Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Dornier 17

On 26 Ag 1940, a German Dornier 17 z-2 bomber was shot down by a Defiant fighter of 264 squadron RAF.  This aircraft was lifted from the sea bed at Goodwin Sands on 10 June 2013. and is now being preserved at RAF Cosford Museum.

At the rear of hanger 1 is a walled off area which contains an interpretation display and the desalination covers for the aircraft.
The fuselage is in the left cover and the wings and engine nacelles are in the right cover.
The thin fuselage and the crew compartment are very fragile.  Over the last 70 years, the aluminium airframe has degraded and is unstable.  The steel structures have fared better and the cockpit frame is more stable.  The remains are being sprayed constantly with a citric acid solution in order to desalinate and stabilise the structure.
The wings and engine nacelles, complete with wheels and tyres are still on the transport frame.  The pilot, Feldwebel Willi Effmert, was taken prisoner.  He attempted to land on  the Goodwin Sands with both engines damaged.  The aircraft flipped over on its back and sank.  Interestingly, the wheels are in the folded position in the recovered aircraft.
The air screws took a battering and were bent backwards with the impact.  Many parts of the aircraft have decayed, but some of the better quality bearings have been cleaned and restored to working condition.  Whilst a lot has been learned from this wreck, it is unlikely that it will be restored to a whole aircraft as its structure is too badly decayed.  At this time it is considered possible to restore the cockpit area, which is made of good quality steel components rather than aluminium.
The tornado from the prototype hanger has been moved out to the car park.
In its place is a prototype EFA which lead to the development of the Eurofighter.  This aircraft has directional side thrusters which makes it very manoeuvrable in combat.


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