Rare WWII Bomber To Be Recovered

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A twin-engine Dornier 17 that was shot down and crashed in the English Channel 70 years ago will be recovered, the Royal Air Force Museum said recently. The bomber was part of a large formation that was intercepted by RAF aircraft in August 1940. The Dornier pilot successfully landed wheels-up on the sandbank, but the airplane sank. It began to emerge from the sand about two years ago, and appears to be largely intact. "The discovery of the Dornier is of national and international importance," said Air Vice-Marshal Peter Dye, director general of the RAF Museum. "The aircraft is a unique and unprecedented survivor from the Battle of Britain. It is particularly significant because, as a bomber, it formed the heart of the Luftwaffe assault and the subsequent Blitz."

The RAF Museum is now developing a recovery plan to protect the aircraft from any further damage and to provide for its long-term preservation. The museum said some material has recently been removed illegally from the wreck site, although a number of items have been retrieved. Work to conserve and prepare the Dornier for display will be undertaken at the museum's conservation facility at Cosford. Dye said the Dornier will provide "an evocative and moving" addition to the museum's exhibit about the Battle of Britain.