giza museum in preserving its artifacts?

                        That restoration is pure technological and museological incompetence. No more, no less
                        It is a very good example of such, but was that the best the museum could do with the staff it hand on hand? The tools it had on hand? The information it had on hand? And the money and materials it could spare?

                        That is all speculation but then so is the assumption that the museum just didn't care.

                        Comment

                        • Southern Air99
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • May 2015
                          • 560

                          Would it not be possible (if the aircraft was somehow obtained back from Egypt) to do what they do to graffitied/vandalised buildings/sculptures, wash/clean off the new model kit style paintwork to reveal the original paintwork if it remains, underneath?
                          Then remove all the fabricated parts and see what's left of the original airframe?

                          Comment

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

                            who knows what they did prior to paint, they might have taken it back to bare metal, in theory anything is possible but I doubt anyone would want to do it
                            Officially now a pensioner

                            Comment

                            • stuart gowans
                              Not a real Spitfire
                              • Dec 2005
                              • 2005

                              I wouldn't hold your breath, over reacquiring this airframe, hypothetically what you suggest is possible, however when you want someone to do a shoddy job and just paint over the original, inevitably they strip every last bit, and with regards to metal work, it was very badly damaged, (even though it appeared to be quite good) one can only imagine what was removed and lost to get to this "finished state"
                              Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

                              Comment

                              • ThreeM
                                Rank 4 Registered User
                                • Aug 2017
                                • 69

                                I remember when I first saw the pictures of this discovery in the desert, they were in a gratis copy of the Daily Mail courtesy of British Airways. What a lamentable end.

                                I'd be interested to see a picture of the cockpit of the 'restored' aeroplane - wonder if any of the original instruments still remain in place.

                                Comment

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

                                  Agree, with regards to the aircraft it's over now, it isn't going anywhere and it cannot be undone
                                  Officially now a pensioner

                                  Comment

                                  • Scramble Bill
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Sep 2003
                                    • 243

                                    Heartbreaking to see what they have done................................

                                    Comment

                                    • HP111
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • May 2012
                                      • 663

                                      So, the main gripe is in effect that the RAFM failed to gain possession of the airframe. It is too easy to point the finger at another country where different standards may apply. (Although the complainers should bear in mind that the RAFM would probably have "conserved" rather than "restored").

                                      Comment

                                      • David Burke
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 10031

                                        Well no - I guess two points . One giving a Spitfire to 'gain' a P-40 when clearly the RAFM appears not to have a firm deal with Egypt .

                                        Second gripe -an aircraft 'restored' now resembling a poorly made Airfix kit!

                                        Comment

                                        • Guest's Avatar
                                          Guest

                                          For what it is worth, from an official Egyptian source today (and to answer a point raised earlier in this thread):- "...there is no likelihood of this aircraft ever being returned to the UK."

                                          As Laurence Garey also noted, it is sad that there is apparently no reference with the displayed airframe to Flt Sgt Copping and his unfortunate demise.

                                          It also very sad that this whole saga most likely could have had very different outcomes if another path had been taken.

                                          Comment

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