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

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7 years 8 months

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My apologies. I misconstrued the intentions behind post #2480

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To summarise my position; the p40 and Sgt Copping are inextricably linked, the harrowing and indeed perplexing story of both their final hours is what should be remembered, and the best way of achieving that would have been to display the A/C in the UK where his exploits and sacrifice would be best appreciated.

If a German aeroplane were found in a reservoir or lake, (as suggested) then I really don't see why that couldn't be returned to Germany, where they would (I believe) care for A/C and bury the dead pilot and honour him, as would we; clearly in this case that hasn't happened .

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I don't think that further explanations are required. And the world is going to see a late model spitfire restored, rather than it sitting on a shelf in a warehouse - a plus I would say.

And the world needs another Spitfire....??? Somebody is going to make a mountain of cash, having invested a smaller mountain of cash... With a helping start from the RAFM.

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10 years 1 month

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I find it hard to see why people on this forum should have considered it any form of done deal that the RAFM got this aircraft, or that it was still considered 'British owned'.

TonyL1962, that point has already been well covered by Moggy ( see post #2472). People here mostly thought the RAFM had it in hand. Don’t forget the RAFM said it was coming and we were told they were even clearing a space at Hendon for it. The opinions of experts on here was everyone should be quiet on the matter as it was being sorted and would all become clear at some point in the near future. It would be nice if the promise to explain was delivered.

Did anyone at the time of the move announce or suggest the opposite view here, that it was not coming to the UK?

I am confused by your reference to the recovery of the Kittyhawk to a safe location. If you mean it’s prompt removal from the ravages of the looters in the desert into a temporary secure container, then yes I think the majority here will agree that something had to be done. If you are suggesting that it ending up as a display option in El Alamein Museum is a safe location then look again at the photos. It has already been totally fubar’d and no guarantee it won't collapse within the month?

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Hi Otis, probably enough has already been said and I'm only replying as you addressed me directly. I agree with much of what you have posted above, but I don't think there's much to gain by holding the RAFM too much to account (I would say that they did their best, based on Robin's post), and as you and others have said the current situation is what it is.

In terms of thinking the RAFM had it in hand, from what I can see people needed to be quiet while negotiations were going on because the Egyptians, like many countries, rightly get a bit touchy if they feel they are being talked down to or looked down on by western nations, or feel in any way disparaged by the press or opinion in those countries - and a lid needed to be placed on that. However the aircraft was never going to come to the UK without a 'trade' - possibly the Rosetta stone might have cut it - or some other broader government-related deal (and we really don't know what might have been offered - though the Hendon P-40 has been suggested above). The expectation that it might just be given is surely naive, so yes, it would be interesting to see what deal was offered.

As to it being totally fubar'd, well an unsympathetic restoration has been done (which was not foreseen by anyone, but possibly could have been) - but the aircraft is not going anywhere, I'm sure it is now a prized exhibit in the Alamein museum (which is a good location for it), and it is still available for a better restoration in the future. It had already lost many of 'time capsule' aspects by time of recovery. But that's just my opinion. An indoor 'as found' display would have been nice, but in the end it now belongs to Egypt to do what they want with it.

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On the case of ownership, I find it interesting. Wrecks of aircraft in U.K. Are still considered MoD. But not elsewhere.
I think something needs to now happen to bring closure to Denis Coppings family. There are question marks over this heroes fate and the remains.

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Sorry, "an unsympathetic restoration" the airframe has been butchered, what do you suppose they put in the wings to reattach the landing gear, (or indeed any other part that had severed) and really are you saying that the RAFM gave over a spitfire so that a third party could move the P40 for the Egyptians? they were quite capable of moving that themselves, they were just not interested in doing so.

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My understanding is that the UK Govt gave up title to all wrecks/crashed aircraft, and the PMR Act was brought in to prevent wholesale digging up of what might be war graves. Thatr's why the wreckage in the UK is protected. The USN, on the other had, retains title to all it's crashed aircraft.

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Are there any lessons to be learned from this affair?

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9 years 5 months

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There may be lessons, but whether anybody will learn from them is another matter
Mike

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15 years 10 months

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Great find ! How has that been up for nearly three years and had just 105 views?

It seems to have been a very competent operation, not a cutting torch in sight ! Interesting that they chose to work at night, to avoid the searing heat I suppose. These are the Kennet crew, presumably.

Amazing rich colours still in the roundel under the wing, which never saw the sun.. Oh well.......................................

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Competant and no cutting torches is precisely why Kennet were paid to do it, those roundels will never see the sun now

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It was dismantled by the book - as evidenced in Robin Petries postings. Working at night wasn't a choice, it was a necessity, and they had a fairly small window of time they could work in.

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15 years 7 months

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1:30 - the original factory Earth/Green and Sky under the wing root fairing. Something researchers have been argueing about for years.

And later on, clear view of Sky wing undersides overpainted with Azure blue

This was such a time capsule and important research artefact.

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I only now read the RAFM's health and safety requirements for aircraft recovery in Robin Perrie's earlier post. How bl**dy pathetic and out of tune with the real world. Survey the airframe for sharp objects, my goodness.

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Kenneth, you clearly aren’t involved in the real world - Little happens in any industry now without what the majority of people consider to be an ott “common sense” H&S risk assessment. I even did a documentary interview in a veterans house last year for tv which had a 6 Page H&S risk assessment requirement. It is sadly life and very real world and the RAFM in this case are fulfilling their legal obligations to the book as should be expected.

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The video confirms the parachute adjacent to the airframe, the Very pistol in the cockpit, the seat back distorted at the top, an instrument removed from the panel and we know that some of the pilots harness, parachute or seat, had been cut through...and the canopy, as initially found, was still substantially glazed and jammed shut.

For me this does not sit well with a claim that the pilot's bones were amazingly located some kilometres from the crash site.

Mark

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10 years 3 months

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Matt Poole in reply to your #2441

The Plate was not recovered, it remained where it was on the air frame (thus keeping the identity attached to the aircraft). However a request was made for a photo of a plate in a certain position on the aircraft which would confirm the identity, this picture was supplied by way of a video. The data-plate details were cross referenced to Primary source documents which confirmed the identity (since then another video of the aircraft has provided further details confirming the initial identity). This primary source document gave the USAAF serial as well as a fair amount of other data, with further documents cross referenced which gave further information.

The serial number was confirmed properly against primary source docs not a guess/hunch or even a enhanced photo confirmation. However it was not something that was freely thrown around at the time.

Buz

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DaveF68;

Good catch on the original colours of the aircraft! You should post the info over on Hyperscale as they've been arguing about that issue years, along with the colours under the rear glazing.

This really was an important subject for research. Lost for good it would seem.