The rusting remains of eight British Hurricane fighter planes dating back to World War Two have ben found buried in a forest in Ukraine.
The aircraft ere sent to the Soviet Union by Britain after Nazi Germany invaded the country in 1941.
They were part of a package of allied military support for the USSR. Thus, paid for by the United States under the so-called Lend-Lease scheme.
Similar legislation is bing used by the US government today to send military aid to Ukraine. As it seeks to expel Russian forces from its country.
Aviation experts say this is the first time the remains of so many Hurricanes have found in Ukraine.
“It is very rare to find this aircraft in Ukraine,” says Oleks Shtan, a former airline pilot who is leading the excavation. “It’s very important for our aviation history because no Lend-Lease aircraft have found here before.”
The Hawker Hurricane was the workhorse of the Battle of Britain – the air campaign of 1940 when the Royal Air Force (RAF) defeated German attempts to invade the UK. Although its role has often overshadowed by the newer and more adaptable Spitfire plane, the Hurricane actually shot down more than half of all enemy
aircraft during the battle.
“The Hurricane was a strong, easy to fly machine,” Mr Shtan says. “It was stable as a gun platform and suitable for inexperienced pilots. A reliable aircraft.”
In total, about 3,000 Hurricanes sent to the USSR between 1941 and 1944 to support the Soviet war effort. Most either destroyed in combat or dismantled later for parts.