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Messerschmitt Makes Air Tattoo Return

Published: 18 Jun 2015


The latest to join the Air Tattoo's Battle of Britain 75th anniversary commemoration is a representative of the Luftwaffe in 1940 - the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 from the Airbus Group and the Flugmuseum Messerschmitt at Manching in Bavaria.

The aircraft is currently the sole airworthy Bf 109 in Europe fitted with the Daimler-Benz DB605 engine synonymous with the type. It is in fact a converted Hispano Buchón, the Spanish-built, Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered variant. As such, this example flew during the filming in 1968 of the legendary movie The Battle of Britain.

Originally restored to fly as a Bf 109G-4 by the Messerschmitt Aircraft Company in Albstadt-Degerfeld, the aircraft took to the air again during 2004, coded 'Red 7'. After a landing accident the following year, a sale was agreed to European aerospace giant EADS, for its Heritage Flight operation. This is now part of the Airbus Group. The repaired 'Red 7' flew again in 2008 and has since been operated as part of the Flugmuseum Messerschmitt, which has in its collection an outstanding fleet of Messerschmitt designs. The museum at Manching is operated by the Airbus Group.

'Red 7' is this year conducting a short UK tour, which will conclude at the Air Tattoo. The aircraft's last visit to these shores was for RIAT five years ago. At the 2015 show it will be flown by Airbus Helicopters test pilot Volker Bau.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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