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

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Dobbins -have you seen the state of some of the British aircraft wrecks in this country after our fellow countrymen have finished molesting them !

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Dobbins -have you seen the state of some of the British aircraft wrecks in this country after our fellow countrymen have finished molesting them !

yes! but this particular one may prove to be extra poignant. Don't get me wrong, all wrecks have some kind of story attached but the thought of someone being alone in that hostile environment for god knows how long before probably succumbing to heat and dehydration is quite moving.

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... after our Egyptian friends have finished molesting it

You simply do not know, disarming it was a must and would be carried the world over, stuff like the sight dissapearing, well perhaps items seen as high value and easily removable by potential scavengers have simply been removed to place them in safe keeping.

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Dobbins -we don't know which aircraft it is yet so what might have happened is pure speculation.

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yes! but this particular one may prove to be extra poignant. Don't get me wrong, all wrecks have some kind of story attached but the thought of someone being alone in that hostile environment for god knows how long before probably succumbing to heat and dehydration is quite moving.

This was a rather poignant one, much closer to home, but it didn't stop the site being stripped. Not a scrap left these days. I just hope that more respect is shown in the P-40 case.

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This was a rather poignant one, much closer to home, but it didn't stop the site being stripped. Not a scrap left these days. I just hope that more respect is shown in the P-40 case.

Hi
the linked page attributes the lack of parts remaining to :-

'A visit to these today sites reveals little, they have now been made difficult to locate due to trail motor cycling in the area. This has churned up the peaty mountainside, resulting in a minor landslide near the Lysander, taking away the sparse evidence of these tragic accidents.'

Not due to souviner hunters.

cheers
Jerry

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P40

OK, an archaeology question of sorts. Would be interesting to know general thoughts on this as it has not really been discussed.

The writing on the hatch.

It seems to say

COWL BUTTON

TO BE LOCKED

SHUT BEFORE FLIGHT

Q - Was this applied in the factory - if so does not seems to be a clear stencil, more hand painted.

Q - Is it two separate phases 'Cowl button to be locked' and later 'shut before flight'.

Q - The writing seems to have been painted 'above/around' the grey modified latch plate.

so, if not factory

Q - was it applied at the MU when assembled when the modified hatch latch was fitted?

Q - if this was the case and it was painted over the roundel would it have been painted over before issue to 260Sqn. Also a note in white paint over white roundel so does not make it readable!

Trouble is it seems to have survived the best which seems to indicate it was not applied last though was applied with thick paint by brush?

Bit a quandary. No evidence on other P40's ever having this though not many show the modified hatch latch.

Bit of a head scratch!!!:confused::confused:

regards

Mark

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Trouble is it seems to have survived the best which seems to indicate it was not applied last though was applied with thick paint by brush?

It may well have been applied last, although the lack of such an inscription in contemporary photographs is puzzling. What we might be looking at is not the painting itself, but simply those bits of original paint that took longer to wear off because they had an extra layer on top. To me, it looks a little to clear for that to be true, but it's certainly possible.

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It looks like some notice retro painted over the roundel in the field. Maybe the hatch had been damaged and repaired? Either way, it makes this Kitty unique!

https://picasaweb.google.com/114682566226043469349/Zdj_samolot?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCKjxkt6rkNTFKg&feat=directlink#5734881541898711858

If you zoom in it looks like the dzus fastener has been left in the fuselage with the modified latch presumably breaking on impact.

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I wouldn't take none standard markings as anything to read into something, often if they have had a problem or no other stencils etc are available markings are just added in the style of the originator..

There is a 14 Sqn Jag at Cosford with No Hinges Fitted in ground equipment yellow and hand painted on the port door in quite big letters....simply because I had no stencils, the only brush I could fine was a bit big and yellow was the only paint I could find at the time that would stand out, when the Jag would go for a major the sheared hinges would have been renewed and the markings obliterated / overpainted, however it never got that far, so it has my localised Squadron stencil markings still on it, indeed it has a more proffessionally produced item now adjacent to mine.

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Lazy8/Dobbins

Can't decide.

Believe the Modification to the hatch was undertaken post construction (seems unpainted) and probably at the MU in Egypt prior to issue to the squadron.

The hatch popping was probably due to the crash. Otherwise the pilot would have undone it himself and it would not have been forced open. The pilot would have done that to destroyed the IFF by all accounts.

Still not sure.

Tony T - so not factory. Would be MU or in the field?

Mark

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We would add stuff in the field, if we had mods come out that could be done on the squadron we would, any other stuff would get added as they went through 2nd line maintenance. Hinges on a jag were in the F4 fuselage tanks so would be done at MU level If i remember correctly, as you virtually had the strip it to get to it? The battery and radio appears out so he may have opened the hatch to see if he could get off a signal, however with her spine broken I agree it would have probably popped.

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I believe there was a problem with radio hatch locks on P40s. Reading accident reports at the PRO, several UK crashes were attributed to the hatch breaking free and damaging the tail. The extra lock may have been a fairly standard mod based on these findings. The stencilling does not look factory applied. The Curtiss stencilling I've seen is applied as a decal, rather than painted on.

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A friend has asked that I post this..

Could it be P-40K (Raf serial) FR300 of 260 sq., formerly of of 450 Sq. down on Mar.18, 1943 in the desert after engine failure and gear down landing with gear collapsing. (from Air-Britain serials FA100-FZ999)

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A friend has asked that I post this..
Could it be P-40K (Raf serial) FR300 of 260 sq., formerly of of 450 Sq. down on Mar.18, 1943 in the desert after engine failure and gear down landing with gear collapsing. (from Air-Britain serials FA100-FZ999)

Hi
An option like any, but it seems to infer a knowledge of the crash conditions.....gear collapsing....... if so this aircraft could have been located at the time ?
cheers
Jerry

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Hi
the linked page attributes the lack of parts remaining to :-

'A visit to these today sites reveals little, they have now been made difficult to locate due to trail motor cycling in the area. This has churned up the peaty mountainside, resulting in a minor landslide near the Lysander, taking away the sparse evidence of these tragic accidents.'

Not due to souviner hunters.


I read that, but last time I went up there, about 12 or so years ago, there was no sign of motor cycling activities ... and no wreckage. Besides, motor cyclists are unlikely to have removed the engine from the Spitfire, which was there in living memory.

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A friend has asked that I post this..

Not a P-40K

Dave

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The stencilled instructions on the hatch were painted in black.

The white of the roundel has eroded to reveal the blue disc and the black of the stencil has eroded to reveal the formerly protected white.

You do not paint white stencils on the white of the roundels.

Mark12

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P40

Mark

Think you are right.

All to do with erosion of layers of paint.

The Dark Green camouflage survives as it was over painted with Middle Stone which has been eroded down. Areas of Dark Earth have been eroded down to bare metal.

So with the stenciling in black, this has eroded down to the white or as a shadow.

I know you would not paint white on white - just getting me head around it.

Ian - heard the same regarding the hatch. Looks like this is a Mod undertaken at the MU.

regards

Mark

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Here's a little scenario...

Aircraft comes into land; wheels down as we know.

Hits hidden rocks, wiping off the undercarriage.

Crash switch actuates, detonating the IFF, and causing the fragmentation damage to the rear fuselage

Explosion blows open the hatch, causing the damage to the extended latch plate as can be seen.

Explosion also destroys radio

Pilot climbs out, and removes radio in order to try and raise help. He dismantles battery to try to get appropriate power to the relevant circuits, but to no avail....

Thoughts?