Juli 2021

Beitrag zur Website „Modell des Monats“ im Luftfahrtmuseum Hannover-Laatzen

 

Half-breed in timeout: the HA-1112

HA1112 1 

 

From original to model

An independent part of the collections of the Aviation Museum Hannover-Laatzen are the approximately 1,000 scale models, primarily of the international standards 1/72 and 1/48.

Such true-to-the-original miniatures enable viewers of technology history to gain an overview of the development in aircraft construction. Sometimes this individual exhibit is the only possibility of a three-dimensional display if there is no longer a preserved original. The arrangement and juxtaposition of the models sometimes even close gaps in the presentation of the originals. Their craftsmanship alone is a pleasure to behold.

Today we present as "Model of the Month" in 1/72 scale the HA-1112. In display case 88 in Hangar 2 of the museum, this type in the colors of the Spanish Air Force sits among the other aircraft types built and flown worldwide, all of which have one thing in common: at least one German "parent". And in this case, one may even speak, with all due respect, of a charming love triangle. Are you curious now?

 

The Model: HA-1112 M1L (Modellbaustudio Rhein-Ruhr, 1/72)

Dedicated, with attention to detail and solidly made in its time: this is the small series kit of the Hispano Aviación HA-1112 "Buchón", distributed in the late nineties by Modellbaustudio Rhein-Ruhr in Essen. You probably need some experience and skill for the best result, but the kit is well worth the effort. The two-piece folding box shows two possible versions of the kit, the serious model builder  has the choice.

HA1112 1 

The Model: HA-1112 M1L (Modellbaustudio Rhein-Ruhr, 1/72)

Dedicated, with attention to detail and solidly made in its time: this is the small series kit of the Hispano Aviación HA-1112 "Buchón", distributed in the late nineties by Modellbaustudio Rhein-Ruhr in Essen. You probably need some experience and skill for the best result, but the kit is well worth the effort. The two-piece folding box shows two possible versions of the kit, the serious model builder  has the choice.

The original:                                    HA-1112 Buchón               

In 1943, after the turning point of WW2  the Axis powers have already forfeited their greatest expansion of power and are on their way to defeat.

Spain daringly balances between political alignment with Germany and Italy on the one hand and carefully preserved neutrality on the other. The Franco regime, however, only receives armaments from the Axis powers. And so the choice for a new fighter to replace the now obsolete types from the Civil War falls on the German standard fighter Messerschmitt Me Bf 109 in its latest G series.

But Germany now needs every screw and bolt for her own production. Twenty-five aircraft of the 109 G-2, partially assembled, without armor and without the centerpiece, the Daimler-Benz DB 605A engine, is all Spain will receive in 1943. Even the blueprints and production plans for these aircraft, which were intended as samples for planned licensed production by Hispano Aviación, are incomplete. And with nothing more to come, Spain is left with half an aircraft....

The first attempt to get out of this dilemma looks quite passable: the airframe is combined with the 12-cylinder Hispano-Suiza inline engine - which fits into the engine mount, but delivers significantly less power. Thus, the visually appealing "HA-1109 K1L" cannot convince technically. After all, 65 units are produced, equipping the Spanish Air Force with a fighter and low-altitude attack aircraft that was modern at the time and manufactured in the country. In the armament, 12.7mm Breda machine guns in and 80mm rockets on 2x4 rails under the wings replace the German combination of machine guns and cannon.

Timeout

Then, in the spring of 1945, the world war in Europe comes to an end with the total defeat of Germany - and Spain does well to keep a low profile, also and especially militarily. The replacement for the 109, now called the HA-1112 K1L, is postponed: fighter aircraft in standby. As a result, and after evaluating the leading German technology, the victorious powers all around re-equip to jet aircraft, Spain sees its chance in the "2nd league": the powerful Rolls Royce Merlin in-line aircraft engine can now be acquired from Great Britain and, in combination with the German-Spanish airframes, could bridge the years until the introduction of jets.

Half-breed

But business is a bit slow and this technical marriage requires considerable adjustments to the airframe: The Merlin is more voluminous and, with its upright cylinders, has a different design than the Daimler-Benz. The entire nose of the aircraft has to be redesigned, center of gravity and balance change. In addition, this engine does not allow for nose armament; two 20mm MKs of domestic production are integrated into the 109 wing, which in the G version was aerodynamically optimized and not intended for weapon installation. The chin cooler gives this new HA-1112 M1L named half-breed its nickname: Buchón, a type of pigeon with a pronounced crop. Meanwhile, the year is 1954, and while the technologically leading nations are flying in the second, even third, generation of jets and approaching the sound barrier, Spain is testing an aircraft made of two components that are more than ten years old. With a piston engine and a four-blade propeller it can fly at 660 km/h, which is about half the speed of its international competitors. But it flies, it can be built in the country and is economical to operate. 172 of them are delivered to the Spanish Air Force in 1955 and entere service there in 1956 as the C-4. 

History

This "cousin" of the Messerschmitt 109 is thus the world's last batch of the most widely produced and, in terms of aerial victories, most successful piston engine fighter, with just under 34,000 units. When the last Spanish examples were decommissioned at the end of 1965 after ground combat missions against the independence movement in the Spanish Sahara, the "retirees" went to the movies: Since airworthy original 109s are exceedingly rare, a few half-rebuilt HA-1112s doubled them, for example in the cinematic epic "Battle of Britain" - but still powered by the Merlin engine that once propelled the British opponents of the German fighters: Hurricanes and Spitfires.

Could we arouse your curiousity? Then we would be pleased if you visit us in the Ulmer Straße opposite the Hanover fairground, as soon as the museum is allowed to open its doors again: please check these pages.!

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HA1112 1

Captions:

 1: The last batch of the "109": the Spanish HA-1112, here in 1/72 scale from Classic Planes.

2: Spitfire in front, Messerschmitt all around. Wedding in Spain....

3: Framed by vortex generators, the 20mm MK protrude far from the surfaces in front.

4: In 1965, the HA-1112 marks the end of almost 30 years of service for all versions of the Me Bf 109. In the picture, from left, a Romanian E-3, a Luftwaffe G-2 and our Spanish "Buchón