MESSERSCHMITT Bf 109G-4 D-FWME
The Airbus Group and the Flugmuseum Messerschmitt at Manching, Bavaria, present their Bf 109G-4 coded 'Red 7' for the second time at the Air Tattoo this year. The aircraft is in fact a former Spanish-built, Merlin-engined Hispano Buchón, probably built in 1950. It served with the Spanish Air Force until 1965 and then flew in the filming of 'The Battle of Britain'. The airframe passed through many owners until its 1997 purchase by the Messerschmitt Aircraft Company (MAC) at Albstadt-Degerfeld, Germany. During their restoration it was converted to Bf 109G-4 standard with the Daimler-Benz DB605A engine typical of the original German fighter. It flew again in August 2004, but was badly damaged in a landing accident the following July. The owners subsequently made contact with European aerospace giant EADS, already the operator of two Bf 109Gs with their Heritage Flight operation, and a sale was agreed. MAC completed 'Red 7's' restoration to flight and it was airborne again on 13 April 2008; two days later, it suffered an undercarriage malfunction and belly landing. Repairs were made and the Bf 109G-4 re-flew in February 2009. 'Red 7' has recently had to be repaired once more after engine problems led to a belly landing during a display at August 2013's Roskilde airshow in Denmark. Very little airframe damage was done. At RIAT 2015, the aircraft will be flown by Airbus Helicopters test pilot Volker Bau.