Museum boss 'excited' over bomber
Published 15/06/2013 | 13:08
An RAF museum manager has said taking delivery of the only surviving German Second World War Dornier Do 17 bomber will be a "rare and exciting opportunity" for visitors to get up close to the aircraft.
It arrived at RAF Museum Cosford in Shropshire after having been transported more than 200 miles from Ramsgate.
The Dornier was lifted from its watery grave in the English Channel last week after it was shot down off the more than 70 years ago during the Battle of Britain. The project is believed to be the biggest recovery of its kind in British waters.
Alex Medhurst, general manager at RAF Museum Cosford, said: "After all the hard work, planning and setbacks, it's great to know the Dornier is finally here at Cosford. It will be a rare and exciting opportunity for visitors in the Midlands to get up close and personal to a unique piece of aviation history and the chance to view it in its salvaged state."
The fuselage and wings were escorted from Ramsgate to the museum by two low loader lorries.
Delighted members of the public and museum staff welcomed the Dornier as it arrived on site, late on Saturday afternoon.
Shortly after its arrival, a crane lifted the fuselage and wings from the transportation lorry before being placed inside the purpose built hydration tunnels, where the Dornier will stay for the first stage of its conservation.
More than 1,500 examples of the Dornier 17 medium bomber were built.
The twin engine, twin fin configuration - together with the narrow fuselage and shoulder mounted engines, gave the aircraft a distinctive silhouette and earned it the nickname 'The Flying Pencil'. The adapted plan to raise the plane from the seabed - three years in the making - involved attaching lifting equipment to what were believed to be the strongest parts of the aircraft's frame and raising it whole in a single lift, instead of constructing a cage around it - which had been the original plan.
The existence of the aircraft at Goodwin Sands became known when it was spotted by divers in 2008 at a depth of some 50ft (15m), lying on a chalk bed with a small debris field around it. Sonar scans by the RAF Museum, Wessex Archaeology and the Port of London Authority then confirmed the identity of the aircraft as the Dornier Do 17Zv Werke number 1160.