It lay under Goodwin Sands since the war, but now it flies again.
Wargaming.net, the folks behind World of Warplanes among many other free MMO titles, is delving into archaeology once more, this time by donating a virtual Dornier bomber to RAF Cosford, where those with smartphones will be able to see it fly again. This Dornier sat buried at Goodwin Sands since the war, after being shot down August 26th, 1940, during the Battle of Britain, and it now has the honor of being the sole surviving Dornier in the world. The RAF Museum has been trying to recover this aircraft for some time and, with the help of Wargaming.net, has been preserving the physical remains in hydration tunnels, to stop them rusting away. Now Wargaming.net has partnered with Middlesex University Design and Innovation Center and spent £75,000 to virtually restore the shattered Flying Pencil so every visitor can see it as it was in its glory days.
The Dornier made a forced landing on Goodwin Sands, at low tide, after being attacked by Defiants of No 264 Squadron. The pilot and observer were captured but the other two crew died in the attack, and their bodies washed ashore later. A lucky break for Wargaming.net and RAF Cosford since, if the bodies had remained on board, the site would have been a war grave and thus protected against excavation. After it sank beneath the sands the Dornier effectively spent the next few decades in suspended animation, until its rediscovery a few years ago. "Other than marine concretion it is largely intact," says RAF Cosford, "the main undercarriage tyres remain inflated and the propellers clearly show the damage inflicted during their final landing." The virtual Dornier will fly over the Museum just as it looked during the Blitz, and there will also be footage of the Dornier in action in 1940 as well as video records of its recovery, all available at the touch of a smart screen.
"Wargaming is passionate about military history," says Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming.net. "Through augmented reality and multi-media experiences, the exhibition brings the past alive to tell the story of the Dornier 17, the pilots of 264 Squadron who shot it down, and epic struggle of the Battle of Britain. We are honored to be a part of this ground-breaking exhibition." Anyone interested in learning more about the Dornier and its recovery effort is encouraged to look at RAF Cosford's website. The virtual Dornier and its associated site will be available to lucky Cosford visitors from October 16th.