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

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A lot of people are saying 'why didn't the photographer take a pic of the serial number' or 'why isn't there any people in the photos' etc..

I propose this to you, the photographer thought the plane was interesting but only in a layperson kind of way so didn't bother too much about it. I do exactly the same thing quite often. For example I have attached a photo of an old car I took in a 'desert' type of environment a few years ago, I really don't care about cars but have a friend who does so thought he might be interested, I took a couple of different photos but certainly no close ups of data plates or chassis numbers, I also patiently waited for the other 7 people with me to get out of the way so they didn't 'spoil' the shot, I was using a digital camera with ample battery and memory but why would I bother taking hundreds of photos of an old car? There is quite possibly an old car forum out there somewhere who if they saw this might start wetting themselves because it is a super rare xyz, but I wouldn't have a clue about it. Furthermore in my photo the clouds and sky look decidedly dodgy but I know it is a real photo.

As I stated earlier I think the aircraft is real and I just pray it gets recovered and looked after properly as opposed to what could happen to it if the wrong people try to take care of it in a similar way to the Lady Be Good.

I've just read the WIX thread and one of their members 'Buz' has linked 3 photos of belly landed P-40's that have all had the prop and hub ripped off yet the top cowlings are still intact. Worth looking at.

Paul

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RAF Kittyhawk IA

Ok,

I think we have established it is real.

Looks as though it is a Curtiss P40E Model 87A-4 (RAF export Kittyhawk IA).

Therefore one of these.

41-24776/25195 c/n 18795/19214 RAF ET100/ET519
41-35874/36953 c/n 19395/19474 RAF ET520/ET999, EV100/EV699

It was with 260Sqn RAF though whether lost with this unit is unknown. Probably lost between Feb 1942 and Dec 42. HS- codes visible. ID letter could be B, E, F or H going on faint vertical line with horizontal at mid point.

We have a lost of missing pilots with that unit. Need to look at CWGC.

F/Lt Blandinell, 14 12 41
P/O Cidman, 18 12 41
Sgt Saunders, 23 03 42
Sgt Tregear, 24 04 42
F/Sgt Viesey, 31 04 42
F/Lt Hindle, 31 May 42
Sgt Clark, 9 June 42
Sgt Wrigley, 12 06 42
Sgt Carlisle, 26 06 42
F/Sgt Copping, 28 06 42
F/Lt McKay, 14 07 42
Sgt Stebbings, 20 10 42
F/Sgt Ody, 26 10 42
Sgt Mockeridge, 31 10 42
Sgt Hartung, 5 11 42
P/O Mink, 18 11 42
F/Lt Davis, 20 11 42
F/Sgt McKee, 15 12 42
Sgt Takvor, 19 12 42
F/Sgt McLive, 20 12 42
Sgt Adams, 20 12 42
Sergeant Cundy, 26 02 43
Sgt Orr, 21 03 43

If it is the 'Spitfire' mooted on this site and in the Qattarah Depression is is a long way from anyway even today. I would guess the pilot would still be classed as missing.This also means the photos could well be from 20+ years ago or more.

Could possibly still be there. Long way to go to get scrap.

Allegedly RAFM museum contact and rejected? approach at that time (even with photos) but at that time they had the P40N? being restored for display. Even so, would be a logistical nightmare to recovery and probably expensive. With the National Lottery now, I would guess a submission would be made to ensure the cost was covered!

Restored or left as is. In this instance, I would leave as is (first time ever). Tribute to all who operated in North Africa.

As soon as a serial is forthcoming, I am sure everything would be known within a matter of a few days. (Why I love the internet). 20 years ago it would have taken months!

Roll on more photos and a serial.

Mark

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Scotavia -there is a big assumption that the person who took the photographs is in some way an aircraft enthusiast. If we picked an average person off the street and asked them to photograph an aircraft there is no guarantee that they would take a picture that would include a serial or registration. Similarily if your taking a picture of something you find of interest its human nature to try and confine your picture to the subject.

.

The close up of the hatch is puzzling me. Why take it? You would imagine a photographer that close lifting the hatch to see what was inside, you imagine seeing his free hand holding it open.

Also the photos have no sense of scale, obviously there isn't a lot in the desert to provide scale but you can't imagine anyone being in that remote location alone, so why is there no one else in the shot like here http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/lj628rec-1.jpg

I think this might already have been mentioned but wouldn't you see a mirage?

AWOT is keeping strangely quiet considering the interest in this!

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P40

Dobbins

The hatch has 'popped' in the crash landing and does not need supporting (and also had a stay).

A lay person took a photo as it had writing on. Logical.

Also AWOT says there are other photos to follow, so this is just one of ??

Another recent P40E recovery.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p40recovery/index.htm

If the RAF serial is non existent externally - just need the construction number on the armour back plate (look at last photo).

MS

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The aircraft has broken its back therefore the fuselage distortion has also distorted the panel forcing it open and because its now twisted it will hold itself. I am going to take a wild guess that the picture is of the markings and writing itself rather than the panel.

As for recovery - its in a dangerous part of the world -it would require government approval and a fair amount of money.

As it stands its worth 300K - put back in the air probably 1.5 - 2 million.

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It looks to me as though the hatch could quite well be jammed in place anyway - the top right hand corner seems to be bound up with the fuselage skin.

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I'm still not buying it, I hope the other photos materialise soon! To me the hatch photo looks like a modeller's gone a bit OTT with trying to be authentic, what with the oil spots and bullet holes.

I'd really like it to be real but I am doubting it...

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I'm still not buying it, I hope the other photos materialise soon! To me the hatch photo looks like a modeller's gone a bit OTT with trying to be authentic, what with the oil spots and bullet holes.

I'd really like it to be real but I am doubting it...

The 'oil spots' could quite easily be sweat or water from when the photographer or a companion was looking at the cockpit.

Also, the fact that the bullet/shrapnel damage are exit holes is good evidence. It would have been easier for a modeller to do them as entry holes (because you could just poke them from the outside). Why bother making exit holes when entry holes would be just as realistic?

I just can't conceive that someone would go to THIS level of effort for a fake, and have thought of enough to convince even the seasoned warbird restorers who have posted in this thread.

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Dobbins -whatever you think of the damage and its authenticity -it doesnt explain the cockpit and so far nobody has come forward with an explanation of what P-40 it could be to use for what some think is a masterfull hoax!

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There are no clouds in the sky in photo 1 and then 2 and 3 look similar. We don't know the time frame of these photos but that strikes me as strange.

Why would a modeller bother? Why do modellers make models at all? They accurately recreate parts that cannot be seen, like the pilot's seat and wheel bays.

I know this obviously looks like a model but proves my point
http://www.scaleworkshop.com/workshop/lighntingcm_1.htm

David Burke - have any P40s been recovered from anywhere similar before? Could be an old photo?

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It looks 100% real to me.. you can't fake the damage and extreme detail like this.. Anyone notice the right hand glare sheld in the cockpit??

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Dobbins -the last P-40 recovered sort of intact was the Italian P-40 recovered from the sea. I cannot recall anything recovered of this ilk ever in the P-40 world -certainly not with the level of completeness.

What is 100% certain is that the cockpit is real -therefore if we cannot identify it as an existing P-40 its a 'new' one its really as simple as that!

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Peter - I am waiting for someone to interpret the asi and altimeter as that could provide some interesting clues!

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Ok,

I think we have established it is real.

Looks as though it is a Curtiss P40E Model 87A-4 (RAF export Kittyhawk IA).

Therefore one of these.

41-24776/25195 c/n 18795/19214 RAF ET100/ET519
41-35874/36953 c/n 19395/19474 RAF ET520/ET999, EV100/EV699

It was with 260Sqn RAF though whether lost with this unit is unknown. Probably lost between Feb 1942 and Dec 42. HS- codes visible. ID letter could be B, E, F or H going on faint vertical line with horizontal at mid point.

We have a lost of missing pilots with that unit. Need to look at CWGC.

F/Lt Blandinell, 14 12 41
P/O Cidman, 18 12 41
Sgt Saunders, 23 03 42
Sgt Tregear, 24 04 42
F/Sgt Viesey, 31 04 42
F/Lt Hindle, 31 May 42
Sgt Clark, 9 June 42
Sgt Wrigley, 12 06 42
Sgt Carlisle, 26 06 42
F/Sgt Copping, 28 06 42
F/Lt McKay, 14 07 42
Sgt Stebbings, 20 10 42
F/Sgt Ody, 26 10 42
Sgt Mockeridge, 31 10 42
Sgt Hartung, 5 11 42
P/O Mink, 18 11 42
F/Lt Davis, 20 11 42
F/Sgt McKee, 15 12 42
Sgt Takvor, 19 12 42
F/Sgt McLive, 20 12 42
Sgt Adams, 20 12 42
Sergeant Cundy, 26 02 43
Sgt Orr, 21 03 43

If it is the 'Spitfire' mooted on this site and in the Qattarah Depression is is a long way from anyway even today. I would guess the pilot would still be classed as missing.This also means the photos could well be from 20+ years ago or more.

Could possibly still be there. Long way to go to get scrap.

Allegedly RAFM museum contact and rejected? approach at that time (even with photos) but at that time they had the P40N? being restored for display. Even so, would be a logistical nightmare to recovery and probably expensive. With the National Lottery now, I would guess a submission would be made to ensure the cost was covered!

Restored or left as is. In this instance, I would leave as is (first time ever). Tribute to all who operated in North Africa.

As soon as a serial is forthcoming, I am sure everything would be known within a matter of a few days. (Why I love the internet). 20 years ago it would have taken months!

Roll on more photos and a serial.

Mark

Should this be a Kittyhawk 1a of 260 Squadron the roundel would date it to pre June 1942.

If you then look at the operational bases for this unit in the period Feb-June 1942 and refer to the 'Spitfire' map they total seven, all in the coastal region to the West of El Alamein and fit well with a lost 'Spitfire'/P-40 at the point shown.

If this aircraft was on the other side of the Qattarra Depression, in the operational area up to about 30 miles from the coast, then I am sure it would have been recovered for scrap.

Rejection by the RAF Museum not allegedly. I have the headed paper RAFMus note to me with the contacts in Cairo and the map reference supplied by the Geophys company. There was no shortage of Spitfires at that time

Mark

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How so David?

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I am working on the basis that the asi stopped at impact speed and the altimeter probably would give a rough height at present from comparison with a P-40 cockpit shot .

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I am working on the basis that the asi stopped at impact speed .

Why?

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I am struggling with context here. Why was this initially posted on a modelling forum?

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Why was this initially posted on a modelling forum?

Because it's a model.

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Kittyhawk and RAFM

Mark

I said allegedly, as I have not seen the letter. I would have hoped is 20+ years ago it would have still got in the press somewhere. RAFM were still building up their collection and would have thought this would have been of interest.

I don't know the bases in relation to the 'Spitfire' loss though whatever the situation, the aircraft was seriously lost!

Most of the battles and movement were along the coast. If lost you head North till you reach the Med and then follow the roads etc. Why fly 120miles south?

I WANT TO SEE A SERIAL:eek::eek:

regards

Mark