Stealthz
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British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:43 am

David Cameron's visit to Myanmar was not expected (by most observers) to include a bilateral arrangement regarding delivery of fighter aircraft.

The concept of actually delivering those fighter aircraft FROM Myanmar TO Britain somewhat boggles the mind!

Seems there are a number of un-assembled and crated Spitfires buried in what was once Burma that the Myanmar govt are willing to talk to the British Govt about finding and recovering these aircraft.

http://news.in.msn.com/international...article.aspx?cp-documentid=6020619

Not sure what plans the British govt might have for these aircraft but curious to see the reaction of current Spitfire owners/collectors if 20+ brand new Spits come on to the market.

... damn. if my LOTTO numbers came up I would buy one!!
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kc135topboom
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:11 pm

Well, I would be so quick to buy one of them. After being buried for 67 years, they could just be hunks of rusted and decaying metal. My guess is the wooden creates have long ago rotted. Myanmar (Burma) gets lots of rain and if the creates are only buried 6' below the ground, they would still get wet as the rain soaks in and the underground water table comes up.

My guess would be these would most likely be Mk.XII or Mk.24 versions as those were late build versions and also had bomb racks in addition to their guns. These two versions also were not built with Merlin engines. Instead the Mk.XII had a RR Griffon III or IV engine, while the Mk.24 had the RR Griffon 85 engine.

It is also possible, but not likely they could be Mk.XIVe versions with the Griffon 65 engine, but this Mark number did not have bomb racks.
 
Devilfish
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:26 pm

Quoting stealthz (Thread starter):
The concept of actually delivering those fighter aircraft FROM Myanmar TO Britain somewhat boggles the mind!

Well, the UK could offer their retired Jaguars in exchange to make it a true two-way deal!  
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Eagleboy
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:22 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
After being buried for 67 years, they could just be hunks of rusted and decaying metal. My guess is the wooden creates have long ago rotted. Myanmar (Burma) gets lots of rain and if the creates are only buried 6' below the ground, they would still get wet as the rain soaks in and the underground water table comes up.

He initialled scanned 20 feet down, they were deeper then that. And considering the state of some currently airworthy models before their many years of restoration I am sure that the Warbird community will be able to get at least 50% of these beauties in the air again.

"David Cundall, 62, spent 15 years doggedly searching for the Mk II planes, an exercise that involved 12 trips to Burma and cost him more than £130,000.
“They were just buried there in transport crates,” Mr Cundall said. “They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ring-war-to-be-returned-to-UK.html
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:21 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 3):
“They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition.”

Then that would make more sense. They could be in very good condition, but at 40' deep they may also be in the water table.
 
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Revelation
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:45 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 3):
“They were just buried there in transport crates,” Mr Cundall said. “They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition.”

That puts a different spin on things!
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bennett123
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:15 pm

I would love this to be true.


"They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition.”

They were then packed into transport crates, a 40' hole was dug, and they were buried.

But why go to all this bother.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:51 pm

From reading the article I guess they were newly arrived aircraft that had not yet been put into operation. The finder had eye witness info that led him to the location over the course of 15 years.
The article points out that newer aircraft were available so the Spits weren't needed. However the story that they were buried in July 1945 'due to fears of a Japanese invasion' seems a bit odd. I would assume at that stage everyone (except the Japanese) knew the end was nigh and wind-down operations in certain theaters would have been commencing.

Off hand does anyone know the situation in Burma/Malaya in mid-45?

I suppose we better not hold our breath until these aircraft actually see the light of day again. Hopefully this will happen.
 
chuchoteur
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:21 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Then that would make more sense. They could be in very good condition, but at 40' deep they may also be in the water table.

"glacier girl" turned out pretty ok, and she hadn't been prepped for storage... matter of fact, being in a "stable" environment like earth is probably better than in a moving glacier... I think someone should someday go and get the other aircraft out there (there's a B17!)... eve though as I'd understood it, "glacier girl" turned out to be a huge financial hole in terms of cost of retrieving it vs what it is now worth.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
But why go to all this bother.

...they didn't bother a lot, they arrived in Burma already stored in crates.

They just enlarged some shell holes/trench and buried them there... easier than unpacking and destroying them. Plus you never know, maybe they thought they'd be back to retrieve them at some later stage...
 
Eagleboy
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:48 pm

This is looking a bit more credible, have a read of the link here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...-find-lost-Spitfires-in-Burma.html


"He visited Burma over and over again, slowly building friendly relations with the military junta that have for decades held power in the capital, Rangoon..................And finally, he found the Spitfires, at a location that is being kept a closely guarded secret. Mr Cundall said: “We sent a borehole down and used a camera to look at the crates. They seemed to be in good condition.” Mr Cundall explained that in August 1945 the Mark XIV aeroplanes, which used Rolls-Royce Griffon engines instead of the Merlins of earlier models, were put in crates and transported from the factory in Castle Bromwich, in the West Midlands, to Burma.

Once they arrived at the RAF base, however, the Spitfires were deemed surplus to requirements.........The order was given to bury 12 Spitfires while they were still in their transport crates.......It is possible that a further eight Spitfires were then buried in December 1945, bringing the potential total of lost Spitfires to 20.

Mr Cundall said that about 21,000 Spitfires were built, but at the end of the war very few were wanted.“In 1945, Spitfires were ten a penny. Jets were coming into service. Spitfires were struck off charge, unwanted. Lots of Spitfires were just pushed off the back of aircraft carriers into the sea."
 
cbphoto
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:49 pm

This is fantastic news and would give a healthy dose of Spitfires to the world market! Even if only a hand full of them make it to the skies, I am sure most of not all will be displayed at some point! If only I had a few million laying around to get one!
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chuchoteur
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:00 pm

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 10):
If only I had a few million laying around to get one!

...same... *sigh
 
Kiwirob
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:06 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 9):
Lots of Spitfires were just pushed off the back of aircraft carriers into the sea."

Those would be Seafires not Spitfires.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:13 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):
Those would be Seafires not Spitfires.

I was directly quoting the newspaper article......
 
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ptrjong
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:39 pm

What is the story behind these aircraft getting buried in 1945? I was under the impression the Allies won.
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chuchoteur
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:43 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 14):
What is the story behind these aircraft getting buried in 1945? I was under the impression the Allies won.

...by the time they got delivered to Burma, they were surplus to requirements, so they just got put in the nearest available trench and buried.

I presume that this was preferable to a full disposal as you never know, at that stage the war was not yet fully over.
 
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ptrjong
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 15):

...by the time they got delivered to Burma, they were surplus to requirements, so they just got put in the nearest available trench and buried.

I presume that this was preferable to a full disposal as you never know, at that stage the war was not yet fully over.

I see, thanks!
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zanl188
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Quoting stealthz (Thread starter):
Not sure what plans the British govt might have for these aircraft but curious to see the reaction of current Spitfire owners/collectors if 20+ brand new Spits come on to the market.

... damn. if my LOTTO numbers came up I would buy one!!

I expect current spit owners will be less than happy. Dumping 20 spits still in crates on the market would send values thru the floor. Whomever ends up with the these aircraft needs to be very careful to not spend a lot of cash on recovery & restoration while also driving values down.
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Max Q
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:31 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):

Those would be Seafires not Spitfires

Spitfires and Seafires were flown off Aircraft Carriers.
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chuchoteur
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:52 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 17):
I expect current spit owners will be less than happy. Dumping 20 spits still in crates on the market would send values thru the floor. Whomever ends up with the these aircraft needs to be very careful to not spend a lot of cash on recovery & restoration while also driving values down.

I wouldn't think so...

I would anticipate that not all 20 will be restorable to flight condition... in actual fact, if out of the 20 they can get 10 airworthy that would be great. It very much depends on the condition they are in.

Also, even with a well preserved aircraft (such as "Glacier gilr") the restoration to flight will inevitably take some time, and the number of people who can do that to a Spit a few and far between. Even if all 20 could be restored to flight, they would not arrive on the market all at the same time, more likely a couple at a time every couple of years...

... and there are lots of people out there who would want a Spitfire!  
 
zanl188
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:45 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 19):
Even if all 20 could be restored to flight, they would not arrive on the market all at the same time, more likely a couple at a time every couple of years...

A good example of someone being careful to maintain the values of the aircraft... as I suggested...
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bikerthai
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:18 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 19):
I wouldn't think so...

I would anticipate that not all 20 will be restorable to flight condition... in actual fact, if out of the 20 they can get 10 airworthy that would be great. It very much depends on the condition they are in.

Which would mean that there will be spare parts available for those existing Spitfire owners.   

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Kiwirob
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:42 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 18):

Spitfires and Seafires were flown off Aircraft Carriers.

Are you sure about that?
 
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ptrjong
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:50 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):

Are you sure about that?

There's no indication of that here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Seafire

However, I think you're being picky - one can hardly say a Seafire is not a Spitfire.
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chuchoteur
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:23 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 20):
A good example of someone being careful to maintain the values of the aircraft... as I suggested...

... sure, but more importantly there are not enough guys out there knowledgeable about Spitfires to simultaneously return 20 of them to flight!  
 
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moo
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:16 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 17):
I expect current spit owners will be less than happy. Dumping 20 spits still in crates on the market would send values thru the floor. Whomever ends up with the these aircraft needs to be very careful to not spend a lot of cash on recovery & restoration while also driving values down.

I highly doubt 20 boxed, unrestored Spits would cause a permanent depression of the market - it would certainly cause a local depression, but it wouldn't force prices down over a long period of time.

Infact it would probably only really cause problems for the person trying to sell the 20...
 
Ant72LBA
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:30 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
Quoting Max Q (Reply 18):

Spitfires and Seafires were flown off Aircraft Carriers.

Are you sure about that?

Siege of Malta - Spitfires flew off carriers to reinforce the island.
 
GST
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:59 am

Quoting Ant72LBA (Reply 26):

Indeed, though they couldn't land on the carriers again without using the net, so I doubt there were many on carriers come the end of the war to be tipped into the sea, at least not aircraft that weren't craned onto the deck in harbour with the express goal of disposal at sea.

A Spitfire taking off from USS Wasp on a Malta bridge mission.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/British_Spitfire_takes_off_from_USS_Wasp_%28CV-7%29.jpg
 
connies4ever
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:26 am

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 7):
Off hand does anyone know the situation in Burma/Malaya in mid-45?

Talking about this with my uncle yesterday, he was in the RAF at the time of the last unpleasantness.
By 1945 General Slim had pushed the Japanese back through a combination of regular and irregular fighting. For further details, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Slim,_1st_Viscount_Slim

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 14):
What is the story behind these aircraft getting buried in 1945? I was under the impression the Allies won.

In India/Burma, the Japanese were still a threat into 1945. For details see link above.

The fact that these are Mk XIV a/c indicates Griffon-powered, which entered service later in the war. My uncle Tony had the opportunity to fly both Merlin and Griffon Spits during the war, and his recollection was that the Griffon Spit could easily outrun the Merlin Spit, but handling was touchier, and, in his opinion, it was a totally different aircraft.
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bikerthai
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:11 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
In India/Burma, the Japanese were still a threat into 1945. For details see link above.

And since the Brits were more in tuned with geo-politics than the US at the time, they could probably have easily seen potential adversary in a future "Red" China.

bt
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cmb56
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sun May 13, 2012 9:33 pm

The Spitfire MK XIV was an RAF version not a RN version.
At least by US regulation if you recover only the data plate from the original aircraft you can build a new one and put the data plate on it. This is still considered a "repair". That is very simplistic but is essentially what happened with Glacier Girl. That aircraft was hammered flat by the ice. Extensive new made pieces went into making that aircraft fly again. Until these are at least examined there is no way to know what state they may be in but I hope they are very good. This episode is also typical of the WWII end. Thousands of aircraft were destroyed over seas rather than bother to bring them home. The last production batch some 100+ Hawker Typhoons were simply towed from the factory across the field and scrapped. Similar things happened in the US. They were weapons that had done their job, no one wanted them, and newer better designs were already coming on line. Give me back a 57 Chevy or old 65 Dodge, at least you could work on those without a computer analyzer.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: British Pm - Myanmar Fighter Deal..

Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:12 am

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 24):
... sure, but more importantly there are not enough guys out there knowledgeable about Spitfires to simultaneously return 20 of them to flight!  

It still would be interesting to see them dug up and put on display someplace even if they are flyable.

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