Egyptian Bestmann treasures arrive in Europe

German enthusiast Ernest Mika has acquired around 20 Bücker 181 Bestmanns originally built under license in Egypt 

Completing this remarkable cache are dozens of preserved Continental engines and a large quantity of spare parts. Several of the aircraft are for sale. Stefan Schmoll reports:

The first containers with valuable cargo arrived in Germany from Egypt in mid-January. After a long preparation, German enthusiast Ernest Mika achieved a real coup: around 20 H.A.W. (Heliopolis Airworks) Bücker 181 Bestmann built under Egyptian license, dozens of preserved Continental engines and a huge spare parts warehouse have found their way onto the European historic aviation scene. Already in 2011 Mika had the last 4 Gomhourias, which were made by the manufacturer Kader Factory from Cairo, including replacement engines (O-300A) and a spare parts warehouse, imported with his company MIKA-Handelsgesellschaft mbH. Unfortunately, Egypt's political upheaval and ultimately the COVID pandemic delayed further plans, but over the last year it finally worked out. With the exception of two examples for museums in Egypt, all of the existing Gomhourias are now coming to Germany and will represent a real boost to the vintage aircraft community.

Photo: Ernest Mika

The machines manufactured by H.A.W. were built with the help of the modern Aerodux glue, so there are no problems with the previously used casein glue. The Continental engines are also much more suitable for everyday use than the Hirth engines, which were used in the German and Swedish Bücker Bestmann at the time. The huge pool of spare parts alone makes the necessary refurbishment of the Gomhorias much easier for future owners.

Ernest Mika was born with a passion for Bückers. His father had purchased one of the then imported Gomhourias more than three decades ago and flew it for a while. At that time, a lifelong friendship developed with some Egyptian technicians and pilots, which made the import that has now taken place possible. The first machines have already found new fans through word of mouth. Among other owners, two Gomhourias already went to the Bücker Museum in Switzerland and another two to members of the Fliegerstadl club in Bavaria. Some of the yellow birds are still for sale. If you are interested, you can contact Ernest Mika directly at

Photo: Ernest Mika

With thanks to Stefan Schmoll