P-40 “Kittyhawk” of the Royal Air Force during World War II found in the Sahara
This amazing story is about how it was completely by chance that we found a missing abandoned P-40 Kittyhawk aircraft during World War II in the Sahara desert. The story of the missing plane and its pilot, whose body has still not been found. A random find: the plane was discovered by a Pole, an oil company employee who explored the western region of Egypt.
Location and reason for the find
This R-40 Kittyhawk in 1942 fell three hundred kilometers from civilization, in the heat of the desert. Sergeant Dennis Copping took the little that could be useful to him from the crashed plane and went into the desert. Since that day, nothing is known about the sergeant.
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Seventy years later, the plane was found almost untouched. In the near future, the search for the remains of the pilot should begin, and the aircraft itself is planned to be taken out of the Sahara and put up at the museum in memory of Sergeant Copping. The accident site was accidentally discovered by an employee of an oil company, who conducted intelligence in a remote region of Egypt.
Most likely, Dennis Copping went astray, driving the plane from one airfield to another for repair during a campaign in North Africa. He took off and did not land at the destination – that was all that was known about him until May 10.
The most curious thing is that the plane has remained almost intact since the fall – even machine guns and ammunition for them, and most of the instruments in the cockpit, have survived. Even the plates with the passport data of the machine survived, and this enables historians to restore the history of its service. Historian Andy Sanders called the accidental find “an aviation counterpart to the tomb of Tutankhamun.” The plane lies where it crashed 70 years ago.
The Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, North London, is already developing plans to ship the aircraft before lovers of free souvenirs take it apart. Attempts are also being made to find the pilot’s relatives and his remains, but so far these searches have failed.
Find photo gallery
The dashboard is almost not affected, but if you leave the plane at the mercy of fate, the locals can quickly correct the situation.
Aircraft engines in almost perfect condition
Machine guns were shot by the Egyptian military for security reasons. But on the left wing one machine gun survived
Bullet holes in the fuselage
The fate of the pilot
In addition to the injuries sustained during the fall, the aircraft was almost not injured. Perhaps very soon the P-40 will find a new haven in the aviation museum in London.
Sergeant Dennis Copping parachute next to the plane. Most likely, a canopy from the sun was built from a parachute.
The crash site is 300 kilometers from the nearest village, and the pilot’s body can be anywhere in a radius of 40 km from it.