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The HA1112-M1L model is the Spanish version of the German fighter Bf-109G. The only difference between the two models is the Spanish version has a Rolls Royce Merlin engine instead of the unavailable Daimler-Benz 605A engine used in the German Models.

The Messerschmitt Bf-109 first appeared in 1935 and became one of the best fighters in the world. At a time when biplane fighters were still predominant, it gave Germany a significant lead in military aviation. The Bf designation stands for “Baverischeflugzuegwerke” or “Bavarian Aircraft Factory”, which was the factory name before designer Willie Messerschmitt got involved and renamed the company.

The Messerschmitt became the standard Luftwaffe single seat fighter for nearly a decade and its active service career in other countries spanned nearly a quarter of a century. The Bf-109 was improved and strengthened throughout its career and more than 35,000 were built. These 35,000 airplanes accounted for more victories than any other aircraft in aviation history.

Spain operated the Bf-109 longer than any other country. In March of 1937, the Spanish Nationalist Air Force received the delivery of their first Bf-109. From 1937 to 1945 Spain accumulated about 100 Bf-109s of various types.

With only 92 hours of flying time, the HA1112-M1L saw most of its “combat” in the 1970 film, The Battle of Britain. The Messerschmitt was one of 27 Bf-109s purchased to play a force of World War II warbirds that recreated the fierce air battles of 30 years before.

Prior to the movie, the Spanish Air Force had owned and operated the Messerschmitt, though with only 92 total accumulated hours, it was the lowest time Bf-109 still in existence. After the movie, Wilson Edwards acquired the Messerschmitt. At the time of donation, the Bf-109 was in pieces in a crate. In a combined effort, Wilson and the museum staff restored the airplane and painted it in German markings for display. Edwards donated the Messerschmitt to the EAA Museum in 1979.

Messerschmitt/Hispano Buchon HA1112 Table of Contents

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