Hispano Aviación HA-1112
|Hispano HA.1112 K-1L Buchon|
|First flight||29 March 1954|
|Retired||27 December 1965|
|Primary user||Spanish Air Force|
|Developed from||Messerschmitt Bf 109|
Design and development
The Spanish government in 1942 arranged a manufacturing licence with Messerschmitt AG to build the Bf 109G-2, with DB605A engines, propellers, instruments, and weapons to be supplied from Germany. This proved impossible, as Germany was incapable of meeting her own needs, let alone Spain's; in the event, only twenty-five airframes (minus their tails) and not even half the necessary drawings were delivered.
As a result, Hispano substituted the 1,300 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Z-89 engine, which flew at Barcelona in 1944, while the first HA-1109-J1L made its maiden flight 2 March 1945 at Seville, using a VDM prop and lash-up engine mounting. The other twenty-four airframes were flown during 1947-9 with Escher-Wyss props, but never became operational.
A developed version, with an improved installation for the Hispano-Suiza 12Z-17 engine, appeared in May 1951 as the HA-1112-K1L. Fitted with a three bladed DH Hydromatic propeller, it was nicknamed Tripala ("three blades"). Its armament consisted of one or two 12.7mm Breda machineguns and Pilatus eight-packs of 80mm rockets.
It first flew in 1951, and although 200 units were planned, only 65 were ever built. The Hispano engine was an upright V12 in contrast to the inverted V12 Daimler-Benz DB 601 & 605 engines used in the Bf 109. Being however of compact design, it fitted the airframe of the Bf 109 well, representing it in the German 1957 film Der Stern von Afrika (The Star of Africa) about Luftwaffe ace Hans-Joachim Marseille. In the original design, an asymmetric vertical fin with an airfoiled profile had been introduced starting with the Bf 109F to produce a slight left movement of the tail, which counteracted the left-side torque reaction from the Daimler-Benz engine's counterclockwise rotation. Since this was left unchanged in the Buchón, and the Hispano V12 powered a clockwise-turning propeller instead, the combination of the airfoiled fin and the clockwise-turning propeller created a hard-to-counteract right swing on takeoff, since the fin and the propeller essentially worked in the same direction.
A second version, the HA-1110-K1L, was a two-place tandem trainer model.
The final variant was the HA-1112-M1L Buchón (Pouter), which is a male dove in Spanish. It first flew 29 March 1954. The 1112-M1L was equipped with the 1,600 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-45 engine and Rotol propeller, both purchased as surplus from the UK. This engine had a chin intake, that altered the lines of the Bf 109's airframe visually. As such, this plane was an improvised assembly of outdated components for the specific purpose of controlling Spanish colonial territories in Africa where a higher level of technology was unnecessary, and moreover not available in isolated Spain at the time. Its armament consisted of two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza 404/408 cannons and two Oerlikon or Pilatus eight-packs of 80 mm rockets. It remained in service until 27 December 1965.
HA-1112-M1Ls remained in flying condition until the mid-1960s. This made them available for theatrical use, masquerading as Bf 109Es and Gs in movies like Battle of Britain, Der Stern von Afrika, Memphis Belle, and The Tuskegee Airmen. Remarkably, Buchons also played the Bf 109's opposition, the Hawker Hurricane, in one scene in Battle of Britain.
The HA-1112 have also flown in the film Battle of Britain alongside the CASA 2.111 bombers which were a Spanish-built version of the Heinkel He 111 German bomber. They had the same engines, the Rolls Royce Merlin 500.
- 1945 - the initial 25 Bf109 G-2 aircraft, from German production, with Hispano-Suiza 12Z-89 engines fitted, in lieu of Daimler-Benz DB 605A's, using VDM or Escher-Wyss propellers. Not used operationally. 25 built.
- 1951 - first production of HA-1112-K1L. Fitted with a Hispano-Suiza 12Z-17 engine and a de Havilland Hydromatic propeller in an improved installation, this version appeared in May 1951 armed with two Hispano HS-404 20mm cannon and 80mm rockets. 25 conversions from a HA-1109-J1L.
- prototype of HA-1112-M1L. A single aircraft modified with a Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-45 engine. One conversion from a HA-1112-K1L.
- Hispano powered two-seat trainer version. Used operationally. One built.
- RR Merlin powered two-seat trainer version. Project only.
- Hispano powered two-seat trainer version with wingtip mounted fuel tanks. Project only.
- HA-1112-K1L "Tripala"
- 1951 - used operationally. 65 built (25 conversions from a HA-1109-K1L).
- HA-1112-M1L "Buchon"
- 1954 - the final variant fitted with a RR Merlin engine and armed with two Hispano HS-404 20mm cannon and 80mm rockets. Used operationally. 172 built.
- Merlin engined two-seat trainer. Used operationally. One built and one conversion from a HA-1110-K1L.
Aircraft on display
- Canada Aviation and Space Museum - Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchón
- Museo del Aire - Hispano Aviación HA-1112-M1L Buchon
- Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum - Hispano Aviación HA-1112 Buchón
- Crew: one
- Length: 8.49 m (27 ft 10 in)
- Wingspan: 9.92 m (32 ft 7 in)
- Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 6 in)
- Wing area: 16 m2 (170 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 2,475 kg (5,456 lb) :::HA-1112-M1L 2,666 kg (5,878 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 3,200 kg (7,055 lb) :::HA-1112-M1L 3,330 kg (7,341 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 12Z-17 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 970 kW (1,300 hp) :::HA-1112-M1L 1 x 1,193 kW (1,600 hp) Rolls-Royce Merlin 500/45 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine
- Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton-Standard constant speed propeller
- HA-1112-M1L 4-bladed Rotol propeller
- Maximum speed: 600 km/h (373 mph; 324 kn) :::HA-1112-M1L 665 km/h (413 mph)
- Cruising speed: 400 km/h (249 mph; 216 kn)
- Range: 690 km (429 mi; 373 nmi) :::HA-1112-M1L 765 km (475 mi)
- Service ceiling: 9,800 m (32,152 ft) :::HA-1112-M1L 10,200 m (33,465 ft)
- Rate of climb: 28.33 m/s (5,577 ft/min) 
- Wing loading: 200 kg/m2 (41 lb/sq ft) :::HA-1112-M1L 206 kg/m² (42.2 lb/ft²)
- Guns: 2x 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404/408 cannon
- Rockets: two racks of 8 x 80 mm Oerlikon rockets
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hispano HA-1112.|
- Related development
- Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (London: Phoebus, 1978), Volume 11, p.1193, "HA-1109/1112".
- Fitzsimons, p.1193, "HA-1109/1112".
- Fitzsimons, p.1194, "HA-1109/1112".
- Canada Aviation and Space Museum (n.d.). "Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchón". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- James F. Craig, "The Messerschmitt Bf.109", Arco Pub., 1968, pg. 54
- Original pictures and data of this article were taken from Museo del Aire, Cuatro Vientos, Madrid, Spain
- Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (London: Phoebus, 1978), Volume 11, p. 1193-4, "HA-1109/1112".
Monográficos Aéreos: H.A. 1112-M1L "Buchón" - Pedro Miguel Paniagua Magán - ISBN 978-84-921179-0-1