Battle of Britain plane to be hoisted from its sandy Kent grave

RAF experts hope to complete operation to salvage last remaining example of Dornier 17 that crashed off coast of Deal

Attempts to resurrect one of the most significant surviving artefacts from the battle of Britain after more than 70 years beneath the waves were hampered by high winds on Sunday.

Experts working for the RAF Museum had hoped to lift the only remaining example of a Dornier 17, one of the three types of German bomber that pounded England during the summer of 1940.

But as darkness fell a spokesman said that high winds had casued the lift had been postponed to the next tidal window at 1am.

The plane crash-landed in Goodwin Sands, off Deal in Kent, and was swallowed by the seabed – only to be exposed again five years ago.

The sand is believed to have preserved the 16 metre-long plane so well that not only are the fuselage, wings, and engines still intact, but the landing gear tyres are inflated.

The Dornier will be lifted on to a barge, then sent to the museum’s base at Cosford, Shropshire, for two years of work to “conserve and stabilise” the remains, said Ian Thirsk, head of collections.

“We’ve chosen tonight as the conditions …read more  

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