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

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I'm struck by what appear to be footprints in the other photo (circled)
Hi But surely they could just have been in a background photo used as the backdrop for the p-40 photo. As for detail of a model I recall a thread here recently of a whitley or a lancaster ? made by a greek modeller,and it was awesome, I think thin tinfoil containers were used to simulate fuselage skinning, and did it even have a toilet roll by the elsan ? edit found it :- http://www.helmo.gr/index.php?option=com_deeppockets&task=catContShow&cat=24&id=684&Itemid=35 for example an awesome P-40 http://www.p40warhawk.com/smf/index.php?PHPSESSID=185dc2f9b9f244dd503bbb99ed9fcba5&topic=17.15 just look at he detail of the finished model on page 3 a few other examples http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/1839/dsc02582pd4.jpg http://www.network54.com/Forum/47751/message/1333589024/The+saga+continues....... http://www.helmo.gr/gallery2/d/41259-1/medevac+huey+668.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_NOISSES_PMT Anyway hopefully I am proved wrong and it is real, if so it deserves a fitting home. cheers Jerry
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As a modeller of 13 years, there's absolutely no way in my mind that could be a model. It's several orders of magnitude beyond anything I have ever seen in photographs or in the 'flesh' on display tables.
Thirteen years? Welcome, newcomer... You need to attend some classier scale-modeling shows if you think this is "several orders of magnitude" beyond what can be done.
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A couple more thoughts from me; -the canopy does not appear to be open in any of the shots, it looks like the perspex has come off the front section of it and the photographer has just stuck his arm through the hole to get the interior shot, I would also imagine that if it is a model the camera angle is too low to be able to get a camera in at all. I really like the frame for the stbd glareshield that has come loose and the covering come off whereas the port one is still in position and still has most of its covering -In regards to the AWOT, I frequent Polish forums regularly because of my Su22 and many of the posters there use weird names such as EPMI, EBPM (airbase locations) etc as these mean completely different things in Polish to their English translation. The final AWOT AWOT looks like he has finished his message with say 'Paul' but there is also an automatic signature that also says 'Paul' Michal, thanks for posting these and keep us updated if any more become available. Where is VX927 when you need him? Cheers Paul Paul (could mean 'a waste of time in' swahili but I am not really sure)
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So judging by the six guns I'm guessing this would be a Kittyhawk III (P-40M).

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I’m going to say it’s a model.....but (if it is) it was made by an exceptionally skilled modeller! In the crash-landing could the propeller, hub, reduction-gear casing and the front of the airframe be torn off like that and leave the rest of the cowlings so undamaged? I don’t know but I’d expect to see some of the upper engine cowlings at least dislodged. I hope I’m wrong; I hope it isn’t a model!

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I have to admit I would love for this to be a real find. From the close up photographs it does "Feel" very real to me, but the distant shots bug me and they do not have the same for want of a better word reality about them. What we have so far really neither proves or disproves anything, but whayt I wonder on are 1) If a hoax why would you go to such levels to fool people? A lesser effort would of fooled many. 2) If real how come the years have not left it more damaged? 3) Where is the pilot? the condition of aircraft would say he would of survived the "accident" If he survived surely this would be a registered wreck, If not has any efforts been made to find the poor soul? I guess if its real its a great find and if its fake its a great model and photoshop effort. Hopefully soon all will be revealed until then I won't get any hopes up.
Profile picture for user DC Page

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I’m going to say it’s a model.....but (if it is) it was made by an exceptionally skilled modeller! In the crash-landing could the propeller, hub, reduction-gear casing and the front of the airframe be torn off like that and leave the rest of the cowlings so undamaged? I don’t know but I’d expect to see some of the upper engine cowlings at least dislodged. I hope I’m wrong; I hope it isn’t a model!
Bear in mind that the terrain we see in the photos could be very different from the surface it landed on nearly 70 years ago. It doesn't appear that the engine was under power when it came down, and its nose also is smashed hard up against a rock, which may have been just beneath the sands when this aircraft came to a stop. It might have been a fairly smooth slide along the sand until it caught that rock with its chin. The leading edge of the port wing is banged up but the starboard side looks to be in very good condition.
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If a hoax why would you go to such levels to fool people? A lesser effort would of fooled many.
But here he has perhaps fooled the putative experts, who will go on for many more pages debating this silliness. That could be very satisfying to somebody who hasn't wasted effort, as you imply; he has (perhaps, not sayin') had great fun in creating a diorama that currently sits on his bookshelf, or wherever, while for years to come he will tell his pals that it was the source of The Great FlyPast P-40 Hoax. Though perhaps he's a she.
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Theone thing that worries me is the canopy being closed.. 1) The crash looks survivable.. So if you got out why would you close the canopy?? I know I lock my car and ensure windows close when I park teh car at the station.. but I know I am going back in 10 hours.. 2) If the pilot died in the crash, why no bodyin the cockpit? 3) if you are making a forcelanding don't you open the canopy before attempting to land if you can? Paul

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Theone thing that worries me is the canopy being closed..
Maybe he just closed it before he walked away for no good reason. Or the wind blew it shut. or someone else did it. There seem to be signs of forced entry on the small hatch (latch is broken open, damage around the hinge), so it´s highly likely that more than one person has been over the wreck on the last 70 years.
If I were a betting man.... ...... 1,2 and 3 a model diorama. These photos then carefully 'melded' as a set with some real close up shots just to complete the illusion. I'd like to think real. But I am thinking smoke and mirrors.
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P40 Perhaps photos from the 1970's and long since scrapped. model/diarama does not stack up - so many fine details have been pointed out. If current, well RAFM/AHB dont seem to know anything unless they are keeping quiet until recovered?:) Would love to think it is current and real. There are photos of an SM-79 that was discovered and was reduced to nothing in a very short time through scrap/salvage. Lots of political changes have occurred over the last year in North Africa so you never know what might have appeared. Just need a serial :confused: regards Mark
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[QUOTE=James D;1880728]Or the wind blew it shut. or someone else did it. [QUOTE] But that means surely there would be more sand in the cockpit? In the time frame between [QUOTE]Just need a serial [QUOTE] Or a list of 260 Sqn losses between Feb 1942 and April 1944 to start with

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Bear in mind that the terrain we see in the photos could be very different from the surface it landed on nearly 70 years ago. It doesn't appear that the engine was under power when it came down, and its nose also is smashed hard up against a rock, which may have been just beneath the sands when this aircraft came to a stop. It might have been a fairly smooth slide along the sand until it caught that rock with its chin. The leading edge of the port wing is banged up but the starboard side looks to be in very good condition.
Yes, agreed, all of what you say is possible but the propeller and reduction gear are behind the aircraft; I’d have thought any crash able to tear these extremely heavy components from the engine would have, at least, dislodged more of the (relatively) flimsy upper engine cowlings. Anyway I’m not 100% sure or anything like it; maybe 60% / 40% that it is a model. I posted late last night and now having quickly read all the preceding posts it seems I’m not the only one who has noticed the condition of the cowlings. That proves nothing of course! If it is a hoax it is an extremely good one but I suppose my suspicion is also aroused by it appearing on a modelling forum in the first place.

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Speaking as a photographer, I do find the the photos convincing. One thing that usually gives away a model is the depth of field - you can see this in the shot of that fantastic Lancaster model set against a moody sky and airfield back ground. The whole aircraft is in focus - both the main wheels are sharply defined, for example. In contrast the p40 head on shot has the foreground focused while the fin is not. It's not conclusive as very careful post production can fake most things, but if it's not real it's certainly the most convincing fake I've ever seen. Noted the comments on cowling damage but the "exit route" could have been under the belly and the lower cowlings are hidden. Whatever, it's a fantastic shot.
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Surely the pilot may have closed the canopy after exciting to keep the sand out with a view to the possibility of the aircraft being recovered a short time later. For all we know he may have stayed with the aircraft to await recovery using the cockpit for shelter and protection at night and therefore kept it closed during the day so as not to have to sit in a sandy environment the following night. Upon the day of rescue (or abandoning hope and walking) the canopy would have been shut in the morning. Also could the prop and reduction gear not just have been sheered off by the motion of the prop and ripped of and flipped over the aircraft? It looks pretty real to me too. In the last picture the terrain just viseable through the glazing seems to match. My uncle has been a high level consultant with Exxon for about 30 years and has seen some astonishing relics in north africa, sadly most were just driven or flown past and very very remote but there is still stuff like this out there. You'd probably die before finding it though.

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But that means surely there would be more sand in the cockpit? In the time frame between
Sand gets everywhere (my Dad was in the desert) and if it can blow in, it can also blow out. There could be a foot of sand in the thing, but it´s not visible in the pic.
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Got to be real, someone's nicked the clock. Always the first thing to go..
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Originally Posted by Air Ministry: I'm struck by what appear to be footprints in the other photo (circled) Hi But surely they could just have been in a background photo used as the backdrop for the p-40 photo.
Yes, you're quite right to point that out, but I was responding to the suggestion that the whole picture is a model diarama, not a photoshopped montage of real scenery and superimposed model. Regarding the lack of cowling damage, yes, it looks odd. However, what if the aeroplane was slowing, spinning and maybe even sliding backwards at the moment when seperation occurred, maybe that explains why they are intact? In the case of the P40 sliding backwards and slewing around while coming to a halt, the bent propellor blades now become an anchor, digging into the sand, and this is maybe what helped cause the final seperation? Look at the photo of the Beaufighter on the beach in this thread: http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=116162 If I'm interpreting that photo correctly, the tail has seperated from the fuselage and they are now in the wrong correlation, i.e. the fuselage is pointing nose on at the tail. In fact it looks to me as though the very front section, the cockpit, has also seperated and is lying almost up against the tail. For the prop assembly to be behind the seemingly otherwise undamaged nose of the P40 doesn't seem so odd after all? I also accept that it must have alighted on sand, not the rocky surface seen in the pics otherwise it would have been torn to shreds. I hope the pics are genuine but I cling to the notion that, even so, they are much older than we think. Still, it's kept us all entertained for a few hours hasn't it? I'd only be pissed off to discover they are fake if I'd been pursuaded to invest money in a recovery expedition, and I'm not likely to do that!