The Supermarine Spitfire. A pants-tightening relic from the golden age of piston aircraft. A formidable foe to the Axis. The elliptical wings provided both a beautiful and elegant solution to reducing drag while increasing lift. The 2,050 hp Griffon engine in a Mk XIV could pull the plane almost 450 miles per hour. Though, sitting in crates underground it will go exactly 0 mph.
Towards the end of WWII, a shipment of 20 Spitfire XIVs was sent to forces in Burma. When the war ended the aircraft were deemed surplus and buried to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. I guess they figured this was cheaper than shipping them back, since propeller planes were on their way out in those very early days of the jet age.
Now a group from the UK believes they have found the ultra-secret location of the buried Spitfires. According to reports, the team led by farmer and aviation enthusiast David Cundall, has sent a boroscope down and they saw the crates. They are hoping the preservation techniques used for shipping — the components were waxed, wrapped in grease paper, and tarred — will have worked well enough to preserve these ultra-rare aircraft for 67 years.
There are rumors that more Spitfires are buried around our globe. I have my leather jacket, fedora and whip ready. Let’s go find ‘em!
[Image Credit: Spitfireperformance.com]