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Ground penetrating radar has pinpointed the wreckage of the Second World War fighter plane that saved Buckingham Palace from destruction during the Battle of Britain.

The accurate location allowed contractor Barhale to recover the engine and control panel of the Hurricane during the last weekend of May, an event witnessed by the pilot, Sergeant Ray Holmes, and televised on the UK's Channel Five.

Barhale began digging up the road near Buckingham Palace Road on Saturday morning and was finished by 5am the following Monday. It had to work closely with Thames Water as the engine lay beneath a 450mm diameter water main.

The Hurricane was the only Allied plane to crash in central London during the war. Holmes spotted a German bomber heading straight towards Buckingham Palace. He was out of ammunition and without support, so he decided to ram the bomber using the wing of his Hurricane before bailing out to safety.

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