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Burma hunt for Birmingham made Spitfires called off

A restored Second World War spitfire Credit: Reuters

The hunt for dozens of spitfires believed to be buried in crates in Burma has failed.

It's thought there were up to 36 planes underneath the runway at Rangoon airport which were hidden there at the end of the Second World War.

It's now thought the burying of the planes was a myth.

The search was led by Lincolnshire farmer David Cundall, who'd spent years researching the project.


  1. National

Ground-scanning equipment 'narrows Spitfire search'

An excavation team searching for buried World War II Spitfires has released the first set of pictures from its search in Burma. The team is using specialist ground-scanning equipment which they hope will narrow down the search in the next few days.

As many as 140 Spitfires are believed to have been buried Credit: Wargaming
The go-ahead for excavation came in October when Myanmar's government signed an agreement Credit: Wargaming

Lost Spitfires to be excavated in Burma

Dozens of Spitfire planes were buried by British troops in Burma during the Second World War Credit: PA

The excavation of dozens of Birmingham-built Spitfires buried in Burma at the end of the Second World War is set to begin.

It marks the climax of a 16-year search for the lost aircraft by Lincolnshire farmer and aircraft enthusiast David Cundall.

Mr Cundall, 63, has poured tens of thousands of pounds into the venture - he says he stopped counting when the cost hit £130,000 - and hopes the recovered aircraft can be restored and eventually returned to flight.

He believes Lord Louis Mountbatten ordered the burial of 36 Spitfires in 1945 at the Mingaladon airfield, a major British base in Burma, as the Second World War was drawing to a close.

  1. Calendar

Digging for victory

Lincolnshire farmer David Cundall and team Credit: Calendar

A North Lincolnshire farmer and his team are preparing to fly to Burma in search of lost Spitfires. It's believed the Mk14 Spitfires were buried at a British base at the end of the Second World War.

In facts: The Spitfire

Following the recent restoration of one of the last Spitfires, here's a few facts about the war fighting plane:

  • The Spitfire's maiden flight was on March 5th 1936.
  • It first entered RAF service in 1938.
  • It finished RAF service in 1955.
  • During its RAF service, 20,351 Spitfires were built.
  • 'Snipe' and 'Shrew' were other potential names for the Spitfire.
  • By 1939, about 10% of all Spitfires had been lost in training accidents.
  • The distinctive roof bulge in the cockpit was to allow for taller pilots.

Facts courtesy of the History Learning Site.


Spitfire takes to the sky 60 years on

The restored Spitfire Credit: ITV Calendar

After more than a decade's worth of restoration at a cost of around £800,000, one of the last of the Spitfires has taken to the skies over Lincolnshire for its first flight in almost 60 years.

The Spitfire flying high in the sky Credit: ITV Calendar

As from next year, the restored Spitfire will be used in displays as part of the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.