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

Read the forum code of contact

Member for

15 years 6 months

Posts: 313

Tangmere you are quite correct regarding throttle position, etc. It's simple chain of evidence. People who don't anything about the provenance of the pictures are actually factoring in throttle position and canopy position in their theories regarding just how "real" this aircraft is. That's pretty embarrassing really, just clueless.

A true investigator could probably find some witness marks on the dial faces inside of various instruments on the panel that would still yield clues, remaining panel light bulbs might tell whether the bulb was lit at the moment of impact, etc. It looks like the control column grip took out the turn & bank indicator when it stopped. Most of the remaining clues will be forensic in nature, metallurgy alone will tell a great deal. But all this requires being there to inspect it. We don't know where that is or how long ago these pictures were taken. This aircraft may be stripped to the bone by now, maybe it's buried, or maybe it's gone. We know that it has been visited at least once since it came to rest, probably several times. Humans don't travel alone in these parts of the desert so it's probably been seen by several groups of petrol explorers over the years, and if the RAF know about it as the OP mentions in his post, then they've almost certainly visited this site at some point. Some of these remote desert sites have been used as waypoints and drop zones for the SAS on training missions, and we don't know the fate of the pilot. That could be a big factor in whether the RAF ever made a trip to inspect the site, and when.

Regarding the throttle lever directions, I've never noticed anything in the Kittyhawk manual to indicate that the levers work in reverse to the U.S. versions but I'll check again. All the P-40 variations I've ever seen were cutoff position to the rear and full throttle was forward. Hence the term "balls to the wall."

Member for

12 years 3 months

Posts: 442


Just for comparison, that looks a hell of a lot more realistic

Member for

13 years 2 months

Posts: 2,841

Still people on the forum have said why did he/she not photgraph the aircrafts serial number? This pic does not have the serial either apart from 64. Yes most know its Lady be Good. Its just another bit of war debris to a lot of people.

Member for

14 years 5 months

Posts: 187

Could be the leeward side has paint on it, and the side facing into the prevailing wind has been sandblasted. Or it could be lighting (given that the digicam would be a bit lost in those lighting conditions), or numerous other things.

Neither side is the leeward side though. The distance shots show the starboard side, and there is the sandy camoflage and roundel on the tail and rear on that side. The close up shows the port and again, we have camo and roundel.

The distance shot shows the front end is bare metal. This is confirmed in the close front-on shot, which confirms the cowling sides and rear are not sand painted.

Member for

18 years 1 month

Posts: 2,605

Throttle full forward could mean engine was running rough or combat damage so pilot was trying to get all the power out of her as he could before he hit the ground.Starting to think it,s real.

Member for

12 years 3 months

Posts: 442

I think most of us agree that the cockpit interior is real but that doesn't explain the other photos. Why is there not a trail of debris behind the aircraft and why does the top of the cowling look completely unscathed? Might it have come in wheels down? Are we assuming that it got lost and ran out of fuel?

I still don't like photos 1 and 2. Why would someone take them from so far away, if as people are speculating it was film/slide and so shots could not be wasted?

Member for

15 years 2 months

Posts: 297


After seeing the massive interest in this thread I wondered if all the P40 experts could help me I.D this aircraft, maybe someone has records of the type.

All I have is RAF Maiduguri, Nigeria 1940-1

Also on the picture is written 'Drak's Tommahawk'

Remains of what could be a 6 on the fuselage.

Dont know if it will help with the big debate but any info would be great.





Member for

12 years 4 months

Posts: 74

Getting back to when the shot was taken, if I was a betting man I'd say quite recently. I'm convinced it's not a scan from slide film back in the 70's or 80's.

If you enlarge the LBG shot there's loads of speckles, minute hairs etc in the sky, now compare that with the second of the P40 shots, also note the dust bunnie circled in red, the sky's clear of these artifacts. Sure you could clean these up in editing software but somehow that would destroy the authenticity.


Another point why I think it was taken in the "digital age" is that news travels fast as we all know, look how these photos have stirred up so much interest globally within a week!

Surely if these had been taken donkeys years ago they would have surfaced long before now through a friend of a friend of a friend.

I'm sure there are real gems of photos up and down the land in attics that haven't seen the light of day yet, but they will clearly be from prints or slides.

BTW really enjoying reading everyones opinions, turning out to be a good thread fake or otherwise!


Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 1,665

That kind of seals it I think. :D

Member for

20 years 11 months

Posts: 608

Plenty of humble pie with our roast dinners today me thinks... :dev2:

Member for

24 years 4 months

Posts: 2,598


Member for

16 years

Posts: 151

That confirms it then, and it is recent. Fantastic, I hope it is recovered before it is damaged.

Robert M.

Member for

20 years 2 months

Posts: 401

Well, that'll silence the doubters. No sign of a serial, though.

Member for

24 years 4 months

Posts: 16,832

Looks pretty conclusive to me.

Of course all those gentlemen could be CGI :diablo:

Member for

19 years 11 months

Posts: 1,912

Cockpit View Forward


Panel View


Thanks for that enhancement work DC.

"Its clearly CGI or the work of master modellers using large scale mockups to create a con on the warbird movement,smiles" I mean, how else could you get the scenary seen from the inside cockpit looking out through the crazed windscreen to line up with the landcape seen in all the external photos? (hmmm of course other than it being real that is)

A user on flugzeugforum.de found those video-links:



Now I am quite convinced it is not a model ...

Looks pretty conclusive to me.

Of course all those gentlemen could be CGI :diablo:

I think starfires links to you-tube just confirms its all an elaborate plot by modellers, they have obviously used plasticine figures and stop motion animation as per Gumby to create the illusion this 1/72 scale model has real people walking around it.

Look at the detail of that model and diorama landscape, it could fool anyone.


so its real,

in Egypt

and its still there

So when is the UK PM going to pick up the phone, call Egypt and say "Burma's letting us dig up 20 spits, can we visit your place and dig up one p-40?"


Mark Pilkington

Member for

18 years 6 months

Posts: 241

Humble pie anyone? :)

Member for

17 years 7 months

Posts: 8,983

Looks like finder informed military who have disarmed it, needs securing now it is known about. Told you it was real... Model lol..

Member for

24 years 4 months

Posts: 3,208

Looks pretty conclusive to me.

Of course all those gentlemen could be CGI :diablo:

No, I think they're almost certainly re-enactors.