Thursday, 13 June 2013
HISTORIC DAY FOR RAMSGATE
The Port of Ramsgate played its part in Aviation History yesterday with the arrival in Ramsgate of the DORNIER DO-17 World War II German bomber.
The aircraft which had been shot down in 1940 had attempted to land on the Goodwin Sands and subsequently sank upside down. Two of its four-man crew were killed and later found on shore and the others became prisoners of war. The aircraft was largely intact, and it prompted a five year salvage operation which consisted of sonar and magnetometer surveys, diving surveys and countless hours of work from the RAF Museum, Wessex Archaeology and English Heritage.
The safe recovery of the aircraft with minimal damage and its conservation presented many challenges. However, the RAF Museum is experienced in dealing with aircraft which have been immerged in water for long periods of time.
Rebecca Dalley, the Museum’s Project Development Manager, stated: "The help and attitude of everyone involved from Ramsgate has been amazing and their flexibility and support has been crucial to the success of the project."
Rebecca went on to explain that once the plane is moved to their conservation area in Cosford, it will go through a stabilising process which will involve the plane being submerged in a citric acid and water solution to stabilise the aircraft.
The RAF Museum hopes that the plane will be ready to take part in new exhibitions which will see the Royal Air Force Museum transformed as part of the national and international programme marking the Centenary of the RAF in 2018.
Councillor Alan Poole, Cabinet Member for Operational Services said "Thanet District Council is proud to have played a part in the RAF’s salvage of the Dornier DO-17. The staff at the Port have worked with the RAF, and Seatech and assisted with the safe arrival of the aircraft and we would like to thank all of those involved.