HA-1112-M1L BUCHÓN G-AWHK
Spanish links to the Messerschmitt Bf 109 date back to the Spanish Civil War, during which the type was flown extensively - and 'blooded' in combat - by the German-manned Legion Condor. Licence production by Hispano Aviación was to follow from 1943, but Germany struggled to provide components, drawings, engines and suchlike. Other powerplants had to be tried, and Hispano started out by producing the HA-1109 and then the HA-1112-K1L with the French-built Hispano-Suiza 12Z engine. Then the Rolls-Royce Merlin became available, and the first HA-1112-M1L Buchón took to the air in March 1954. Use of the Merlin gave the Buchón a significantly different appearance. It served the Spanish Air Force well until the mid-1960s. In 1968, a large number were supplied for filming of 'The Battle of Britain', heralding the Buchón's widespread use as a realistic Bf 109 substitute for movie and TV work, and at airshows. The Aircraft Restoration Company's example, appearing at RIAT 2015, is a 'Battle of Britain' film veteran and appears in the colours it wore at that time. Restored to fly by the Real Aeroplane Company at Breighton, it took to the air again in 2006 and was sold to the ARC that same year.