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Thread: Real or Fake? P-40 found in the Sahara

  1. #1
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    Real or Fake? P-40 found in the Sahara

    This one is causing a stir on the www ..some "pics" have appeared on a Polish modellers forum of a downed P-40 that has been discovered in the Sahara. Have a look at the pics and decide for yourself...

    http://www.konradus.com/forum/read.p...filtr=0&page=1


    Incidentally, the OP of the thread has promised more photos of the aircraft in the coming days.
    I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  2. #2
    I'm still so very skeptical about this story. The first shots taken from afar I could be easily convinced they were fake. Something about the colors and the placement.... but the close up shots are without a doubt real. So this is very interesting.... It would be somewat nice if we knew roughly where this was so we could search the ole Google Earth.
    Membership Coordinator for The Liberty Foundation, & Champaign Lady Volunteer.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittpilot View Post
    .... It would be somewat nice if we knew roughly where this was so we could search the ole Google Earth.
    Google Earth images would prove inconclusive as the sands are constantly moving. It'd be great if it were real though, with 19 more buried in crates below it!
    I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  4. #4
    Yep, to me it is real. Too real to be fake and almost too good to be true but it is. So amazingly intact all those years after WWII, I can understand the skeptical reaction of people. I would not be surprised if there are more aircraft, tanks, trucks and whatnot still there, buried in the sand.
    It appears that the sand has blasted off the paint from the plane exposing the metal. It's a dry environment in the desert, so it's no wonder it has survived so remarkably intact The sahara is so vast, I would think that people would stick to estabilished routes and rarely stray off them so I would not be surprised if there are vast areas that haven't been touched since WWII.
    Mark

  5. #5
    There's no reason for it not to be real, and what is in the photos is an actual P-40 airframe, as no modeler or CGI artist can make anything that looks like that. If fake, you'd be talking about old wreck photos that might have been colorized, but these photos are clearly not colorized, and look to have been taken recently.

    As mentioned in that original forum page, the aircraft was found while a group was searching for oil (this seems how most of these types of finds occur in the Sahara). All of the deterioration and fading of the paint matches up with what would be expected. Also, a few individuals who would be considered some of the foremost experts on the P-40, through restoring them, haven't been able to spot anything out of the ordinary, only able to confirm things. The orientation of the aircraft and surroundings in the photos also seem to be what I'd expect I would have in my images that I would take if I was walking up to/stumbling upon this for the first time - you'd instinctly want to document what it looked like to see this aircraft mysteriously residing out in the middle of nowhere, as you approached for a closer look.

    I look forward to seeing what further news comes from this.

  6. #6
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    Check out anything you can find on the "Lady Be Good," lost in the N. African desert in 1943 (I think) and not found until 1959 by some British oil exploration personnel. Weapons all worked, coffee in thermoses was still potable. Crew tried to hike out over the desert and were found mummified where they fell, dehydrated and eventually dead. This apparently happened because they were in a formation attacking a target in Italy, I believe, and the navigator was said to be relying on guidance from the lead bomber for navigation. When they got separated from the main formation they rapidly became lost. Headed south but misjudged their distance to home plate. Thought they were over the sea and bailed out of the aircraft thinking they were going to land in the water. The rest is history.

    If you can visit the NMUSAF at WPAFB, there is a very nice exhibit indeed on LBG. Information I have seen on the internet indicates the basic aircraft still resides in Tripoli, in pieces as property of the Libyan government. With the recent change in regime it would be nice if our govt would negotiate for its return.:salute:

  7. #7
    Speaking of the "Lady Be Good", these photos of it, taken in 2007, were posted on another board, to show the similar condition of the paint after spending so many years under the sun.




  8. #8
    At first, I thought is was a screen of A2A's P-40....then I had to look closer....


    Joseph

  9. #9
    Well, I don't know if anything else is needed to now prove that this thing is real and actually exists. Unfortunately, I don't quite like what I see being done in the videos, though supposedly the way they removed the ammunition is just fine. In the second video, it looks like they are trying to force the canopy open. Hopefully this thing doesn't start getting taken apart piece by piece, as souvenirs, before this thing can be recovered and brought to a proper museum.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9LsK74J_W0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFe8C...feature=relmfu

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomber_12th View Post
    Well, I don't know if anything else is needed to now prove that this thing is real and actually exists. Unfortunately, I don't quite like what I see being done in the videos, though supposedly the way they removed the ammunition is just fine. In the second video, it looks like they are trying to force the canopy open. Hopefully this thing doesn't start getting taken apart piece by piece, as souvenirs, before this thing can be recovered and brought to a proper museum.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9LsK74J_W0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFe8C...feature=relmfu
    I was just about to post those videos too!

    An amazing discovery. I for one would love to see the a/c brought back to the UK and displayed "as found" rather than rebuilt. One wonders about the fate of it's pilot...hopefully he was rescued.
    I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  11. #11
    Yeah, there seems to be a bit of discussion over the fact that the IFF equipment is gone, as well as the canopy was found closed, with all else intact. What this would point to, is that the aircraft was left in a state for recovery after the forced landing, but it was never recovered, and these guys are very likely the first to lay eyes on it since WWII, otherwise other parts would have been taken from it long ago. I personally hope it gets brought back to the U.K. as well, and hopefully much sooner than later.

  12. #12
    Ohh....Just makes you want to cry!

  13. #13
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    Lot's of new photos on this link..

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1146825...eat=directlink
    I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  14. #14
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    the sad part is that they are tearing it apart..now that it´s out there, i´ll betcha hordes of scavengers will hit it looking for parts for resale and make some great $$..
    If it serves someone, i know where a P-51 is at the ecuadorian jungle, not from ww2, but from the 50´s...
    Best regards
    Prowler

  15. #15
    I'm hoping that the guys with the faces edited out (which don't look like locals) are over-seeing a recovery of the aircraft. At least the photos seem to indicate an interest in the historical time-capsule details of the aircraft, otherwise I wouldn't see there being much interest in so many photos taken of some of the certain preserved details. They've also claimed all along that the RAF was contacted immediately following the discovery.

  16. #16
    This was posted over at the Key forums, and could very likely be this aircraft (which has already been near-confirmed to be a 260 Sqd. P-40, due to HS-codes seen on it):

    Hi all;

    This very interesting bit of info was posted over on Hyperscale;

    "On 28/6/42 ET574 Piloted by F/Sgt DCH Copping 785025 left 260 for a ferry flight to an RSU . The A/C flew with u/c locked down due to damage . An incorrect course was set and the A/C was thought to have crashed in the Desert due to fuel exhaustion.
    F/Sgt Copping is listed as missing on that date
    Now I'm not saying this is the A/C , just that it MIGHT be, in view of :-
    a) there being no apparent signs of Battle damage
    b) the fact that the U/C was wiped off in the crash"


    http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthre ... ost1882406

  17. #17
    Perhaps its nothing more than an abandoned prop from this old movie.

    http://www.learmedia.ca/product_info...oducts_id/1271

  18. #18
    There are numerous details that back up the possibility that it is P-40E Kittyhawk ET574 of 260 Sqdn. The only way a pilot would have decided to force-land the aircraft in the desert, would be with the gear up, but in this case, the gear was down, so there had to have been a reason other than the pilot selecting the gear down. In the case of ET574, the gear was locked in the down position on its last flight, because it was being flown to another base for repairs. The photos of the aircraft show one of the tires and parts of the gear ripped from the aircraft, behind it, from it coming down on the rocky terrain (the force of the landing is evident in many ways, including the bent portion of the pilot's seat, where the force of the pilot moving forward, against the seat belts, actually bent the seat - I think the one broken lens on the instrument panel was from the pilot hitting it - it all looks like it was quite a severe event). There might appear to possibly be a few bullet holes in the fuselage, which could have been part of the damage that the aircraft was being flown out to have repaired at the time. The IFF clock missing on the instrument panel was actually found still tucked in its transport case, with the aircraft (you can see a very clear photo of it in that Picasa photo album). The aircraft also has traces of HS code letters on it, which 260 Sqdn. P-40's had. The pilot's parachute was found next to the aircraft, perhaps used as shelter. If it is ET574, hopefully there is a search being conducted (likely the case one is already underway) for the remains of the pilot.

    One of the things I found quite interesting to see, so well preserved as well, is the red dope and fabric build-up around the shell and link ejector chute openings on the one bottom-wing gun access panel. These openings were covered while the aircraft were on the ground, and cut-open right before the aircraft left for a mission.

    IFF Clock still in its transport case (this is the only item that was reported missing early on):
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1146825...82338866208370

    Gun access panel showing build-up of red dope and fabric around the shell and link ejector chute openings:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1146825...86113141878530

  19. #19
    It really is fascinating though, isn't it?? To think of this gem laying there alone for so long! Incredible!

    Joseph

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