The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain was a central theme of the UK airshow scene and we have seen a number of memorable set pieces to commemorate the milestone. With aircraft such as the Bristol Blenheim returning to our skies we live in a golden age for early war types that would have flown in the battle.
Something that is often under-represented in the UK is the other side. While we have enjoyed having two Merlin powered Buchons/109s for a number of years now, it has been some time since a “real” 109 has graced the UK airshow season. While the situation may change, the UK has no Daimler-Benz powered BF109. This is a great shame, while I love the Buchons, they are an impressive aeroplane in their own right, they don’t capture the same aggression as the front end of a correctly powered 109 does.
This year we were in luck as it was announced early in the season that EADS’ Re-engined Buchon “Red 7” would be coming over to display at the Biggin Hill Festival of Flight. It was later announced that the aircraft would also be appearing at Flying Legends and the Royal International Air Tatoo.
I was able to see two of these appearances and both were equally memorable. The first appearance at Biggin Hill saw Red 7 took place in one of the most impressive dogfight routines I have ever seen. With both the Messerschmitt and Spitfire turning tight against each other, as opposed to the flowing tail chases we have seen in the past.
Flying Legends saw Red 7 join up with the two Buchons for some formation aerobatics, which probably goes down as one of the most memorable warbird displays I have seen.
Red 7’s short tour gave a great oppourtity for UK warbird fans to see and hear a 109 as it should be and was spectacularly flown at each event.