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Almost Perfectly Preserved’ WWII Fighter Discovered in Sahara Desert — 70 Years After Disappearing
The Blaze ^ | 05/10/12 | Becket Adams

Posted on 05/11/2012 9:07:30 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway

It’s not quite the same as the opening sequence to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” but it’s awfully close.

The Daily Mail reports that a Polish oil company worker, Jakub Perka, has discovered an “almost perfectly preserved” Kittyhawk P-40 that crash-landed in the Sahara Desert in 1942.

“Despite the crash impact, most of the aircraft’s cockpit instruments are intact,” according to the report.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Unclassified; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: curtiss; curtissp40; desert; kittyhawk; ladybegood; lostplane; p40; unitedkingdom; worldwareleven; worldwarii; wwii
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1 posted on 05/11/2012 9:07:32 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Cool.


2 posted on 05/11/2012 9:11:32 AM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Never heard of such a plane. I assume it’s American? It could fly again.


3 posted on 05/11/2012 9:14:11 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: unkus

I just saw one of these flying at the Chino Airshow last weekend. It looks a little sandblasted but will probably be back in the air in no time.


4 posted on 05/11/2012 9:14:11 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Goes to show there are still many treasures yet to be discovered that are in plain sight.


5 posted on 05/11/2012 9:14:50 AM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
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To: Clara Lou

You never heard of the flying Tigers in Burma?


6 posted on 05/11/2012 9:14:53 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Looks like the pilot landed her as well as possible under the circummstances. Desert sand is one thing, big rocks are another.

Be neat if the pilot was still around to see her after 70 years. Not many of the WW2 folks still here.


7 posted on 05/11/2012 9:15:25 AM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Just realized I made a pun. Should have said plane sight.


8 posted on 05/11/2012 9:15:36 AM PDT by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
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To: Clara Lou

Think Flying Tigers.


9 posted on 05/11/2012 9:16:31 AM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Someone must have stolen the fabric off the rudder and elevator to make a burka.


10 posted on 05/11/2012 9:17:54 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature not nurture TM)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Yes, I heard of the Flying Tigers. Actually saw the John Wayne movie about the Flying Tigers, too. =)
I’ve never heard of that type of plane.


11 posted on 05/11/2012 9:18:06 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: Clara Lou

Curtis P-40 Warhawk. In British service and, depending on the model, was also known as the Kittyhawk or the Tomahawk.


12 posted on 05/11/2012 9:18:54 AM PDT by catman67
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To: AngelesCrestHighway
You never heard of the flying Tigers in Burma?

I don't mean to be picky but the AVG used P40-B's and this appears to be a P40-D.

13 posted on 05/11/2012 9:20:05 AM PDT by Cowman (How can the IRS seize property without a warrant if the 4th amendment still stands?)
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To: Clara Lou

14 posted on 05/11/2012 9:20:05 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Clara Lou

15 posted on 05/11/2012 9:20:18 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Wow, that really is in pretty good shape.


16 posted on 05/11/2012 9:22:26 AM PDT by Thorliveshere
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To: Cowman

I was just giving a general reference to jog someones memory...model numbers aside.


17 posted on 05/11/2012 9:22:58 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Clara Lou
P-40 Curtis Warhawk

Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company was an American aircraft manufacturer that went public in 1916 with Glenn Hammond Curtiss as president. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the company was the largest aircraft manufacturer in the United States. After Curtiss left the company, it became part of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company was created on January 13, 1916 from the Curtiss Aeroplane Company of Hammondsport, New York and Curtiss Motor Company of Bath, New York. In September 1920, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company underwent a financial reorganization and Glenn Curtiss cashed out his stock in the company for $32 million and retired to Florida. He continued as a director of the company but served only as an advisor on design. Clement M. Keys gained control of the company and it later became the nucleus of a large group of aviation companies.

Very much American!

18 posted on 05/11/2012 9:24:34 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Thorliveshere

19 posted on 05/11/2012 9:26:20 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Alas Babylon!

What a great paint job, too!


20 posted on 05/11/2012 9:26:53 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: Clara Lou
The plane is a Curtiss Wright Hawk 87 this is an American company

In US Army Air Force service its call a P40E “Warhawk”

In UK RAF service its called a Kittyhawk Mk1

But a lot of the public knows them (wrongly) as a “Tigershark” because of the Flying Tiger “Shark mouth” that always seem to get painted on them

21 posted on 05/11/2012 9:27:28 AM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: Clara Lou

The P-40 was a pre-war design that was not really very good, by WWII standards, but used by the flying Tigers in China and mostly in the Pacific war. They were under-armed. I see them as kind of a crossover between WWI and WWII aircraft.

They were the planes used by our heroes in the movie Pearl Harbor that they were able to use during the Japanese raid to shoot down some planes.


22 posted on 05/11/2012 9:28:16 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

I’ve never heard of KittyHawk. Isn’t it a P-40 Thunderbolt?


23 posted on 05/11/2012 9:28:58 AM PDT by justice14 ("stand up defend or lay down and die")
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To: Thorliveshere
This B-24 Liberator was discovered in the sixties in the desert...
24 posted on 05/11/2012 9:29:41 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Wow! A P40! Wonder what the story is on it?


25 posted on 05/11/2012 9:29:41 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: X-spurt

—Be neat if the pilot was still around to see her after 70 years.—

Notice the canopy is still closed? I have a feeling nobody walked away from that one.


26 posted on 05/11/2012 9:29:45 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: justice14
P-47 Thunderbolt was a lot bigger fighter....
27 posted on 05/11/2012 9:32:28 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: windcliff

Ping


28 posted on 05/11/2012 9:33:06 AM PDT by stylecouncilor (Some minds are like soup in a poor restaurant...better left unstirred.-PG Wodehouse)
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To: justice14

Two completely different airplanes by two different manufacturers. The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (also known as Kittyhawk by the RAF and Tomahawk) was a development of their P-36 Hawk fighter. They took the Hawk and put an Allison V-1710 inline engine on it.

It wasn’t a bad aircraft, but it gained a poor reputation because it wasn’t as good a dogfighter at the Japanese Zeros it fought against in the early Pacific war. But, the Flying Tigers proved that it could be a very effective weapon if flown correctly...it was faster than the Zero, handled better at high speeds, and was rugged. So they didn’t try dogfighting with Zeros. They would dive down, make surprise passes, and dive away when things got too hot.

The P-40 was used extensively in North Africa. It was slightly outmatched in many areas by Messerschmitt Bf 109s that it faced, but in the right hands, it was competitive. In fact, new ones in improved versions were built right up through 1944 and it served on the front lines in the Pacific for the entire war.

You’re thinking about the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, which is the massive, rugged “Juggernaut” with the big R-2800 radial in the front. The Thunderbolt started off as a high-altitude interceptor and wound up as an excellent ground-attack aircraft because it was incredibly tough and could carry a lot of ordnance.

}:-)4


29 posted on 05/11/2012 9:38:33 AM PDT by Moose4 ("Oderint dum metuant" -- "Let them hate, as long as they fear." (Lucius Accius, c. 130 BC))
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To: AngelesCrestHighway
Plane is in incredible shape. Way worse examples and harder to remove have been restored..hope this one get's saved.

.Wonder if the pilot was rescued?

30 posted on 05/11/2012 9:38:51 AM PDT by trailhkr1 (All you need to know about Zimmerman, innocent = riots, manslaughter = riots, guilty = riots)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

The old “Jug”.....weighed 7-8 tons on take off fully loaded with 6 airborne version M-2s, 50 Cal..

Also had a damned good speed, faster than a P-51 under some circumstances and an upgraded propeller.

Shown in the picture, Col. Gabreski, flew one and was on a mission, it had so many holes in it when he landed, they pretty much had to junk the plane. A virtual flying tank. He was actually once a base commander at Kadena AFB where I was stationed once.


31 posted on 05/11/2012 9:39:53 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2142300/Crashed-plane-Second-World-War-pilot-Dennis-Copping-discovered-Sahara-desert.html

https://picasaweb.google.com/114682566226043469349/Zdj_samolot?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCKjxkt6rkNTFKg&feat=directlink#


32 posted on 05/11/2012 9:42:55 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Cowman

—I don’t mean to be picky...—

Yeah, you do. ;-)


33 posted on 05/11/2012 9:43:16 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: cuban leaf
Notice the canopy is still closed? I have a feeling nobody walked away from that one.

As the article states:

Sadly, authorities believe Copping died trying to cross the desert. The nearest town from the crash site is 200 miles away.

“Once he had crashed there nobody was going to come and get him,” Saunders said. “It is more likely he tried to walk out of the desert but ended up walking to his death. It is too hideous to contemplate.”

34 posted on 05/11/2012 9:43:19 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway
It’s not quite the same as the opening sequence to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” but it’s awfully close.

I was thinking more "1970s TV movie", specifically the one with Doug McClure as the pilot of a crippled P-40 that is taxiing around the desert, being pursued by a German tank. It had one of those much-used titles like "Death Race".

35 posted on 05/11/2012 9:43:34 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Looks like I should have read more...


36 posted on 05/11/2012 9:44:50 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: X-spurt

From the story.....he died in the desert since he never got home.

“Once he had crashed there nobody was going to come and get him,” Saunders said. “It is more likely he tried to walk out of the desert but ended up walking to his death. It is too hideous to contemplate.”

So ended Flight Sgt Copping’s service to the Crown. He has no surviving relatives.

Next time any of us think we got problems.....think of Sgt Copping’s last few days in earth. May God have rested his soul.

Plus to weigh in on some comments made farther down.....the P40 was a fine plane for its time. Most effective at low altitude.....since it lacked a supercharger.....it suffered when competing above 10,000 feet with it’s rivals at the time the Zero and the ME-109.

The P-40 could take incredible damage and still return to base PLUS...most US models had six 50 caliber Brownings that made it a very heavily armed puppy indeed.

Looks like this Brit model had at least 2 50’s on it as that is the caliber catridge being handled in one photo.


37 posted on 05/11/2012 9:47:59 AM PDT by Lowell1775
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To: cuban leaf
“They were under-armed.”

Not really this model had six .50 cal early on (before the US even enter the war)... six .50 cal became pertty much became the common gun package on all US WW2 fighter

38 posted on 05/11/2012 9:48:28 AM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: cuban leaf
“They were under-armed.”

Not really this model had six .50 cal early on (before the US even enter the war)... six .50 cal became pertty much became the common gun package on all US WW2 fighter

39 posted on 05/11/2012 9:48:28 AM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

40 posted on 05/11/2012 9:48:55 AM PDT by Fido969
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To: A.A. Cunningham

This is just like landing in the ocean. Same results. Death.


41 posted on 05/11/2012 9:51:22 AM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Unnngh! To many PDS people!)
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To: Gaffer

The gun camera videos from P-47’s are amazing to watch. When they straffed German trains that blew up...trying to avoid the pieces coming up at them wasn’t very easy....


42 posted on 05/11/2012 9:53:21 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Clara Lou

aka P-40 Kittyhawk


43 posted on 05/11/2012 9:53:25 AM PDT by ol' hoghead (He is not here; for he is risen.)
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To: Moose4

My mistake. I was think P-47. Thanks.


44 posted on 05/11/2012 9:54:03 AM PDT by justice14 ("stand up defend or lay down and die")
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To: Lowell1775

That was probably a P-40D (Kittyhawk Mk I) or P-40E (Kittyhawk Mk IA). The Mk I had two .50-caliber M2 Brownings in each wing, the Mk IA had three. The earliest P-40s had two .50s in the nose above the engine (firing through the prop) and four .303s in the wings, but that crashed plane has the wrong cowling for that configuration. It’s probably a Mk IA since more of those were made and they were in wide service in North Africa in mid-1942.

}:-)4


45 posted on 05/11/2012 9:55:24 AM PDT by Moose4 ("Oderint dum metuant" -- "Let them hate, as long as they fear." (Lucius Accius, c. 130 BC))
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To: Gaffer
P47 had eight .50 not six...everything about P47 was bigger then average
46 posted on 05/11/2012 9:55:24 AM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: Cowman

I always thought the WarHawk was the B model and the KittyHawk was an updated model.

Regardless, this is WAY cool.


47 posted on 05/11/2012 9:56:33 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Thanks for the correction. That was the one I was thinking of. The P-47


48 posted on 05/11/2012 9:56:33 AM PDT by justice14 ("stand up defend or lay down and die")
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To: A.A. Cunningham

The fate of this bomber crew was the same...

http://www.ladybegood.net/


49 posted on 05/11/2012 9:57:40 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Charles Martel
I was thinking more "1970s TV movie", specifically the one with Doug McClure as the pilot of a crippled P-40 that is taxiing around the desert, being pursued by a German tank. It had one of those much-used titles like "Death Race".

I saw a movie several years back about a B-24 crew who stayed with their plane out in the desert, playing baseball etc. When a group of rescuers came across them some time later it turned out they were all dead and were just ghost continuing to live their lives. Kinda like the "Sixth Sense" movie..they did not know they were dead.

After they were buried they all disappeared,went to heaven except for one guy because he went out in the desert to search for help and the rescuers did not find his body.

50 posted on 05/11/2012 9:57:58 AM PDT by trailhkr1 (All you need to know about Zimmerman, innocent = riots, manslaughter = riots, guilty = riots)
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