A valuable Spitfire has been lost...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by v2, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,940
    Likes Received:
    624
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cracow
    RAF Museum handed over Spitfire in 'ill-conceived' deal for WWII aircraft it may never receive.
    Museum bosses admit they 'paid' a salvage team a Spitfire worth £200,000 to recover an aircraft found intact in the Sahara Desert 70 years after it crashed.
    A valuable Spitfire has been lost to the nation after an "ill-conceived" deal by the RAF Museum to exchange it for the recovery of another aircraft that it is unlikely to ever receive, it has been revealed.
    Museum bosses "paid" a salvage team an original Spitfire from their collection to retrieve a Second World War RAF Kittyhawk P40 plane that was found intact in the Sahara Desert 70 years after it crashed.
    But three years on and the museum, of which Prince Phillip is a patron, has conceded they may have lost the Spitfire with nothing to show for it after the political unrest in Egypt stalled negotiations to bring the Kittyhawk back to Britain.
    The fighter plane was discovered almost perfectly preserved in 2012 in the middle of the Western Desert.
    It had crashed in 1942 and there was evidence that its loan pilot, Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping, survived the impact but perished in the inhospitable conditions.

    full story: RAF Museum handed over Spitfire in 'ill-conceived' deal for WWII aircraft it may never receive - Telegraph
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,633
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Being a newspaper report, I'll maintain an open mind. The company tasked with recovery are a well-known and respected outfit, and I'm assuming the deal was negotiated in all good faith. Political ramifications should not be seen as a failure on the part of the team, or as a deal gone wrong.
    Hopefully, the aircraft will eventually get to the museum - if the U.S. government don't claim it back that is !
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    If the Spit is worth £200,000 then that is probably a fair fee for such an expedition, the Spit hasn't disappeared, it wasn't airworthy and had no war record. I still dont understand why the museum would trade a Spit that can be displayed for a P40 wreck maybe worth more in a museum with its record?
     
  5. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    Sounds about right to me - its a very one-sided article. Essentially they have had the project stalled part-way through. If the Spitfire is only worth 200k, then it obviously needs quite a bit of work to restore it, it has no history, and is not really worth much to a museum, especially one that has a number of them.
     
  6. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    25,129
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary
    One would have to read the contract terms, probably private, before criticizing. Hope it turns out well though. I do remember the excitement around the discovery of the wreck and, frankly, am not surprised that it hasn't moved yet. It really has not been that long ago and it may well do in time. My only concern is that it might get "discovered" and completely vandalized first.
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,633
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    I haven't checked yet, but the 'PK' serial number of the Spitfire suggests it's a late Mark, possibly a Mk22 or 24, so although it's a Spitfire, it's not as if it was a rare, early Mark, with history behind it. If this was the total fee, then it's very reasonable and, as stated, let's hope the even more valuable (in historic terms) P-40 eventually reaches the Museum.
     
  8. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Let us hope that while the deal is in limbo the P-40 is safely stored and not being picked over by souvenir hunters.
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,720
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Indeed Terry. Hopefully it all sorts itself out one way or the other. It would be good to see the P-40 in the UK...
     
  10. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    professionally retired
    Location:
    High Wycombe, England (home of the Mosquito)
    Unfortunately, we have yet another case of a newspaper not allowing the truth to get in the way of a good(??) story.
    The Spitfire is not "lost to the nation"; it's sitting on a British airfield, in a hangar owned by a British company, who are renowned for their expertise in rebuilding airframes. In (maybe) 3 years, after an expensive rebuild, a foreign buyer might be found for it, but it's just as likely to remain here. It's also a Mk.22, which saw no wartime service.
    The RAF Museum has a Spitfire at Cosford, one on loan at Manston, another in Southampton, another on loan to Kuwait, four on display at Hendon, but only one Kittyhawk.
    Once the P-40 appeared, souvenir hunters started to remove parts, so its "disappearance" is to be welcomed; there are actually unconfirmed reports that it's already here, but who knows?
    Saddest of all is the emotional blackmail regarding the pilot's remains, which will probably never be found; whingeing about nobody carrying out any searches does nobody any favours, since the area is under the control of the Egyptian armed forces, and they don't welcome foreigners poking around their areas.
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    I don't understand why they would trade a Spit. Which one of the Museums Spits was it?
     
  12. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    professionally retired
    Location:
    High Wycombe, England (home of the Mosquito)
    It's PK664, a Mark 22, which has never been displayed at Hendon (they already have a 24,) and which was loaned to the Science Museum, recently, displayed in a "disassembled" state, so it's possible that it still hasn't been put back together.
    It was sold back to Vickers, and there are unconfirmed reports that it was fitted with a Griffon 85 contraprops (not on it, now,) possibly as a test-bed for the Seafire 47.
    In the last issue of "Wrecks and Relics," 66 "Spitfire Seafires" are listed as being extant in the U.K; some might only be partial, and some might be fibre-glass replicas, but they're not exactly in short supply, and we're told that the recently-discovered Mk.IX, used in the "Battle of Britain" film, is on its way back here, from the U.S., for restoration to fly.
    Egypt took delivery of several Mk.22 Spitfires, post-war, and used them against Israel; as their only other "Spitfire" is a wreck, the reason for their interest in acquiring another is obvious.
     
Loading...

Share This Page