The only known example of a Second World War Dornier Do 17 aircraft has been successfully lifted from Goodwin Sands by the RAF Museum team.
Earlier plans to lift the Luftwaffe aircraft had been hampered by strong winds in the area, but today the RAF Museum team is hoping to be able to tow the raised aircraft – shot down off the Kent coast more than 70 years ago – into port.
The team last attempted to lift the aircraft from its resting place 50 feet below the surface on 2 June, but bad weather thwarted that attempt when a sudden increase in wind strength made the sea too choppy to complete the lift.
Following that abortive effort, lifting equipment was attached to what were believed to be the strongest parts of the aircraft’s frame in order to raise it whole in a single lift, instead of constructing a cage around it, which had been the original plan.
Two of the 4 crew members died and were buried elsewhere, and 2 – including the pilot – survived to become prisoners of war.
The existence of the aircraft at Goodwin Sands became known when it was spotted by divers in 2008.
A 2-year restoration of the aircraft will now take place at the RAF Museum ’s conservation centre in Cosford, Shropshire.