Hispano HA-1112-M4L (Buchon)
Operator: Air Leasing Ltd
Year of Manufacture: 1954
Powered by: Rolls Royce Merlin 500-45
Colour Scheme: Luftwaffe ‘Red 11’ JG.26, Lille 1940 (Battle of Britain movie)
The Hispano HA-1112-M4L "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.
G-AWHC is the sole surviving two seat variant built by Hispano Aviacion in Saville in 1954. 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 movie “The Battle of Britain”. Luftwaffe Ace Adolf Galland flew G-AWHC during the movie. The aircraft was moved to Texas after filming and lay in storage there until being moved by Air Leasing LTD to the UK for restoration.
First image credit: Air Leasing Ltd
Second image credit: Harry Measures