1. How is the recovery being financed?
Numerous sponsors are providing material and expertise, for example, for clothing, food, and vehicles for transport. We are also speaking with several companies about becoming primary sponsors for the financing of the entire enterprise. It is not easy and we are dependent on any help we can get.
2. How much does the recovery cost?
We have made very comprehensive calculations and estimate that the project can be realised for around 5 million Euro as long as no serious complications occur.
3. Do you plan another project?
Proposals and ideas for the salvage of a ship in a lake in Africa have been mentioned. But at the moment we are concentrating on the Lost Squadron Recovery Project.
4. How has the exact position of the plane been established?
A low frequency radar device for subterranean measurements known as an ice scope is being used to locate the planes. Although the positions have been known since the 1992 recovery expedition, the measurements must be taken again because every object that is trapped in the ice is pushed horizontally towards the coast. The measurements are being taken by Reykjavik University.
5. How cold will it be in Greenland during the recovery?
Salvage operations will only take place from around April to October. During this time daytime temperatures get up to about 10/15 degrees Celsius, and it can be considerably warmer in the sun. At night, temperatures can drop below freezing at any time. Major systems determine the weather, just as they do here.
6. Are there polar bears? Is it dangerous?
So that polar bears do not kill off the penguins, the penguins live mainly in the southern hemisphere and polar bears in the northern hemisphere, including on Greenland. They are even quite common. Greenland’s estimated population is some 1800 animals. Only locals are allowed to hunt polar bears and the camp will be protected from hunters who are licensed in Greenland.
7. How cold is it in the cave around the aircraft?
Just under 0 degrees Celsius.
8. What keeps the cave from collapsing?
The density of the snow has been increased over the years by the pressure of its own weight. Tourists have been allowed access for years to some glacial caves in the Alps, for example, the Rhone Glacier.
9. Why haven’t the planes been crushed? What about the B-17
Fighters like the P-38 have relatively strong frames and are armored in order to be able to survive dogfights. Bombers like the B-17, on the other hand, have no heavy armor in order to save fuel and conserve weight for bombs. The “lifting” of “Glacier Girl” proves that P-38s can be recovered in a restorative condition.
10. What will the recovery team eat while in the camp?
Everything what is needed and can be delivered in bulk by container. Fresh supplemental foods like seal meat and fish are also available.
11. To whom do the aircraft belong?
To whoever recovers them! We have confirmation of this from all the officially relevant organisations. The Danish government has certified this and the US army has long since relinquished any right to the planes.
12. Will they be able to fly again?
Experience with “Glacier Girl” shows that it is only a matter of trying hard enough. We would be pleased if at least one of the birds could learn to fly again after the recovery, but that’s a story for another day.
13. Do you still need help? How can one join in?
We are still looking for people with a wide range of skills.
14. How thick is the ice cap on Greenland?
Up to 2800 meters!
15. What is the value of the P-38s?
What the buyers are willing to pay for them. The current market value for an unrestored aircraft is supposed to be $2 million and about $10 million for a restored, air-worthy plane.
16. Why are you taking such a long detour via the west coast when the recovery site is located on the east coast?
Access from the east is considerably shorter but marked by glacial crevasses and other obstacles. And the nearby port is only ice-free in July and August. To the west, the surface of the ice cap is completely flat and the ports on the west coast are ice-free for almost the whole year..
17. How are the workers, media and fresh food going to be transported to the recovery site?
The primary equipment will be taken to the camp in containers on sled pulled by towing vehicles. Everything else, including reporters, workers, replacement crews, etc. will be flown in.
18. How will the rubbish produced during the recovery be cleared from the site?
All the trash the recovery generates will be removed from the site. That means collect your garbage and take it with you. Theoretically, it cannot be more than was brought in.
19. How did the idea for the project develop?
Dieter Hermann was already interested in the operation when the first Lighting was removed from the ice. Since then, he has been occupied with the thought of removing the remaining planes from the ice in order to give the public access to these historic aircraft.
20. How can you get to the recovery area? Are there streets, airports and water routes in Greenland?
Streets are only in and around a few of the towns. Other means of transportation are dog sled, motorised sledges and aircraft. And of course snowmobiles and other tracked vehicles.
21. What about sanitary facilities? Showers and toilets, for example?
Everything that is required will be built in the camp in sufficient number.