Old Airplanes Left in Elephant’s Shelter Get New Homes
Over 100 years ago, Britain's military had about 2,000 de Havilland DH.9 airplanes.
The military used the planes for British bombing raids over Germany during World War I.
The DH.9s were known as "strategic bombers." They were one of the first warplanes where pilots did not drop bombs by hand.
The bombs were stored inside the fuselage, or main body, of the plane. Pilots released them by opening a door with a lever. The plane was large enough to carry two large bombs or four smaller ones.
Of the 2,000 DH.9 planes used in World War I, only about six were saved. Or at least that is what people thought until about 20 years ago, when several DH.9s were discovered in rural India.
Britain donated those planes to India, then a British colony, at the end of the war. The website AirHistory.org.uk says India received 60 of the aircraft.
For many years, people thought nearly all the DH.9s were destroyed or used to supply parts for other planes. That changed in 1998, when a lover of historic aircraft found several DH.9s in India in an unusual place: a building where an elephant was once kept.
Janice Black is the director of Britain's Historic Aircraft Collection.
"Sadly, the engines were taken out and the aircraft were put into an elephant stable. The engines were then used to help to pump water around the estate – which is where we retrieved them from. And the aircraft themselves were left in the elephants' stable, which was fortunately very dry."
What was left of the old airplanes was purchased and shipped back to England for restoration. The repairs took about 60,000 hours.
In 2007, the Imperial War Museum bought the first restored DH.9 for about $1.3 million, but it does not fly.
The planes are important in the timeline of military history. But they were not especially successful warplanes.
Their engines that were not very strong, so the military could not depend on them in battle.
However, after the war, many were used to carry mail and even passengers.
The Historic Aircraft Collection team is working to restore another DH.9. This time, they hope to make it airworthy and fly late this year.
I'm Dan Friedell.
1.World War I 世界第一次大战
World War I was first of its kind in history, but not the last.
2.depend on 依靠
Many farmers have to depend on subsidies to make a living wage.
3.at the end of 在...末尾
There is a shop at the end of this lane.
4.bombing raid 轰炸
The president was absolutely right in ordering the bombing raid.
1.Sadly, the engines were taken out and the aircraft were put into an elephant stable.
take out 取出
I got an abscess so he took the tooth out.
Jessica's grandparents took her out for the day.
2.Sadly, the engines were taken out and the aircraft were put into an elephant stable.
put into 把...放进
The state of their marriage has been put into the public domain.
Colin had been put into a bath and been scrubbed from head to foot.
炸弹安置在机身或机舱内 。飞行员投放炸弹只需打开一扇带有杠杆的舱门 。DH.9飞机可承载两枚大型炸弹或四枚小型炸弹 。
一战期间，投入使用的2000架DH.9飞机里只有大约6架幸存 。外界一直以为幸存下来的只有6架，直到二十年前，印度农村地区内发现了几架DH.9飞机 。
英国将这些飞机捐给了印度，因为在一战结束时，印度是英国的殖民地 。据英国网站AirHistory.org.uk的数据显示，印度收下了60架DH.9飞机 。
多年来，外界一直以为几乎所有的DH.9飞机都遭到毁坏或被改作其他飞机的配件 。1998年，一名老式飞机爱好者在印度一处不寻常的地方发现了数架DH.9飞机，事情才发现了转机 。发现地点是一座曾用于豢养大象的建筑 。
贾尼斯·布拉克（Janice Black ）是英国老式飞机收藏小组主任 。
“很遗憾，飞机的发动机被人取走，飞机也被停放在大象舍内 。发动机后被用作附近地区的水泵——我们因此才发现这些飞机 。飞机的机身被丢弃在大象舍内，幸运的是那里很干燥 。”
这些老式飞机剩下的机身都被收购并运回英国进行修复 。修复工作大概需要60000小时 。
DH.9飞机在军事历史上具有重要意义 。但这种机型并不是很成功的军用飞机 。
老式飞机收藏小组正着力修复另一架DH.9飞机 。这一次，他们希望这架飞机重返苍穹，预计今年年末起飞 。