The Aircraft

Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon
C.4K-152 / 220 / ‘White 5’

  • Aircraft Type: Hispano HA-112 MIL (Buchon)
  • Operator: Air Leasing Ltd
  • Year of Manufacture: 1959
  • Powered by: Rolls-Royce Merlin 500 rated at 1,400 hp
  • Colour Scheme: Luftwaffe ‘Yellow 10’ (Battle of Britain movie)

The Buchon is essentially a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine Messerschmitt Bf109. The Luftwaffe-manned Condor Legion upon its return to Germany in 1939, left around 40 Bf109B/E’s for the Spanish Air Force to use. In 1943 the Spanish government agreed to licence production with Messerschmitt to produce 200 Bf109G’s. As the war worsened, Germany was unable to supply the remaining components for the airframes. Improving relations between the Spanish government and the West from 1952, saw the powerful Rolls Royce Merlin engine sourced from Britain fitted to the airframe. The combination of ex-German airframe and British power plant was successful and the first prototype flew in 1954. This particular aircraft was built by Hispano Aviacion in Saville in 1959. This aircraft was one of 27 purchased at auction from the Spanish Air Force by Spitfire Productions for use in the making of the 1968 film ‘Battle of Britain’. After filming this aircraft was acquired by Wilson C Edwards and shipped to the U.S.A. Edwards acquired these aircraft as payment for his flying services filming ‘Battle of Britain’, and stored the majority disassembled in a hangar on his ranch in Big Spring, Texas, USA.

She was acquired by the Air Leasing Ltd and arrived back in the U.K in 1996.

This particular airframe is the last ‘Bf 109’ which Luftwaffe ace Adolf Galland flew, while he was serving as an adviser on the movie ‘Battle of Britain’.

G-AWHR ‘White 5’ made her first post-restoration flight from Sywell Aerodrome Northampton on July 1st, 2019. 

Images: John Dibbs