P-40 Discovered After 70 Years

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An early model RAF Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk (Warhawk) wearing markings from the 260 Squadron and likely lost in 1942 was found last month largely intact in western Egypt's Al Wadi al Jadid desert, and researchers may now have identified its last pilot. The aircraft has been photographed sitting on its belly with the canopy nearly closed. It is suspected to be that of Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping, who went missing while ferrying a damaged Kittyhawk with markings "HS-B." If so, it could be associated also with Canadian ace James Francis "Stocky" Edwards. The aircraft's resting place is 200 miles from the nearest town and no evidence of the pilot's remains have been found. A museum may now attempt to recover the aircraft, but there are complications.

The RAF Museum in Hendon, North London, reportedly has plans to recover the fighter and efforts are being made to trace any surviving members of Coppings' family. The aircraft is reportedly located near a known smuggling route between Sudan and Libya. If so, recovery efforts may be coordinated with the Egyptian military. The UK's Daily Mail has credited discovery of the warbird to a Polish oil-company worker who was exploring the region.