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

Read the forum code of contact

Member for

17 years 8 months

Posts: 2,245


Member for

15 years 5 months

Posts: 151

I should add that I found the pictures on Facebook this evening, if I can find the post again I will credit the photographer.
If it is the one found in 2012, it isn’t in “Time capsule” condition anymore, is it?


Member for

18 years 8 months

Posts: 5,196

The engine below it certainly looks like the one found with D Copping P40 wreck. The plaque in OP post says it's so. Way to go RAFM! Then closing BoBH....well done

Member for

19 years 6 months

Posts: 3,902

How sad.

That really is criminal, if it actually has happened.

Member for

13 years 5 months

Posts: 409

Sadly I'm thinking it is the same plane as well, as all of the areas that are off/not right are the same areas that were most damaged or destroyed. As noted, the engine displayed below it looks identical to the condition and look of the engine in the aircraft when discovered. Also the props look like they're probably the originals, uncurled and pounded straight.

Member for

10 years 7 months

Posts: 173

If it is the same aeroplane then that is a historic artifact and poignant memorial permanently ruined and questions need to be answered.
Somewhat ironic that the original pictures were dismissed as 'a model' when this seems to have now been painted to depict a particularly poor one too.

Whilst a very sad state of affairs regarding the aircraft, the fact that Flt Sgt Copping is still 'missing' and the family await rational explanations and answers to their not unreasonable questions across recent years should not be forgotten.

Member for

19 years 5 months

Posts: 1,987

Absolutely unbelievable.

I trust everybody associated with its recovery, for all their fine words, are happy with the final outcome.........

Member for

17 years 7 months

Posts: 2,122

Very sad indeed. I agree with Tangmere1940 above that the important thing is to try to find and test those bones we discussed in such detail earlier in this thread. In spite of pestering the UK authorities, and trying to follow up what the Italians originally found and what the Egyptians did or did not do, we got essentially nowhere at the time. Now a bit more clandestinity seems to have been perpetrated concerning the aircraft. I can't find any Facebook (or other for that matter) reference online, as Robert Edward mentioned in post 2304.

Feeling bad

Member for

13 years 10 months

Posts: 1,665

Time capsule to plastic toy and the pilot still missing. What the hell is wrong with this world.

Member for

19 years 6 months

Posts: 3,902

I can't help but be reminded of Spitfire MV459 , which received some level of restoration before display in India.

I wonder how it felt to be grinding all that 70 year old paint off the P-40......


Member for

19 years 1 month

Posts: 1,274

Right now I'm pretty happy they kept the info regarding the Maryland kinda low. Or maybe we'll see photos of it spinning on a pylon in 1960s style Airfix colors within a year or two. :rolleyes:

This P40 was only discovered and recovered from the desert in 2012. The Egyptian Air Force did an exceptional job restoring it for display.

Hmmm. I think the jury is still out on that one!


Member for

17 years 10 months

Posts: 2,810

While there are many unhappy about this display of the P40 I can see the logic.... there are many vehicles, tanks on display outside painted up and patched rather than displayed as found. In many places around the globe as suggested India is one where a public display of a wreck is not appreciated by senior figures. I understand that there is a museum display inside telling the story of the pilot and other items.

As Andy notes, it is a great shame that the remains of the pilot have not been found.

Member for

13 years 6 months

Posts: 1,740

Not so long ago the same situation existed in the car/auto restoration world: it is only recently that the fact of "it's only original once" has sunk in. But it depends on the type and its provenance. If this P-40 had an unexceptional story (subjective in itself), then maybe a restoration would have been justified. But this one was very different in many ways. The same comparison could be made between a car in original condition with Targa Florio history and a Hillman Avenger.

What does worry me is that this historic machine is being displayed outside and in less than ideal conditions. I can only hope that it finds itself indoors soon and that one day in the future some cutting-edge technology might be able to undo what has been done.

I'd imagine that there is minimal chance of finding its hapless pilot, so his memorial deserves a much more respectful display.

Member for

8 years 9 months

Posts: 55

The el-Alamein museum is very close to the shore of the Mediterranean. Climatic conditions make it necessary that the tanks and trucks displayed in the open get a thick layer of protective paint avery few years...

Member for

14 years

Posts: 2,170

Is that the same museum the Mk V Spitfire ended up in several years ago? Substantial wing etc.

Member for

23 years 9 months

Posts: 8,464

Shame. I think we were all hoping for better. However I suspect the P40 was a prize the directors of the museum couldn't ignore for long, and as the years dragged on, this was always going to happen.

Regardless of the standards of the work done - and we shouldn't judge Egypt by our own standards, the aircraft is a monument to the war in the desert, and if one knows the story, to Copping himself. Perhaps at some point, the museum will acknowledge that.


Member for

19 years 6 months

Posts: 3,902

What next ? Patch up 'Lady be Good' with some fibreglass, cover it in Home Depot gloss paint and park it next to the P-40 .

Member for

23 years 8 months

Posts: 10,029

Patch up 'Lady be Good' with some fibreglass, cover it in Home Depot gloss paint and park it next to the P-40

LBG is in Libya.