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Rare WWII Bomber Raised from English Channel

After more than 70 years, a Dornier 17 is on dry land again

airspacemag.com

A sonar image of the Do-17 lying underwater.

On June 10, the Royal Air Force Museum successfully raised the only known example of the Dornier 17, a Luftwaffe light bomber that made its debut in the late 1930s and was first used during the Spanish Civil War.

The recovery of the Dornier was hampered by bad weather, but the famously fickle English Channel weather finally allowed the aircraft to rise from the waves more than 70 years after it crashed during the Battle of Britain. First located by sonar in 2008, the aircraft has been sent to the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford for restoration.

The Dornier participated in an attack on airfields in Kent on August 26, 1940, when it became separated from its formation, and was attacked by RAF fighters.

The recovery is a double find — not only a rare Do-17 (production of the aircraft ended in 1940, in favor of the Junkers Ju-88) — but a genuine relic from the Battle of Britain.

About John Sotham
John Sotham

A former associate editor of Air & Space, John Sotham is a hopelessly nearsighted frequent flyer, with thousands of hours logged in exit rows worldwide. He is a U.S. Air Force Reserve colonel and a former crew chief on the F-4D Phantom II and A-10A “Warthog.” He started collecting aviation books when he was eight years old. Any opinions expressed are solely the author’s.

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