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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Glacier Girl

Yesterday I was reading about some guys who dug up a 150 year old river boat that was buried under 45 feet of mud in a farmer's field in Kansas. This morning I'm reading about some guys who dug up a WW2 fighter that was buried under 265 feet of ice in a glacier in Greenland. Kind of weird to encounter two recent archaeological digs of recent events in two days, especially since there is no connection between the two. Here's some pics I collected of this one.

P-38 and B-17 where they were set down in 1942.

McBride’s team camped out in 2011 on the Arctic glacier where the Lightnings are located. The Wilga support plane is in the background. (photo via Ken McBide)

Excavating the P-38

P-38 Partially disassembled

P-38 Cockpit

Raising the central fuselage
The used a four foot diameter heated cone to drill through the ice, that and a pump to get rid of the water.
They spent $2.5 million retrieving this one airplane and another half a million restoring it to operating condition. Probably not a profitable venture, but emotionally satisfying.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

What many don't know, is that the ice sheet in Greenland is 10 to 11,000 feet amsl.
If, for any reason (like low fuel), these planes needed to fly on one engine instead of two, the inland ice could be above the single-engine ceiling :-(

Been, there, and crossed it in a single engined non-turbocharges plane :-)