Ukraine makes ‘rare’ discovery of rusting World War II British fighter jets buried outside Kiev
Ukraine makes ‘rare’ discovery of rusting World War II British fighter jets buried in forest outside Kiev
Ukraine has made a ‘rare’ discovery of rusting World War II British fighter jets buried in a forest outside Kiev.
The planes were transported by Britain to the Soviet Union after Nazi Germany invaded in 1941.
According to the BBC, the aircraft were part of a package of Allied military aid to the USSR. It was reportedly paid for by the US under the alleged Lend-Lease scheme.
According to aviation experts, this is the first time that the remains of such a large number of hurricanes have been discovered in Ukraine.
Oleks Shtan, a former airline pilot who led the excavation, said: “It is very rare to find this plane in Ukraine.”
Ukraine has made a ‘rare’ discovery of rusting World War II British fighter jets buried in a forest outside Kiev
“It’s very important to our aviation history because no Lend-Lease aircraft have ever been found here.”
Between 1941 and 1944, about 3,000 Hurricanes were sent to the USSR to assist in the Soviet war effort. Most of them were scrapped in combat or later taken apart for their parts.
Mr. Shtan said, “The Hurricane was a strong, easy-to-handle machine.”
Some Hurricanes were purposely disassembled and buried after the war so that the Soviets would not have to repay the US.
This was the case for eight hurricanes buried in forests in the south of Kiev, part of the USSR, until 1991.
Their instruments, machine guns and radios had been stripped and then dragged by tractors from a nearby airfield and dropped into a shallow ravine.
The planes were sent to the Soviet Union by Britain after Nazi Germany invaded in 1941
The remains were recently found after an unexploded bomb from the war was found nearby.
The rest of the ravine was surveyed using metal detectors and the hurricanes were discovered.
The National Aviation Museum has begun excavating the site manually, according to the BBC.
The museum’s staff wants to identify as many of the planes as possible so that the historical pieces can be displayed.
The museum’s head of research, Valerii Romanenko, said the hurricanes are a “symbol of British aid” during the years of World War II, adding that the UK is now one of “our country’s largest suppliers of military equipment.” .
Only 14 recovered hurricanes are believed to be flying in the world today.