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

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Member for

9 years 9 months

Posts: 37

It’s very sad that there was no real way that the plane could have been preserved at the RAF Museum or otherwise in diorama form....however....there is very low utility in that plane for a “civilian”buyer. A loss for historians, but the Maude P-40 does fill the role.

Today she is now extremely worthy raw material for a restoration, and thus could possibly fly again. At some point the Mk V and P-40 represent simply serious foundations for a project. Hopefully they will accept some fiberglass replicas in trade....

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14 years 7 months

Posts: 2,081

Robbo: thanks for the information.

I looked at the photos on that site. To add insult to injury the notice (that I assume is posted next to the aircraft) tells us that it is a "P40B Kitty Hawk". I thought it was in fact ET574, a P-40E Kittyhawk. Splitting hairs? Not in view of the fact that this is supposedly a reputable military museum, and also in view of what they have done to the relic.

Profile picture for user Snapper

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20 years 8 months

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Went there many years ago and had a good chat with the General in charge of Museums who was also the Minister of Defence.The red carpet was out, which we thought was a lovely touch, but that was for the Italian President or PM or whatever. Who went straight past in his cavalcade without stopping resulting in me and Jules, covered in dust and all sweaty having travelled up from Alex, being informed we had to go have a natter with him. Seemed a nice bloke.

Probably shot in the Arab Spring.

Random musing with no relevance whatsoever other than to say that if he has in fact survived and still has some say in things then you could always drop my name. Not that it'll do the slightest good. Nor will he remember me.

Profile picture for user Pulsar-xp

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8 years 5 months

Posts: 149

As long as european museums keep historical aircraft outside the museums or even scrap them after staying there for some years, we shouldn´t complain about "restaurations" somewhere else. No question, it´s ashame what happened to this aircraft.

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5 years 2 months

Posts: 21

How ironic that the nation that gave birth to one of the first great civilisations is now one of the least.

At least it wasn’t blown up for representing the infidel.

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14 years 10 months

Posts: 2,810

I still maintain that is a matter of perspective, consider that there was a plan to fully restore the Halifax now at Hendon( actually one of the biggest RAFM museum balls ups ever)

Profile picture for user Kenneth

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20 years 8 months

Posts: 945

An absolutely incomparable display of ignorance, incompetence, idiocy and lack of intelligence.

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20 years 8 months

Posts: 9,780

The plan to restore the Halifax was supported by her former aircrew and very much by the RAF. I recall talking to Paddy Porter not long before his death about it - it was perfectly feasible -what the RAFM decided in the end is a very unsatisfactory 'get it on display' solution.

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14 years 7 months

Posts: 911

Well, on the plus side, it looks a darn sight better than MV459! :dev2:

Seriously though, this is very disappointing. A remarkable time capsule lost and poor Dennis Copping still missing somewhere in the expanse of the North African desert. Like Dennis Copping, I'm from Southend on Sea too, so felt a connection to this story...albeit in a small way. A story almost as tragic as that of the Lady Be Good.

Profile picture for user Junk Collector

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14 years 1 month

Posts: 1,444

not to mention the RAFM being out of pocket to the tune of a Spitfire. They could at least have put thanks suckers on the plaque

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7 years 10 months

Posts: 407

Tragic. Imagine if they had done this to King Tutankhamun’s death mask.

Profile picture for user Fouga23

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14 years 8 months

Posts: 2,243

Someone on WIX suggested restoring the Sphinx with some bondo. Seems like a worthy comparison. Where's the daily rag when you need them to get a scandal out..

Profile picture for user Southern Air99

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5 years 4 months

Posts: 532

It is a bit off what they've done. They could at least have got the markings right....
They should've at least left some bits in their original state with the faded paintwork. Oh, and put it inside so it doesn't get ravaged by the sun further.

Profile picture for user Moggy C

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20 years 8 months

Posts: 16,831

Ranks alongside (or maybe even above) Kee Bird in the league of great aviation recovery failures.

Moggy

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7 years 7 months

Posts: 173

It ranks alongside the 'restoration' of the fresco of Christ in Zaragoza...
On top of every other considerable and over-riding issue the paintwork isn't worthy of an ill-informed child. That it was done by an institution selling itself as a museum in the 21st century just defies belief.

Member for

8 years 4 months

Posts: 352

The p-40 looks terrible. Its kind of like a sex doll with wings: garish, shiny and only really acceptable to those who haven't seen the real thing.

However this is petty unfair. The exact preservation of aviation artifacts -keeping as much original aviation material as possible- is really a first world problem.
Maybe the the lesson to be learned here is that spiriting away every find is not the correct, or affordable way to go. Perhaps its time to be open to aiding in restorations and sharing the knowledge and skills involved

. I am not so much worried about what is in the photo -that has a long term future at least- but what was in the skip at the back of the museum.

Member for

4 years

Posts: 97

What a terrible state of affairs. A travesty of epic scale. Once again imbeciles have become the guardians of history. It is not history anymore and serves absolutely zero historical value.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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14 years 7 months

Posts: 2,081

As far as I can see, there is no mention of the history of the aircraft, how it was found and how it got there. Above all, no mention of Flight Sergeant Copping. Or maybe there is some information inside the museum. Unless this aspect of the tragedy is dealt with, and spelled out, it just becomes another brightly painted "Spitfire" that visitors will not relate to time and place and circumstances. I wonder who was ultimately responsible for what has happened, at the museum end I mean. Why was the decision made and why those markings?

Profile picture for user l.garey

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14 years 7 months

Posts: 2,081

I'm just reading through the thread from the beginning. Long job. I thought i would highlight a remark by Dave Homewood on 20.4.2012. It was when there was doubt about the authenticity of the original photos from our Polish friends:

People refuse to believe it's real because you cannot see the bloody shark's mouth!!

Maybe he shouldn't have said that - someone at the museum was perhaps listening.