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Cyprus Eastern Forum Index » Coffee Shop Chat » Digging up the Spits
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Digging up the Spits 
Post: #1   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:30 am Reply with quote
Mr Tibbs
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Treasure trove.

Once there were 27,000. Now they are so rare as to be worth millions:

"........................ a geophysical investigation which is expected to reveal up to 36 planes at the Mingaladon site.

The aircraft are thought to have been shipped to RAF bases before being buried, un-assembled, in their crates."

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Just think, Lancman PA474 - all those Merlins!! Shocked

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Post: #2   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:34 pm Reply with quote
Kwacka
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I recall a businessman sticking a Merlin in his car - Rolls-Royce demanded he remove the Silver Lady from the bonnet of the car.

I also recall a motorcycle mag with reports/photos of a motorcycle some Aussie had built with the end 2 cylinders shoe-horned into the frame.

(A quick search brings this 5000 c.c. v-twin up)


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So that's another 216 bikes could be built.

BTW note the nitrous oxide cyclinder at the back. Shocked

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Post: #3   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:15 pm Reply with quote
lancman PA474
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I'd better start saving my penny's. I was offered a Hawker Hurricane once but just couldn't quite get my hands on 1.2 million pounds. Laughing
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Digging up the Spits 
Post: #4   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:06 pm Reply with quote
ProVox
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During a hot dry summer, maybe 90-91 there was a UK news paper story that three(?) Lancasters had been located somewhere in Norfolk (maybe Lincolnshire) when the ground dried out and the shapes of several large buried packing cases were seen from the air by a local pilot. They did a ground penetration and came up with pieces of greased soaked sacking and pieces of aluminium aircraft skin. Does anybody remember the story or am I imagining it? Confused

When an RAF Apprentice the apprentices at RAF Locking burnt a Mosquito, complete except for the engines and avionics, for bon-fire night with an effigy of a certain Flt.Sgt Bettel in the cockpit. At about the same time (1956-57) they also cut up a Lincoln Bomber fuselage for scrap.

Just think what those would be worth now! Crying or Very sad
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Post: #5   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:18 pm Reply with quote
Mr Tibbs
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Kwacka wrote:
I recall a businessman sticking a Merlin in his car - Rolls-Royce demanded he remove the Silver Lady from the bonnet of the car.


How interesting!

As a young airmen, working on what was then The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at Coltishall in Norfolk, I went to one of the weekly air display gatherings, this at Biggin Hill.

We were in the civvy flying club house by the airfield - I guess summer 1972. Suddenly everybody rushes outside to see this "Rolls Royce" which had appeared. It actually belonged to this guy who owned some sort of automatic gearbox factory for cars. He had ditched the normal engine, modified the structure quite considerably and fitted a 27 litre Merlin under the bonnet (just!!). The gearbox side of it not being a problem for him of course. He then proceeded to tear ass up and down the runway at 200mph, whilst we stood on the edge, pints in hand. Have to say that it bore a remarkable resemblence to the Roller Lady Penelope used to own in "Thunderbirds" (can I admit that without loosing "street cred"?) Anyway, I Will never forget it. Small World, eh? Very Happy

PS - On that particular night it definitely had Spirit of Ecstasy on the bonnet. Oh for a bloody camera!! Cool

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Post: #6   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Mr Tibbs
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lancman PA474 wrote:
I'd better start saving my penny's. I was offered a Hawker Hurricane once but just couldn't quite get my hands on 1.2 million pounds. Laughing


Perhaps worth pointing out here (maybe before your time 474) but the Lancaster was at RAF Scampton and used to be a separate entity to the Spits/Hurricanes (5/2) that we ran. Even then, back in the early 70s, spares were rocking-horse. We used to rush around the UK robbing bits of all the gate guard aircraft at RAF stations. We competed with the Lanc lads and - although always the best of comrades - got into a few hairy situations scrabbling for engine parts. Your lot were responsible for so many of my youthful hangovers! Ahh, the good ole days - sigh! Very Happy

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Post: #7   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:29 pm Reply with quote
Mr Tibbs
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Kwacka wrote:
I also recall a motorcycle mag with reports/photos of a motorcycle some Aussie had built with the end 2 cylinders shoe-horned into the frame.:


Kwacka. I got to know a guy in my last life quite well in London. Name of Zef Eisenberg (Google him). He was a bit of a motorcycle nut and stored a couple of superbikes just behind my apartment block. Once he showed me a smartphone vid of his latest bike. He had fitted a JET engine into it!! Laughing It took about 45 seconds after start to wind up but boy was it in the "sound of freedom" mould. Cool

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Post: #8   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:18 pm Reply with quote
Kwacka
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Mr Tibbs wrote:

Kwacka. I got to know a guy in my last life quite well in London. Name of Zef Eisenberg (Google him). He was a bit of a motorcycle nut and stored a couple of superbikes just behind my apartment block. Once he showed me a smartphone vid of his latest bike. He had fitted a JET engine into it!! Laughing It took about 45 seconds after start to wind up but boy was it in the "sound of freedom" mould. Cool


If you've got 5 minutes spare take a look at
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World's fastest production motorcycle - 0 to 217 mph in 14 seconds, using a recon. Rolls-Royce Apache helicopter engine (sold off when they reach max flying hours). I like 'stay back' sign on the back & jay Leno's story of the sagging front bumper of the driver who didn't.

A bargain at US $175,000.

I wonder if Santa will bring me one?

After googling your mate,
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Post: #9   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:51 pm Reply with quote
Mr Tibbs
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Kwacka wrote:
After googling your mate,................


I wish.

We used to have a dozen lockups attached to my building in Knightsbridge and he rented two. In t'other he kept a restored to (absolutely!) mint condition 1964, Daimler V8 (Jag XK type). He bought it from Chris Evans for £240k Shocked Beautiful machine

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Re: Digging up the Spits 
Post: #10   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:12 pm Reply with quote
adyandkaren
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Mr Tibbs wrote:
Just think, Lancman PA474 - all those Merlins!! Shocked


Not wishing to detract from a marvellous find, but they're likely to be all MK14s so will be powered by the Griffon engine rather than the Merlin.
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Re: Digging up the Spits 
Post: #11   PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:54 pm Reply with quote
Mr Tibbs
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adyandkaren wrote:
Not wishing to detract from a marvellous find, but they're likely to be all MK14s so will be powered by the Griffon engine rather than the Merlin.


Damn - what will they do with the extra 10 litres?

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Post: #12   PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Mr Tibbs
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........................AN INTERESTING UP-DATE............................

For those who had any doubt about the ‘buried Spitfires’ in Burma they may be interested that an ex-RAF pilot friend, who is involved in this project, has just returned from a visit to the site in Burma.

The cache of Spitfires does exist and consists of 14 Spitfire FR.14s. The difficulty in locating them was due to the fact that they are buried under an active runway meaning that once permission was granted, digging was sideways with strong underpinning of the runway. The Spitfires are there all right – all fresh still in their packing cases with guns fitted. The original crates were buried in a large excavated hole and covered over with a wooden ‘lid’ made of durable timber, teak perhaps? – the runway being added much later"!.

The first Spitfire has been removed successfully and a first inspection plus others looked at so far shows them to be all in excellent condition, fully equipped – only rubber items having perished.

The first one is to go to the USA to the financial backer, the second to the Burmese Air Force Museum – the rest - 12 Spitfire FR.14s belong to the guy who started it all.

The sweetener to ‘open the door’ so to speak was the visit of UK Prime Minister Cameron, soon to be followed by a visit by the American President. This was not a ruse to re-equip the RAF with Spitfire 14s - although they have sod all else! but an opener to revitalised trade with western powers.

Oh er! There appears to be another batch of Spitfires in Burma, 30 in number, mark numbers not known at this stage. Who knows what else they will find.

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Digging up the Spits 
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