70 years after it crashed, a P40E Kittyhawk has been found in the Egyptian Desert.
No major news outlet has picked up on this yet. But at the end of March a Polish team out in the Western Desert came across a P40 aircraft which had apparently made a forced landing, in which the undercarriage collapsed. The aircraft identity has yet to be confirmed but is believed to be from 260 Squadron RAF and it’s location suggests was lost around the time of the battle of El Alamein. Until the planes identity is confirmed, the pilot’s fate remains unknown, although an unused parachute pack was found alongside the wreck, very strongly suggesting he at least walked away from the crash.
The Egyptian authorities have been informed and the Egyptian Army visited the site and removed the ammunition from the guns. It’s hoped the aircraft will be preserved and recovered but nothing concrete has yet been made public.
The P-40E or P-40E-1 was similar in most respects to the P-40D, except for a slightly more powerful engine and an extra .50 in (12.7 mm) gun in each wing, bringing the total to six. Some aircraft also had small underwing bomb shackles. Supplied to the Commonwealth air forces as the Kittyhawk Mk IA. The P-40E was the variant that bore the brunt of air-to-air combat by the type in the key period of early to mid 1942, for example with the first US squadrons to replace the AVG in China (the AVG was already transitioning to this type from the P-40B/C), the type used by the Australians at Milne Bay, by the New Zealand squadrons during most of their air to air combat, and by the RAF/Commonwealth in North Africa as the Kittyhawk IA.
Data from
Length: 31.67 ft (9.66 m)
Wingspan: 37.33 ft (11.38 m)
Height: 12.33 ft (3.76 m)
Wing area: 235.94 ft² (21.92 m²)
Empty weight: 6,350 lb (2,880 kg)
Loaded weight: 8,280 lb (3,760 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 8,810 lb (4,000 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Allison V-1710-39 liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,150 hp (858 kW)
Maximum speed: 360 mph (310 kn, 580 km/h)
Cruise speed: 270 mph (235 kn, 435 km/h)
Range: 650 mi (560 nmi, 1,100 km)
Service ceiling: 29,000 ft (8,800 m)
Rate of climb: 2,100 ft/min (11 m/s)
Wing loading: 35.1 lb/ft² (171.5 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.14 hp/lb (230 W/kg)
Guns: 6 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns with 150-200 rounds per gun
Bombs: 250 to 1,000 lb (110 to 450 kg) bombs to a total of 2,000 lb (907 kg) on three hardpoints (one under the fuselage and two underwing)
Fingers crossed it finds its way in one piece to the El Alamein museum, near Alexandria!
Video of the plane here, http://www.dumpert.nl/mediabase/2109521/99668a7b/gevonden_in_de_egyptische_woestijn.html