Two-seat Buchón ready to fly

The world’s only two-seat Hispano HA-1112-M4L Buchón, C4K-112/G-AWHC, was awaiting good weather for its maiden flight at Sywell, Northamptonshire at the end of September, following a two-year restoration with Air Leasing. The ex-Spanish Air Force conversion trainer has been repainted in the markings it wore during production of the Battle of Britain film during 1968, when a camera in the rear cockpit was used to film the ‘Messerschmitt’ formation sequences. During a break from filming, Luftwaffe ace Adolf Galland flew the aeroplane, with RAF ace Bob Stanford Tuck in the rear cockpit.

After filming, the Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-powered, licencebuilt Bf 109 went to Wilson ‘Connie’ Edwards along with five other examples of the type as payment for his flying work on the film, and remained stored in a barn at his ranch in Big Spring, Texas until the much sought-after Hispanos were sold off during 2014. The original clear, ‘blown’ M4L-variant sliding canopy has been replaced during the restoration with two framed throw-over canopies, similar to those seen on the wartime Bf 109G-12 two-seaters delivered to the Luftwaffe Jagdgeschwaderschulen (Fighter Training Schools) from early 1944 — see also pages 52-56.

The two-seat Buchón at Sywell in mid-September, displaying the larger fin and rudder used on the M4L variant. It retains the cutdown, Bf 109E-style wingtips fitted before shooting began on the Battle of Britain film in 1968.