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Squadron of Lost WWII Spitfires To Be Exhumed In Burma 142

Posted by timothy
from the but-they're-out-of-date dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt that sounds like a good Neal Stephenson plot point: "Like a treasure chest stuffed with priceless booty, as many as 20 World War II-era Spitfire planes are perfectly preserved, buried in crates beneath Burma — and after 67 years underground, they're set to be uncovered. The planes were shipped in standard fashion in 1945 from their manufacturer in England to the Far East country: waxed, wrapped in greased paper and tarred to protect against the elements. They were then buried in the crates they were shipped in, rather than let them fall into enemy hands, said David Cundall, an aviation enthusiast who has spent 15 years and about $200,000 in his efforts to reveal the lost planes."
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Squadron of Lost WWII Spitfires To Be Exhumed In Burma

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  • erection (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguinshit (591885) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:19AM (#39830919) Homepage Journal
    I have had the pleasure of seeing-hearing-feeling a Spitfire fly by at full speed at very low altitude. It's a sexual experience for anyone who appreciates aircraft.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:29AM (#39830945)

    but actually useless.
    Why unearthing all those planes?
    To show? We already have plenty of original spitfires all over the world and a few also still working.
    To sell? How would buy one?
    To learn new things? Don't think so.

    Because we fucking CAN.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:39AM (#39830969)

    "We already have plenty of original spitfires all over the world and a few also still working."

    Who the fuck is this 'we'?
    I certainly don't have one in my hangar, and if these are sold with 0 miles flown, I'd buy one.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:49AM (#39830999) Homepage Journal

    but actually useless.
    Why unearthing all those planes?
    To show? We already have plenty of original spitfires all over the world and a few also still working.
    To sell? How would buy one?
    To learn new things? Don't think so.

    The same could be said about many things, including quite a few people.

    They are important both because they are a piece of history, but also because the Spitfire is one of the two most gorgeous planes ever made.

    If you're a redneck unable to see the point of art for art's sake, consider this: People will pay good money to see these planes. If any of them are trainers, even more to get a ride in one. And there are plenty of people who would mortgage their home in order to buy one, or even a share in one. Spitfires have value because people think they have value. What you personally think is irrelevant - this is like finding crates of gold.

  • by boaworm (180781) <boaworm@gmail.com> on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:52AM (#39831009) Homepage Journal

    To sell? How would buy one?

    Are you seriously asking if there is anyone on this planet who would want to buy a factory-new fully functional Spitfire?

    If you put them out there i'd expect them to be gone quicker than quick.

  • Re:Preserved Junk? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon (149926) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:02AM (#39831161)

    Even then, no matter. Planes have been pulled from swamps, bottoms of lakes, and worse and been restored to flying condition.

    But this ROCKS! Anyone with even a little bit of interest in WWII aircraft knows this is a find of he century. The mechanical parts alone are worth millions.

  • Re:Condition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:49AM (#39831265) Journal

    While I'm always happy to see a bit of history recovered frankly the only way i would have "squeed' about it as you put it is if they would have been German or Japanese planes, why? because so many of their planes were completely wiped off the face of the earth. With a few exceptions nearly all of the Allied planes survive, with models in museums and even some of them still flying, but so many of the Axis planes are completely gone, not even a single example preserved. I mean sure we have a few Zeroes and BF109s but try to find a Do217 or a Kate and they are all gone.

    So while I'm glad they have these to restore personally I wish we had at least one example of every major and minor plane from BOTH sides so that we could preserve that history of aviation.

  • by fnj (64210) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:34AM (#39831665)

    Dogfight is a very specialized term. It is NOT a synonym for "aerial combat".

    No one, but no one, with any sense would argue that any of those US planes was a better dogfighter. Hellcats, Wildcats and Corsairs (and don't forget Lightnings and Mustangs) almost never shot down Zeros in dogfights. They used tactics to avoid trying to turn with Zeros, because they knew they would die trying that. Most of the victories came after Japan's experienced pilot cadre had their heart cut out. The US won because of vastly more industrial might, and far more depth in pilot training.

  • by quenda (644621) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @12:15PM (#39832187)

    "Do you have Hurricanes in New Zealand" and of course my answer is, No, but we still have a couple of Spitfires, a Corsair and a Mustang and a Sea Fury...

    ... which sadly represents more firepower than the current NZ airforce.

  • Re:Perfect timing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by igb (28052) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @05:52PM (#39833805)
    You might joke, but for the last twenty years, the RAF haven't faced any opponents where a competently flown late Spitfire wouldn't have been more than adequate. I guess for ground attack some new old stock Typhoons might be more appropriate, but the days of the RAF being able to demand limitless money for fast jets to counter the Russian menace are over: the potential enemies simply don't have the equipment.

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