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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

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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.

Prime Minister's support 'opened door' to Spitfire excavation

The expedition to excavate dozens of British Spitfires buried in Burma during the Second World War may not have occurred if the Prime Minister had not called for the suspension of sanctions against Burma during a visit to the country in April, according to Mr Cundall.

David Cameron was talking about releasing the sanctions in April. At the same time he asked the president of Myanmar if the Spitfires could be recovered and there was broad agreement.

The timing was perfect. They suspended the sanctions, allowing me to negotiate the terms with the Myanmar government and also to sign the contract.

I cannot thank the Prime Minister enough because he has opened the door for me.

Mr Cundall had been sending letters to Mr Cameron calling for the removal of sanctions before the Prime Minister's trip to Burma.

Later in the year the Prime Minister sent him a letter of congratulations in which he expressed the hope that the Spitfires would fly once again in Britain, according to Mr Cundall.

Burma Spitfire excavation project 'biggest of my life'

Speaking before the announcement to evacuate dozens of British Spitfires buried during the Second World War today, Lincolnshire farmer and aircraft enthusiast David Cundall said:

It is the biggest project I have ever taken on in my life. I did not realise it would take 16 years or quite a large amount of personal money. But I do not regret it.

I have always admired the Spitfire. It has a very special place in British history, from the Battle of Britain. To find one Spitfire would be a major find, let alone 36.

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Buried spitfires to be excavated

An operation to excavate dozens of British Spitfires buried in Burma during the Second World War is set to begin next year.

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

Handout dated 2004 of the results of an electromagnetic survey at the site in Burma, led by Dr Roger Clark and Dr Adam Booth in 2004. Credit: Dr Roger Clark and Dr Adam Booth/PA Wire

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.

Money pledge could help aircraft enthusiast realise dream

British aircraft enthusiast David Cundall's search for the missing Second World War Spitfires was prompted by overhearing a chance conversation, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

Mr Cundall heard of a chance remark by American veterans, who said: “We have done some pretty silly things in our time, but the silliest was burying Spitfires.’”

Wargaming's funding pledge allowed Mr Cundall to sign a deal with the Burmese government earlier this month, giving him permission to excavate the fighters.

Gaming company's $1m pledge to find lost Spitfires

Victor Kislyi and his company Wargaming.net have offered to pay up to $1 million (£621,400) to help British man David Cundall search for dozens of Mark XIV Spitfires buried in Burma at the end of the Second World War, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

It is believed the Spitfires were buried in their tarred transport crates after being waxed with an oily grease to protect them from decay. It has raised the possibility that if the Spitfires could be found, they could perhaps be flown.

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