I was intrigued to learn that UK farmer David Cundall may have located 20 or more Spitfires in Myanmar, buried in their original shipping crates. If the discovery turns out to be the real deal, it makes a fine counterpoint to Australia's decision last year to bury 23 F-111s beneath a landfill - apparently there is a very real concern with asbestos and other hazardous materials used in these old airframes.
Media reports suggest Cundall's plans are well advanced, with the aircraft having been located, and a camera shoved down a borehole to examine them. Cundall learned of the aircraft speaking to British vets of the Burmese front. They claimed to have buried the aircraft in 1945 following the end of WWII.
Though the aircraft are reportedly well packaged in wax paper and so forth, one wonders how well preserved they could be. Sixty years underground in the soggy climate of Burma is a very long time. There are very good reasons why the USA stores old aircraft in the arid climes of Arizona and California as opposed to the swamps of Florida or Louisiana. All it would take is a few broken seals to corrode these Burmese Spitfires.
In any event, the west is having a love-in with the Burmese regime, which these days shows signs of becoming more democratic. A more open regime could well see Cundall's dream come true. Perhaps the old aircraft will be excavated and shipped home - just the thought of the paperwork and expense involved gives one pause - with a few examples becoming airworthy again someday.
In 2072 will Asian Skies write about a plan to dig up 23 former RAAF F-111s?