Scientists are in a race against time to help save the last remaining intact World War II German light bomber Dornier Do-17, known as The Flying Pencil (Fliegender Bleistift), which lies underwater in the English Channel off the Kentish coast in the UK.
The researchers, from Imperial College London, are donating their time and scientific expertise to help the Royal Air Force Museum rescue the submerged aircraft, which was discovered in the shallows off the Goodwin Sands in 2010. Shifting sands have uncovered the aircraft, which was previously protected by layers of sediment, exposing it to the corrosive effects of seawater and threatening to destroy the plane entirely.
“This is the last remaining intact Flying Pencil of its kind in the entire world, so the significance of this project to our history cannot be underestimated. We have been analysing fragments already brought to the surface and it is absolutely fascinating to see how this bomber, which crash landed more than 70 years ago, has been so well preserved by the layers of sand. We are relishing the challenge of finding a way to help save this historical treasure, so that it can be raised and put on display for future generations.”
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