In what historians are calling the aviation equivalent to finding King Tut's tomb, a World War II fighter plane has been found in the Sahara desert 70 years after it crashed. Even more impressive, the plane is perfectly preserved — it hasn't been touched and hasn't even been seen until now.
The discovery of the single-seater fighter plane, a RAF Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, was made by Jakub Perka, a Polish oil company worker who was exploring the desert in Egypt. It's amazing to see the plane in such good condition, the cockpit is still intact and the plane was even loaded with ammunition, until it was removed by the Egyptian government for safety reasons. It's like finding a time capsule hidden in the sands of time.
The plane was supposedly flown by Flight Sgt Dennis Copping, who was 24 years old at the time. He was ordered to fly the plane to a British airbase in northern Egypt for repairs but ended up crash-landing the plane in June of 1942. No one is quite sure why he had to crash-land; there are bullet holes in the plane, but Copping was never seen again. Officials who have analysed the plane wreckage say that Copping had survived the crash and even created shelter with his parachute and attempted to fix the engine, but he couldn't escape the punishing heat of the desert. He died away from the camp site, in the desert, trying to find civilisation. The nearest town, his only hope of survival, was 320km away.
The plane is supposed to be taken to the RAF Museum in London, but since the discovery of the plane has been made public, locals and scavengers have reached the site and have started pilfering whatever they can get their hands on. Hopefully it won't be stripped bare. If it survived this long in the desert without getting buried or destroyed, it'd be a damn shame to see it disappear now. See more pictures of the World War II fighter plane here. [Telegraph UK, Daily Mail, Vintage Wings]