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G-AWHK Hispano HA-1112 M1L Buchón c/n 172 - 'Luftwaffe black 2' - Hoogeveen airfield in Holland - 15 July 2016 Hoogeveen airfield (EHHO)

The Hispano HA-1.112-M1L is a single seat fighter aircraft built by Hispano Aviación in Spain. In 1942, Spain approached Germany with a request to produce the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 under license. The request was granted and the designation Me-109J was assigned but Spain received very little assistance from Germany in starting the production. As Germany was incapable of meeting her own needs only twenty-five airframes (minus their tails) and not even half the necessary drawings were delivered. The promised 200 DB 605 engines never arrived. As a result, Hispano substituted the 1,300 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Z-89 engine. The first HA-1109-J1L made its maiden flight 2 March 1945 at Seville, next to the Hispano-Suiza 12Z-89 engine, using a VDM prop. The other twenty-four airframes were flown during 1947-9 with Escher-Wyss props, but never became operational. Over the years the HA-1112 was developed further resulting in the the HA-1.112-M1L Buchón as final variant. The HA-1.112-M1L Buchón, flew first flew 29 March 1954. The aircraft was equipped with the 1,600 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-45 engine and Rotol propeller, both purchased as surplus from the UK. Its armament consisted of two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza 404/408 cannons and two Oerlikon or Pilatus eight-packs of 80 mm rockets. When production ended in 1961, 172 HA-1112-M1L aircraft were built. The aircraft remained in Spanish military service until 27 December 1965. As many HA-1112-M1Ls remained in flying condition until the mid-1960s it made them available for theatrical use, masquerading as German Bf 109Es and Gs in movies like Battle of Britain; Der Stern von Afrika; Memphis Belle; The Tuskegee Airmen and Dunkirk.

On 14 May 1968, the ex SpanishAF Hispano HA-1112 M1L Buchón 'C.4-K102' was registered G-AWHK in the UK with Spitfire Productions Ltd, London, as Me109 c/n 172. This HA-1112 M1L was one of 28 purchased by Spitfire Productions Ltd. from the Ejército del Aire Español - Spanish Air Force for use in the making of the 1968 film “Battle of Britain”. Wing tips were squared off, tail struts added and dummy machine guns fitted to the wings to more visually represent the Messerschmitt BF109E of the Battle of Britain period. In March 1968, filming started at Tablada in Spain. On 14 May 1968, the 17 airworthy HA-1112 M1L aircraft were registered G-AWHC upto G-AWHP and G-AWHR/'S and 'T in the UK. On 21 May 1968, the 17 airworthy aircraft were flown from Spain via Jersey to Duxford, UK. Filming in the UK was carried out at Duxford, Kenley, Northolt and North Weald, all of which were operational RAF stations during the actual Battle of Britain. Upon completion of filming, the Buchóns were put up for disposal. Eleven HA-1112 M1L aircraft, including the G-AWHK, were taken by Texan pilot and aircraft collector Wilson C “Connie” Edwards as payment for flying services during the filming. On 28 November 1968, registration G-AWHK was cancelled as exported to the USA, and the Buchón was shipped to C. Edwards' ranch in Texas where it flew briefly as N9938 before being placed in 1971 on static display with the Confederate Air Force in Detroit. After years as an unfinished restoration project with the Confederate Air Force’s Detroit branch, the plane was sold to the Classic Aviation Ltd / Old Flying Machine Company in England. In May 1996, the aircraft arrived at Duxford, and on 14 June 1996, the aircraft was registered as G-BWUE with Classic Aviation Ltd / Old Flying Machine Company. On 21 May 1998, it was sold on to aviation enthusiast Rob Fleming who had an association with the Real Aircraft Company (RAC) at Breighton. RAC initiated a full rebuild to airworthy condition. On 14 November 2006, the aircraft was registered with Spitfire Ltd., Jersey, and was based once more at Duxford. On 21 November 2009, the G-BWUE was registered with Historic Flying Ltd, Duxford. On 2 October 2014, the Hispano HA-1112 M1L Buchón was re-registered G-AWHK with Historic Flying Ltd, Duxford. The original 1959-built Hispano HA-1112 M1L Buchón G-AWHK was c/n 172 and ex SpanishAF C.4-K102. The present G-AWHK is also given by the CAA as c/n 172. Other sources give c/n 243 for the aircraft, which serial number belongs to the G-AWHT and ex SpanishAF C.4-K169. The G-AWHT was also one of the eleven HA-1112 M1L aircraft that were shipped to the USA. On 15 July 2016, HA-1112 M1L Buchón G-AWHK was seen at Hoogeveen airfield in the Netherlands acting as Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf.109 'Black 2' together with Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I G-CGUK 'R9612/LC' and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia G-AIST 'R9632/LC'. These WWII fighters were used for the World War II action thriller Dunkirk above the former fishing island of Urk in the Netherlands.

page last updated: 20-07-2016
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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