Former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein was well known for his collection of gold-plated Kalashnikov rifles but it has recently come to light that he also owned a flyable gold-plated Spitfire. The World War II vintage aircraft is a Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX formerly flown by the Royal Egyptian Air Force and gifted to the leader to celebrate the announcement of a 1981 trade agreement. The aircraft was apparently not to the dictator’s tastes and it was fitted with an additional 550 kg of gold, platinum and precious stones. After modification the aircraft was still flyable but reportedly limited to flights below 100 mph.
The aircraft was previously last seen in 1988 but until January 2021 its location has been unknown. During building work in the town of Kalam Farigh in West Iraq, contractors uncovered the buried aircraft carefully wrapped in tarpaulin. After display in a local museum the aircraft has been moved to Baghdad and will be auctioned in May. It is estimated to be worth around $34 million dollars.