RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

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The Baron
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by The Baron »

All jesting aside, a genuine RAF Kittyhawk is one hell of a find! Let's hope it can be relocated and recovered.
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foxfour
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by foxfour »

If we assume it's the genuine article and not a Photoshop experiment the only questions at the end of the day are how much would it cost to recover the aircraft and who would pay for it.

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Mooshie1956
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Mooshie1956 »

I feel that the government should pay for her return and if not fit for a full flying restore, I'm sure she would look good in either Cosford or Hendon museum.
But my thoughts turn to the pilot and I wonder what happened to him, with it being in such a remote part of the desert.
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Mooshie1956
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Mooshie1956 »

DanO1978 wrote:
Mooshie1956 wrote:I feel that the government should pay for her return and if not fit for a full flying restore, I'm sure she would look good in either Cosford or Hendon museum.


Because the government is so flush with cash at the moment...


Unfortunatly there not, or thats what they want us to belive. But no the less it would be a nice gesture to those brave men that flew them. And in all honesty what would it cost to bring her home. Not a lot compared to what the government waste's on other things.
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Kenny
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Kenny »

Mooshie1956 wrote:
DanO1978 wrote:
Mooshie1956 wrote:I feel that the government should pay for her return and if not fit for a full flying restore, I'm sure she would look good in either Cosford or Hendon museum.


Because the government is so flush with cash at the moment...


Unfortunatly there not, or thats what they want us to belive

I think Dan used sarcasm there :grin:

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

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SHARFA2
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by SHARFA2 »

Looks like its already been destroyed looking at those youtube clips, I don't know who these guys are but they seemed more interested in the amunition

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Timc »

I'd make the most of the "controversial" photos and now video footage. I fear the airframe will never be seen again.....Well, not in it's amazing condition as a complete aircraft.

I'd like to be proved incorrect but it's been found by the "wrong" people judging by the footage.

My thoughts go out to the fate of the pilot if I'm to be totally honest.

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by nigelblake »

Timc wrote:I'd make the most of the "controversial" photos and now video footage. I fear the airframe will never be seen again.....Well, not in it's amazing condition as a complete aircraft.

I'd like to be proved incorrect but it's been found by the "wrong" people judging by the footage.

My thoughts go out to the fate of the pilot if I'm to be totally honest.


I would think he perished long before the "wrong" people arrived! :wink:

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by aspotternot »

Okay, I'm no expert and, as they say, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing but here goes ...

Firstly the obvious .. the Sahara IS a very big place .. but not all countries within it have an active oil & gas exploration industry, quite simply the underlying rocks may not be right so this would start to limit the possibilities.

Now, as you can see from the photos and videos there are two seperate groups looking over and working on the aircraft. One shows a team of people in what look like blue overalls the other shows what appear to be guys in military uniforms, other than the large chap in traditional dress! The first appear to be more inquisitive, randomly looking over the airframe, they seem to have a "I wonder what it is?" look about them, whilst the second group appear to have been tasked with removing the ammunition. The first group could be from a drilling rig but my guess would be that they are part of a seismic crew, quite possibly the guys who lay out the receiver strings. When a seismic survey is shot teams of workers layout seismic receivers which pick up the sound recordings created by an energy source, dynamite is a simple old one, vibrosies is a modern source, a truck which quite literally thumps the ground. As the survey progresses these trucks move along pre-designated lines of direction. At the same time the crews move the receiver strings so that by the end of the survey a vast area has been covered. Before a survey is 'shot' some research work is normally done, a site survey to avoid doing any damage to sites of archaeological interest and a geographical survey. However, I am not sure a broken old airframe would necessarily hold much interest, the research team might have just taken it for another pile of metal junk, many of which are found in the Sahara. Though not all classic warbirds I might add! There is also a chance that having stumbled across the P-40 the seismic company did some checking and found it to contain ammunition, this would have course represent a hazard to their operations and crews. To this end the seismic company would almost ceratinly call in the military to make it safe. It might even be that someone has laid claim to it (the man in the traditional dress or maybe the guy on the crew who first recognised it?) and has started the process of moving it?

Another question has been, why hasn't it been found before? Well, it could just be so remote that until the seismic crew arrived no-one knew about it? Alternatively it could have been covered up for years? If you look at the terrain it looks mostly bear rock, but that's not to say it has not been covered by sand for many years. Sand dunes move! What was perhaps a heavily duned area might have changed and quite litterally the 'shifting sands of time' have moved away revealing this wonderful find?!

I could be wrong on all accounts but let's not jump to conclusions about people seemingly wanting to destroy it. I hope it is genuine and I sincerely hope that whoever found it has an interest in finding it a new home. There will undoubtedly be many hurdles, many people might want to lay claim to it when they realise it might be worth a lot more than just a pile of metal scrap! You also have to realise that, although centrally goverened some countries are regionally very tribal. Whether the seismic company, or more importantly the oil or gas company that has the exploration rights would be interested in helping move it I am not sure. They don't own the land, just the right to explore. I am also not sure whether the UK government would want to get involved but we can only hope that they would at the very least 'oil the wheels' (sorry for the pun) when it come to the political aspect. Paying for it would be a different matter!!

If I had found it and reslised it's potential I am not sure I would want everyone finding it on Google Maps! I guess what will be will be and we will find out soon enough whether it can be recovered. But whatever happens to the airframe I do hope that if it is moved a small memorial might be put in it's place recognising the 'missing' pilot. Fingers crossed.

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Timc »

Some amazing pictures here, looks like the pilot fired off a few flares and hopefully was picked up.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1146825662 ... directlink

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by nigelblake »

Wow, fantastic what a great find that is!

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Timc »

Correction, don't think there flares afterall, look more like battery cells, and curiously are we dealing with RAAF machine here?, Seems like there's a bit of equipment made in Aus. would that be a retro fit in Australia? The plot thickens!

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Vodka »

Great find!

Just hope it somehow finds its way into a restorers or museums hand rather than a looting Middle East Bazzar

Although not sure whether i've enjoyed reading the so-called 'experts' opinions more as per usual on various forums first

oh its a fake, leading edge not damaged enough for a belly up landing. . . oh def' fake, wrong colours for a period 40' blah blah blah and ' so very skeptical about this story. The first shots taken from afar I could be easily convinced they were fake. Something about the colors and the placement'

Well guess what :ninja:

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by DanH »

Somewhere on that airframe there must be a chassis number or other identifying marks so that more information could be found about the fate of the pilot, and the circumstances in which he ended up crashing in the desert. I wonder if these guys have found any such information.
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

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DanH wrote:Somewhere on that airframe there must be a chassis number or other identifying marks so that more information could be found about the fate of the pilot, and the circumstances in which he ended up crashing in the desert. I wonder if these guys have found any such information.


I was surprised there was no sign of a registration/serial number in the usual location on the photos - i could not even see any sign of something faded.
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by neilesmith »

I really hope that the pilot survived and got back to safety.Of course if he did then there is a possibility that he is still alive, now that would give us an interesting story.Fingers crossed!
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by keithjs »

DanH wrote:Somewhere on that airframe there must be a chassis number or other identifying marks so that more information could be found about the fate of the pilot, and the circumstances in which he ended up crashing in the desert. I wonder if these guys have found any such information.


On one of the photos it says Airplane H87-A3 which means its a Kittyhawk 1a. So that means it could be from any one of half a dozen squadrons. 2,3,4,112,260?
Heres hoping they can find out more.
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by Timc »

Think it's been confirmed as a 260 Sqn machine although the data plate looks like it has been removed from the cockpit, not too sure about this but I think there's another plate behind the firewall.

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by aspotternot »

jaguar wrote:There will not be much left of it now the Arabs got hold of it :wall: is there going to be a rescue mission to save it?

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Jaguar/Paul, I feel compelled to question the first part of your statement. Don't you think that is a bit of a generalisation? And quite possibly a mildly racist comment? Not everyone in or from that region behaves as you suggest. Did you read my previous diatribe? To me it appears that one set of individuals work for a seismic company the other is probably the military. You will also notice quite a lot of westerners in some of the later photographs. Anyone who wants to work in the area or move this airframe would want to make it safe. For this to happen the military are normally called in and they are not necessarily 'au fait' with vintage aircraft preservation or restoration! They would however, probably be ever-present during a seismic survey in the Sahara as quite a bit of banditry takes place, particularly in remote areas. Theft and hostage taking are constant security issues. When the Arab Sring took off in Libya many westerners were evactuated and kit was stolen, particularly 4x4 vehicles, but this was by bandits not your average Libyan. In fact many helped westerners saying "it is not your problem"! Now, I am not saying there won't be people who would like their 'slice of the pie' but to suggest that individuals are going to strip it clean like vultures is not warranted. If you have ever been to the Sahara you would know that bits of machinery and metal junk often get left by the wayside, never to be re-claimed or claimed by anyone. I have been to some fairly remote parts of Algeria and was surprised how much junk is left lying around. It can at times resemble one huge scrapyard! In fact there is a certain 'group' of individuals who often make the news in the UK who could probably set up a business out there rather than go around knicking every piece of scrap metal, or otherwise, and making our lives a misery! Okay a rare and potentially lucrative warbird find is different from a few old trucks or bits of oil industry kit but let's see what happens before we pass judgement.

As I said previously, I am surprised that no-one mentioned this aircraft before 'stumbling' across it, not least the energy company or exploration company contracted to work in the area (if that is who they are?). As well as a ground survey these companies often record an aero-magnetic survey which I would have thought would show up metallic iitems on the surface as well as the magnetic quailities of the underlying rocks. I may be wrong? For all we know, people did know it was there and took absolutely no notice!?! It was only when some western aeromodeller spotted it that the interest ensued! Maybe there are others?!?!? However, the remoteness will play a very big part. These areas are not very accessible, you can see that from the terrain. Your average local does not have the kit necesarry to reach these parts, let alone transport out what would be to them a relatively large aircraft, dismantled or otherwise. And it may be that until now no company working in the area has thought to do the same? As a matter of interest, if we knew the name of the company working the area we could probably get a good idea of a near-precise location. Though this might have been kept secret, at least until now purely on the grounds of security, particularly as there was 'live' ammunition involved?! Wrong hands and all that!

As many others have said, let's hope someone can get the necessary finances, kit required and clearances to move this to a place where it can be restored, in whatever condition is deemed appropriate and that the pilot of this ill-fated aircraft can be remembered in the right manner.

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by pbeardmore »

We all know that there are areas within the UK where if that airframe was left accessable to the public, it would be stripped down and then torched before you can say "Jeremy Kyle", so I dont think that a UK based forum (or individual members) has any right to imply that it is any more unsafe in the middle of an arabian desert.
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by G-CVIX »

pbeardmore wrote:We all know that there are areas within the UK where if that airframe was left accessable to the public, it would be stripped down and then torched before you can say "Jeremy Kyle", so I dont think that a UK based forum (or individual members) has any right to imply that it is any more unsafe in the middle of an arabian desert.


:clap:

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by aspotternot »

pbeardmore wrote:We all know that there are areas within the UK where if that airframe was left accessable to the public, it would be stripped down and then torched before you can say "Jeremy Kyle", so I dont think that a UK based forum (or individual members) has any right to imply that it is any more unsafe in the middle of an arabian desert.


PBM, my sentiments precisely! This aicraft has lain still and mostly untouched for some 70 years, whereas it wouldn't have been left alone for 70 minutes in the UK. I remember reading a report in the local rag a year or so back about a Nanchang that false landed(?) in a field near Booker airfield, High Wycombe, one miserbale night and got stuck in the mud. The pilot went to get help and when he got back people had already started pinching bits off the aircraft! Just as well it wasn't made of copper!!

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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by keithjs »

And look what happened down at Lashams SWWAPS a few times... :sad:
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Re: RAF P-40 found in the Sahara???

Post by DamienB »

Yeah, but it was probably arabs... :whistle: