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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:08 am 
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One of the captions says the RAF was notified and they have the info on it. How about an RAF Wix member ask some questions?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:10 am 
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There's huge variation in specific cases, but IMHO, If it had been 'buried' there would be significantly more sand remaining in the cockpit, and the aging of the paint on the fuselage as in the side close up would probably be very different.

We really don't realise how much of the Sahara never see any traffic. Mostly travellers stick to known routes, even 'off the map', and an object slightly away from those routes wouldn't be spotted, except in an (oil) exploration case like this.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:10 am 
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If it had been buried by sand wouldn't the cockpit still be full of it? It it had been in the sun for 70 years i wouldn't think so much paint would be left intact. Sure is interesting to say the least. I also would think it would have been a lot more torn up from the rocks. I hope it is real and someone saves it. I can just imagine the scrambe that must be on right now. pop2

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:11 am 
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Wow i think we are on the same page James at the same second. How funny. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:30 am 
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Insane. Something I didn't expect to see today as I logged on WIX. So what do we think it is? An E model? If ever discovered and recovered I think I would treat this one as a crash wreck. Recover it and display it as is.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:35 am 
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Not true, as I am thinking along the lines that the canopy was closed hence the drips of lubricant on the port side fuselage to release the canopy??

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:54 am 
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Broad yellow band on roundel is July 42 and before. Note there are no squadron codes aft of the roundel--but there is a suggestion of an individual aircraft designator S (?) between roundel and cockpit. I read somewhere that squadron codes were dispensed with for a period around DEC 41 to early '42.

I thought this might be a P-40D of which the RAF received 23...but that was a four gun ship. This looks to be six-gun with three to a wing. So an early P-40E...Kittyhawk. No squadron codes and no sharkmouth.

The Polish site seems to indicate that there are more photos which show more details.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:08 am 
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If the aircraft had been in sand to any depth, Peter, there would be significant filling in the cockpit. It leaches in over time, and is a lot slower to drain out.

It's fun to see how much can be deduced, but it's risky to get too categorical. Markings, particularly markings that are changed in service, erode, leaving only earlier makings visible. It's probable these are the colours it was last flown in, but not certain. Unit markings likewise were usually applied over camouflage, and less formal markings (like 112 Sqns sharkmouth) often in unsuitable paints. I think Pathfinder's on the right track, but just a note of caution.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:19 am 
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well, there is a bit of sand in the Turn and bank indicator as well as other locations around the instrument panel shot. photo looks real to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:20 am 
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I'll be on the "it's a fake" side of the fence.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:41 am 
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The stuff "other than rock" is less sand than it is dirt....sort of like what we have here in Georgia---this brickish red-brown soil. I suppose if you had similar stuff in the desert and baked it dry for a few thousand years it would get "sand-like". But sand doesn't "stain" like that shown in the cockpit and across the nose.

JDK---comments on the two holes at 10 o'clock around the roundel? Bullets exiting or chucks of hardware dislodged from the interior? Over by the hatch it appears that something else tried to exit but only succeeded in making an initial protrusion. I would love to shoot a grouping that tight at a moving object---or a stationary target for that matter...so I don't think they are bullet holes.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:01 am 
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The 'sand' 'earth' question - whatever it is (and good point with the staining, and it also explains the lack of abrasion overall) - had the aircraft been buried completely under it, for any period of time, there'd be a lot more of the sand/earth inside. That's the answer, I'd suggest to the 'hidden by sand' suggestion earlier - the remaining evidence says 'no'.

Good suggestion on the lube marking, Peter.

Pathfinder, I don't know - I can't think of holes of that size and form being anything but bullets, or a large diameter auger, but the latter from inside? Hardly likely. I agree two shots so close and no others (and with a circa 90 degree exit angle) doesn't fit aerial gunnery, even strafing, post crash. Trigger happy later visitor? Seems a bit odd too.

Note that the hatch is telling us quite a bit. It's been broken open and wrenched / twisted by a post-crash visitor (it's conceivable it was 'sprung' in the crash, but I don't think so). Classic 'informal investigation' damage! Likewise the missing instruments could be liberated, but the lack of damage there mitigates against that, plus the fact the reflector sight is in situ - a popular and relatively easy item to remove. (On that note, it's remarkably complete, but I think not totally unvisited.)

There's also two versions of the instruction painted on the hatch in what's now white.

A couple of other thoughts - it's conceivable that the pilot walked out, as well as the sadly probable chance that he didn't make it. Either way, provided it's re-located (can't imagine it wouldn't be) there'll be enough aircraft data to identify which machine it is and therefore who was flying it when it was lost and if he made it out.

Like others have said, it'll be a) interesting to see what happens to it and b) I'd certainly hope it's conserved, not restored. Sadly members of the P-40 family aren't cash-generators at the rate the prima donna Spitfire and Mustangs are, so recovery's already at a lower potential funding-rate. Small prayer to whichever deity will listen that it doesn't get lost (again!)/scrapped or AVG'd.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:15 am 
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I have a program that is used for Forensic enhancement...
Here is the photo after it has been enhanced...

I will be removing it from the site soon.

Image
Maybe someone can see some additional detail.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:57 am 
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Bluedharma wrote:
I have a program that is used for Forensic enhancement...
Here is the photo after it has been enhanced...

I will be removing it from the site soon.

Image
Maybe someone can see some additional detail.

You can see the glass edges where they will have a little delaminations happen with time. On both sides down the center glass framesCracked glass on the R/H windshield is consistant with how these laminated glass pieces crack.
Control Stick has the electric button on the front below the grip that runs the electric hyd pump. The engine didn't have a hyd pump but the system was run by an electric motor which ran the pump.
Conduits for electrical wiring are present.
Canopy handcrank looks right.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Be careful - the mags are hot! :D

I'm gonna say this is legit. There's no way that the cockpit picture isn't authentic, though it may be from a different airplane. It looks like what we all had been hoping would one day "surface" in the desert. If the cockpit canopy had been closed all these years it's possible that it was buried and then unburied multiple times, but I would guess that it's been sitting just like that for much of the last seventy years. I don't have much experience with blowing sand, but if that had been blowing snow the cockpit would be completely filled up even to the extent of filling up the canopy. The clock is missing, which is a typical souvenir, and it's interesting that the glass on the turn & bank is broken. I'd sure like to know if the guns are still in it. If they're still there then it probably hasn't been visited by anyone "official". As is, it would make a h--- of a display companion for "Black 6".

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