Remains of eight British Hawker Hurricane planes used in World War II were discovered buried in a forest in Ukraine, according to a BBC report on Sunday.
The discovery of an unexploded bomb from the period is what led to the find, after metal detectors scoured the areas surrounding the device.
The planes were believed to have been sent to the Soviet Union by the British in 1941, as part of a military support scheme that was used by the Allied forces. The scheme was funded by the United States under the ‘Lend-Lease’ program, the BBC reported.
"It is very rare to find this aircraft in Ukraine," Oleks Shtan, a former airline pilot who is leading the excavation, was cited as saying by the source. "It's very important for our aviation history because no Lend-Lease aircraft have been found here before."
The Hawker Hurricane plane
"The Hurricane was a strong, easy to fly machine," Shtan explained. "It was stable as a gun platform and suitable for inexperienced pilots. A reliable aircraft."
In total, 3,000 models of the plane had been sent to help the USSR fight off the Nazis from 1941 until 1944.
Authentic Hawker Hurricane planes from this period are rare, as most were destroyed during battle or had been stripped for parts. It is thought that only 14 restored Hurricanes maintain the ability to fly to date. Many, as the BBC reported, were purposely destroyed after the war by the Soviet Union so that they would not need to pay the United States for them.
"The Hurricanes are a symbol of British assistance during the years of the Second World War, just as we are very appreciative of British assistance nowadays," Valerii Romanenko, head of research at the National Aviation Museum of Ukraine, is cited as saying. "The UK is one of the largest suppliers of military equipment to our country now."
"In 1941 Britain was the first who supplied fighter aircraft to the Soviet Union in mass scale. Now the UK is the first country which gives Storm Shadow cruise missiles to our armed forces."
“The Hurricane is probably best known for its performance during the Battle of Britain. When the Battle of Britain commenced in July 1940, the RAF Fighter Command had but 527 Hurricanes and 321 Spitfires to counter the enemy's 2,700 aircraft. Yet, the RAF was able to maintain air superiority in the skies of Great Britain. The Hurricanes absorbed the brunt of the German air attacks until a faster, more maneuverable Spitfire was available in quantity,” the National Museum of the United States Air Force wrote regarding the plane model.
The eight planes that had been discovered had had the valuables items, like radio, removed. This suggests that these eight planes were some that were destroyed post-war by the Soviet Union.