The Swiss company Boschung Global Ltd. announced on November 13, 2014, that it has taken possession of six rare movie Messerschmitts, which may soon be flying for the first time since 1968. Although the Messerschmitt Me-109 was among the most produced fighter aircraft of all time, only a handful still exist, and a fraction of them are in flyable condition.
This particular half dozen are in fact HA-1112 Buchóns, license-built by Hispano Aviación and used by the Spanish air force until 1965. They were initially powered by Hispano-Suiza engines, which necessitated airframe modifications to accommodate propellers that rotated in the opposite direction from those on the original German Daimler-Benz-powered models. Later they were re-engined with Rolls-Royce Merlin 500s, resulting in an eccentric fighter that was a handful to fly. Nevertheless, these airplanes did yeoman work representing Luftwaffe fighters in the 1969 film The Battle of Britain. Afterward they were presented to stunt pilot Wilson “Connie” Edwards, along with a 1943 Spitfire and other aircraft, in lieu of payment for his work on the movie. Edwards kept them in a hangar in Texas for more than 45 years before agreeing to turn them over to Boschung Global, which specializes in selling and leasing vintage warbirds.
“The deal with former movie stunt pilot Wilson ‘Connie’ Edwards was certainly no ordinary sale!” said Paul Boschung, president of the company. “It took several months and, in many respects, was an incredibly interesting project. The transaction was carried out seamlessly thanks to the assistance of Platinum Fighter Sales, the leading specialists in the trade of warbirds in the U.S.”
Amazingly, after decades in storage the engines sprang back to life following an oil change and a quick checkup. Boschung Global intends to restore all the planes to factory condition in collaboration with the energy drink company B63 Switzerland, which also supports various vintage aviation projects. Two of the Buchóns—an HA-1112-M1L fighter and the world’s only remaining HA-1112-M4L two-seat trainer—have already been sold to the Swiss airshow company 46 Aviation S.A.