Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

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

Collapse
X
Collapse
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • TonyT
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Oct 2006
    • 9044

    Bar the removal if guns etc which needed to be done! And could be refitted at a later date, if the Army has retained them, a lot of the other damage appears to be mainly glass that could be sensitively replaced.

    Comment

    • qattara
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • May 2012
      • 52

      don't forget that a egyptian touristic travel agency offer the visit to the wreck for few euros..... so is very dangerous, all people can visit and take somethings.
      we have mapped every relics around the plane, marked with gps and we are rebuilding the topographic survey

      Comment

      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest

        "Just a few euros" seems remarkably cheap for a trip that is presumably quite an undertaking. It seems remarkable to me that some back-street tourist agency in Cairo is only charging a few euros for such trips. Either way, it surely makes no difference whether the parties going to the site have only paid a few euros or many euros for such a visit; it seems to me that those in either party might be equally likely or capable of removing and taking away souvenirs or else of moving artefacts around out of their original context.

        Comment

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest

          I have some questions for quattara.

          In your website you talk about a 'mandate' from the Britsh Embassy/Defence attache and also imply that you were working for or acting on behalf of RAFM. At least, I think that is how it is worded.

          Could you clarify this?

          Second, is it not a remarkable piece of luck (or an incredible coincidence) that the piece of parachute and remains were discovered where they were?

          Third, do you not think that it might have been a little inappropriate to suggest that the remains of the pilot had been found and to then announce this on the internet? This before (a) they had been officially confirmed as human remains, and, (b) before the family had been informed of the discovery and the possible link to this unfortunate young man. Already, the family have been faced with finding out about the P40 discovery and its association with their relative from the news media after the likely identity of the pilot was discussed on the internet and it was picked up by the press, and long before it was confirmed that this was the P40 he had been lost in.

          Last, you talk about future expeditions to the site and invite those interested in coming along to get in touch. If I was interested, when are you next going, what is the plan and purpose of the visit and how much do you charge? Are you still acting for, or 'mandated' to, the British authorities or the RAFM when you return?

          Just curious.

          Comment

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

            VX927 -no your not the only person who would advocate a return to flight.The aircraft has never been a 'time capsule' -it wasn't perfectly preserved as it crashed -we have no idea what has been done to it in the seventy years since it was lost and its not the only surviving P-40 in the world. Its just as worthy of restoration as the latest Spitfire MK.1s

            Comment

            • hindenburg
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Aug 2007
              • 1402

              "Just a few euros" seems remarkably cheap for a trip that is presumably quite an undertaking"...............didn`t say nothing about bring them back Andy
              `Information is the currency of democracy`. Thomas Jefferson

              Comment

              • hindenburg
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Aug 2007
                • 1402

                shame..sat there all that time untouched(?) ....then recently vandalised.
                `Information is the currency of democracy`. Thomas Jefferson

                Comment

                • Guest's Avatar
                  Guest

                  Originally posted by David Burke
                  VX927 -no your not the only person who would advocate a return to flight.The aircraft has never been a 'time capsule' -it wasn't perfectly preserved as it crashed -we have no idea what has been done to it in the seventy years since it was lost and its not the only surviving P-40 in the world. Its just as worthy of restoration as the latest Spitfire MK.1s
                  I couldn't help feeling, initially, that the P40 should be preserved 'as-found'.

                  As its degradation continues I am more inclined to think, too, that it should be returned to flight. It no longer looks the way it did when first revealed, and its vandalism since then takes away the aura of that initial amazing discovery.

                  Meanwhile....quattara's possible response to the questions I posed earlier would be interesting to read.

                  Comment

                  • shepsair
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Oct 2009
                    • 284

                    P40

                    David,

                    The general impression was that it had been untouched between June 42 and Feb 2012 just due to the fact it was complete. There seemed to be nothing missing. If it had been discovered at any time in the past, the stripping/vandalism would have happened then just as much as it has occurred now.

                    I have mentioned before that I think it should be preserved (partially restored) to as it was on 27th Feb when first discovered. As it suffers more and more damage then of course this thought diminishes also.

                    regards

                    Mark

                    Comment

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

                      There is an assumption made that because something is discovered its instantly vandalised and parts stolen. In the seventy years between loss and discovery there might well have been a number of people to the sight who had curiousity but no more than that! If you are a nomadic person in North Africa you might well not have a use or desire for parts from a P-40!

                      Comment

                      • xtangomike
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • May 2006
                        • 537

                        For those who may not have been to El Alemain, I was lucky enough to go there a couple of years ago. The bus ride from Alexandria and back was 6o euros and I spent a half day photographing as much as possible.
                        I visited the German and Italian memorials and spent time on top of the German one just looking into the vast unending desert wasteland that is the Western desert. On the ground it is easy to tread on the rusty metal of old munitions, wheels, vehicle remails. A bit like the World War 1 battlefields in France, you wonder what lies just below the surface of the sand all around you.
                        It is all so quiet and peacefull there now,........... hard to imagine the noise of screaming Stukas, explosions, tanks rattling by and men shouting orders and taking cover from the incoming artillery. It may be one battlefield that will stay as it was for some years to come, even though the shadow of development is creeping closer and closer.
                        I have many more of the museum artifacts if any one cares to see them
                        Attached Files
                        'Where the hell have you been?'

                        Comment

                        • Mark_pilkington
                          Rank 9999 Registered User
                          • Jun 2004
                          • 1791

                          The words "time capsule" get bandied about quite easily in the warbird movement, I've recently seen them applied to effectively a new-build aircraft with little original material in it, and yet this P-40, which although becoming less intact every day, doesnt have any new metal put in it yet, but is somehow now not a time capsule and never was? rather strange!

                          If it isnt, I dont know what is?

                          Its possible today to largely punch out a new flying P-40 without much original material in it, and without a specific original structure or identity, and there are examples flying today that are apparantly well known, but not openly acknowledged as such (but lets not go there).

                          Now because its not totally "as found" there are calls for this aircraft to be restored to fly, rather than be preserved as is, even in its modified/tampered state?

                          I wonder if that extends to it being consumed into an airworthy restoration just as any other P-40?, it could be painted up as a P40E in Chinese Flying Tiger markings with big sharks teeth, does it matter?, its really "just" another P40?, and others are masquarading as other identities.

                          Thats certainly not the view I have of it, or the appropriate outcome for it, but if its no longer a time capsule and worthy of conservation "as is" then why cant it simply be consumed into yet another look a like outcome.

                          The Canadians already have an airworthy ex RAAF example painted up in very similar colours to this aircraft's original markings other than the serial number, do we need two in those similar colours? Perhaps this one could be presented in RAAF pacific theatre colours when its restored to fly, to balance up the variety on the airshow circuit?.

                          And no, I'm not serious, I still very much hope this aircraft is conserved "as is" - even if that is no longer "as found". - and even if it is "just another P40"?



                          regards

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

                          Comment

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

                            A 'time capsule' in my book is exactly that. Removed from the environment and then recovered 'x' number of years later without the effect of environment and degradation.
                            An aircraft that has been in the desert for seventy years - subjected to wind -sun and errosion by sand doesn't strike me as something that is exactly as it crashed in 1942! Add to that mix corrosion caused by any fluids still contained within and the various forms of dissimilar metal corrosion and you have an object that is anything but perfectly preserved.

                            Now on the subject of an airworthy restoration - there is no reason why sympathetic restoration and rebuild cannot be accomplished . There is often a cry that it should be left as is - well thats perfectly fine but if the object is taken from the environment its in at present and subjected to a typical European climate how long do people expect it to last? I can show corrosion on aircraft in the RAFM that are preserved -this wouldnt be any different.

                            As for it being a P-40 -yes indeed but nobody is suggesting that the aircraft be rebuilt to become a generic P-40 with all that entails . At present we have a badly damaged aircraft that has suffered from the climate and now will decline even more rapidly . I suggest that a rebuild will honour the pilot more than the present arrangement which is not far removed from an abandoned car at the side of the road waiting for the 'vultures' to decend !

                            Comment

                            • TonyT
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Oct 2006
                              • 9044

                              Sympathetic rebuild... It's had it's back broken, Prop ripped out, bottom ripped out, gear torn out of the wings.... Nothing in any sense or form will be sympathetic about it..

                              A time capsule to me is where the thing is complete as it was during the war, no new additions, no new radios, all original radios, pipework, cables, internal markings and fittings.... Etc.

                              Comment

                              • Mark_pilkington
                                Rank 9999 Registered User
                                • Jun 2004
                                • 1791

                                David,

                                I would have thought a "time capsule" is something that represents "how it was" by being unchanged from that time "other than by time itself", not something that recreates "how it was" by being recreated, no matter how skillful that recreation is.

                                The more intact and undisturbed something is, the better the "timecapsule" it is, and still far more "authentic" and "significant" than the "recreation" that is "accurate" down to throttle knob engraving to exact compliance with photos and the pilots manual.

                                Time capsules have patina.

                                But lets not get caught up with semantics and labels - smiles.


                                The reality is that this P-40 still looks pretty much preserved as it was for the last 70 years other than some minor broken glass, sympathetic "restoration" could replace broken glass.

                                Its not how it was when it forced landed, 70 years of sandblasting and bleaching by the sun has occured, but thats part of its story.

                                In fact without that story it is "just another P-40".

                                Of course it could be restored to static condition but factory fresh, and still retain virtually all of the structure, but is that then telling its story?

                                Airworthy restoration would probably retain much of the structure but perhaps with some fuselage structure (frames, intercostals and skins) replaced due to the obvious damage, but would replace many other parts due to their condition / damage, ie undercarriage, engine and prop, but is that really telling its story?

                                All parts will be stripped down, and paint stripped, all the instruments are likely not to have just their glass replaced, but all be replaced with NOS stock. simply because they are readily available and more cost effective to do so.

                                The finished airworthy outcome will be factory fresh, and able to fly, but its telling less and less of its unique story.

                                Once your replacing those parts why not fit a new (and different) paint scheme as well? isnt it the private owners perogative? (yes I know thats a bridge too far.

                                I'm not seriously suggesting that would be acceptable in this case, but equally there are plenty of other wartime aircraft painted up in other colours, even combat veterans, not just representative examples. Why is it ok with them and not with this one? Its because of the unique story that surrounds this one, its pilot's sad loss in the desert, and the aircrafts survival for 70 years.

                                Of course, the airworthy restoration will still be an authentic and original airframe and have and retain provenance, even with those minor compromises of repair and replacement.

                                But it will not have the "patina" of a conserved "time capsule" that has sat in the desert for 70 years after its fateful forced landing, even if some glass has been broken, and is or isnt replaced for display "as is".

                                Thats what this offers, and why its not "just another P-40", and is a "timecapsule" - as was the whole site at the time it was found.

                                Of course there is probably some NOS "Patina" able to be bought some where, or perhaps someone can "replicate" some "authentic" patina and "restore" it into the finished outcome?

                                This aircraft in its current condition is not factory fresh, or how it was operationally in the war, but its still very close to the crashed and broken condition it was when its pilot staggered off to his death in the desert, and that is its unique story and worth conserving for future generations.

                                regards

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

                                Comment

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

                                  Sympathetic can be achieved i.e rebuild and restore what you can as opposed to replacing every skin no matter what. Its possible to restore this aircraft and retain a very large percentage of what you see.

                                  Comment

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

                                    So how do you actually stop this aircraft from turning itself into a pile of dust?
                                    The aircraft has suffered fire damage - its pretty much an unknown in the engine bay and overall in poor condition.

                                    It would be sadly nice if we could in cases like this have the pilot's opinion ! I would dearly like the views of veterans -do they actually wish these machines to be left as effectively 'wrecks' or do they want them restored to how they were. I have seen many pictures of veterans climbing into restored Spitfires and the smiles on their faces - its a hard call but I imagine the majority would wish these aircraft to be restored to something they remember rather than something they wish to forget but I could be wrong.

                                    Comment

                                    • CIRCUS 6
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Dec 2004
                                      • 803

                                      Has it been recovered now then???
                                      Say unto oneself, "I must try harder to be kind to all comers to this forum".

                                      Comment

                                      • Mark_pilkington
                                        Rank 9999 Registered User
                                        • Jun 2004
                                        • 1791

                                        Originally posted by David Burke
                                        So how do you actually stop this aircraft from turning itself into a pile of dust?
                                        The aircraft has suffered fire damage - its pretty much an unknown in the engine bay and overall in poor condition.
                                        Isnt that a conservation problem that exists with all museum objects, from old books to un restored Halifaxes? - I'm sure the RAFM could deal with it if this aircraft was in their possession?

                                        It would be sadly nice if we could in cases like this have the pilot's opinion ! I would dearly like the views of veterans -do they actually wish these machines to be left as effectively 'wrecks' or do they want them restored to how they were. I have seen many pictures of veterans climbing into restored Spitfires and the smiles on their faces - its a hard call but I imagine the majority would wish these aircraft to be restored to something they remember rather than something they wish to forget but I could be wrong.
                                        And yes we could restore it for those veterans, who will enjoy it for perhaps another 10 -20 years before its purpose is then for future generations rather than them.

                                        But equally there are plenty of other P-40's already available for them to climb into and smile in, theres the former Pacific RAAF P40 in Canada flying in near identical RAF Desert colours scheme, and the RAFM has another former Pacific RAAF P40 displayed in Meditteranean RAF colours already, - plenty of sit-in and smiling opportunities already.

                                        Except of course for the RAAF pilots who actually flew in combat in the Pacific in those two actual aircraft, now presented as something they are not? I wonder what their opinions are- or if they matter to you? or those who made the decisions to present them in those identities? smiles.

                                        Or does accuracy and authenticity only exist in the eye of the beholder?


                                        However those two aircraft are still fulfilling a useful purpose, and there are plenty of other static - fully restored to factory fresh P-40s to perform the task you call for, and are doing so. There are also a growing number of airworthy P-40s to also perform the task you call for, and its possible to convert bank balances into even more airworthy P-40s largely through new metal and skillful workshops, without consuming this one to do so.

                                        Like the Halifax in the RAFM this is a very unique survivor, and not just another P-40, its not needed to recreate a factory fresh museum display, or even airworthy example - others are already doing so in its place.

                                        Those do not have the unique story to tell, that this one has, and presenting it "as is" is the best way to tell it.

                                        Personally, If I was a veteran who knew and flew with the pilot of this aircraft, or I was a member of his family, and had a say in its future, I think I would want it conserved exactly as it is, in a similar way to a war grave.

                                        Of course I'm not, and cannot speak for them, but thats my own opinion as I see it, and no, I dont think every wreck or derelict aircraft should be kept "as is".

                                        regards

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

                                        Comment

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

                                          Mark -was the opportunity to acquire the two former RAAF P-40's not allowed to Australian collectors ? I recall the recoveries from PNG over the years have by far favoured Australian and American collectors -I do wonder if the numbers of P-40's flying in RAAF markings also reflects the owners whims but I guess that comes down to the age old arguement of who stumps up the cash !

                                          As for 'Or does accuracy and authenticity only exist in the eye of the beholder' - I believe you also have that dilemma with a former significant
                                          research Lincoln -whether to restore back to what it is a post war civilian
                                          test bed or to recreate it into something its not - a RAAF bomber. Of course in the case of the Lincoln I acknowledge its very much a former shadow of its former self -however are we restoring for those who remember them from living memory or trying to give an authentic and historically correct machine for future generations.

                                          In terms of the P-40 -I have always advocated a restoration that is about conserving original material. Many are keen to jump on the band wagon of everything gets replaced -however this is without qualification as no survey has been carried out on the machine and nobody knows how damaged she really is. In reality I envisage a lot of her would be repairable.

                                          In terms of the 'time capsule' element - we don't know the full story -we don't know if mechanical failure played a part or why she ended up where she is . We might well not have any influence in what happens to her anyway -what I do know is she is very much in danger and if it came to a case of her being recovered there are private individuals in the U.K and abroad who would conserve and restore her correctly rather than see the current shambolic situation continue.

                                          Comment

                                          Unconfigured Ad Widget

                                          Collapse

                                           

                                          Working...
                                          X