Rare Dornier Do 17 Recovered from English Channel

Preservation work of WWII bomber under way.

Dornier Do 17 Lifted

Dornier Do 17 Lifted

** Dornier Do 17 being lifted out the Channel.
(Photo courtesy of the RAF Museum)**

After weeks of weather delays, RAF Museum recovery workers this week were able to raise the wreckage of a German Dornier Do 17 that crashed into the English Channel more than seven decades ago.

The rare airplane, which was shot down during the Battle of Britain, was discovered in 2008 by divers at a depth of 50 feet below the Channel’s surface. Despite spending more than 70 years submerged in the body of water, the World War II bomber has remained surprisingly intact.

Experts say it could take up to five years to restore the airplane well enough before it is able to be displayed at the RAF Museum in London. The airplane was transported to an RAF conservation facility in Cosford earlier this week, and will be continually covered in a citric acid based solution and kept inside hydration tunnels for some time in order to halt any further deterioration.

The recovered airplane is believed to be the only complete Dornier Do 17 in the world. Known as the “flying pencil” due to its thin shape, the Do 17 was used as a light bomber on the front lines of World War II.