60 discovered WWII Spitfires set for auction?

An estimated 60 iconic WWII Spitfires could soon be arriving onto the auction market, it has been revealed.

The planes are thought to be buried, ready for assembly, in crates in several locations in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

Spitfire Bonhams
Bonhams sold a Spitfire for £1.7m in 2009

They were shipped out for use by the RAF towards the end of the conflict but were never used, following Japan's surrender in 1945, with the US military thought to have been responsible for disposing of the planes.

The discovery is the hard work of British farmer and aircraft enthusiast David Cundall, who has spent more than a decade in the country tracking them down.

"They were just buried there in transport crates. They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near-perfect condition," he told the Telegraph newspaper.

An agreement between Cundall and the Burmese government will now see two years' of excavation work begin on the 60 planes.

It is thought there could be up to 140 located in the country in total.

Thirty-six are set to return to the UK, where we expect them to be hotly contested by museums and private buyers.

Of the 20,000 produced, just an estimated 40 operational Spitfires remain around the globe, although this number looks set to more than double.

An airworthy Spitfire sold for £1.7m ($2.5m) at Bonhams in 2009. A major influx of fresh-to-the-market Spitfires, while attracting huge interest, could see values for the planes fall.

One of the last operational WWII Hurricane fighter planes will auction later in the year.

The 1942 Hurricane, which has been fully restored and retains its 12 original Browning guns, is expected to realise up to £1.7m ($2.7m) when it sells at Bonhams, UK on December 3.

We have an autograph from Guy Gibson of Dambusters fame available now.

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