The wonderful Hispano Buchon has been a near constant presence at UK airshows for many years now, destined to forever play the Messerschmitt 109 in Battle of Britain set pieces up and down the country. The Buchon is of course a wonderful warbird in it’s own right and it always makes a refreshing change to get the chance to enjoy beautifully flown solo aerobatics by the Spanish built machine.
Pre-covid we were able to enjoy the perviously unthought of sight of five Hispano Buchons in the air together, thanks to Air Leasing’s extraordinary efforts to bring four the ex Connie Edwards machines back in to flying condition. Over the past 18 months two of those five machines have now moved to Europe and at the start of the 2021 season, the remaining two (White 9 and the two seat Red 11) had not flown for almost two years. This left the Aircraft Restoration Company’s example, Yellow 10 as the sole Buchon on the circuit to start of the season.
Not only has the Buhcon got an illustrious acting career at airshows, but of course the type is most famous for playing its German ancestor on screen as well. Early 2021 once again saw the Buchon play a starring role. In filming at both White Waltham and Bentwaters four Buchons (Yellow 10, flying with White 9, Red 11 and G-HISP (another as yet unfinished Sywell project) being moved by road) join a pair of ME108s take on temporary North African markings (two different schemes for each airframe) as part of a filming project.
The latter scheme, featuring that classic mottled Luftwaffe camouflage was particularly striking. While the Sywell based examples were transported back to base by road and subsequently returned to their original paint, the Duxford based example retained it’s final filming scheme, noting the popularity around the community over the airframe’s new look.
Originally this was only going to be for the first few shows of the season but the Buchon flew most of it’s 2021 appearances in the scheme. None more impressive than the opening performance. The Shuttleworth Collection once again kicked off the airshow season continuing their pioneering drive in format from 2020. The Buchon was a late but welcome addition to the flying programme with it’s new look having been well documented. A greater surprise was the sight of the aircraft joining the circuit and landing on at Old Warden (a first for a Buchon, to my knowledge) whilst waiting in the queue.
This gave a great chance to enjoy the Buchon’s new look up close on the ground and experience the thrill of a Buhcon take off.
The show closing routine that followed was everything we have come to expect from the combination of Yellow 10 and John Romain. A wonderful extended aerobatic sequence followed with flowing vertical low level aerobatics seamlessly interwoven with wonderful top side passes and that classic Buchon profile and sound ringing around the wonderful surroundings of Old Warden. What a joy it was to simply enjoy the aeoplane for the wonderful design it is, rather than having it be, once again shot down!