‘Emil’ ready for take off

At the airfield of Bonn-Hangelar (Germany) a Messerschmitt Bf-109E-4 ’12 Red’ is almost ready for its first flight. The fighter (WerkNr. 1983) is registered as D-FEML, which, of course, refers to it being an E-version or ‘Emil’.

The wreckage of the plane was salvaged from Titowka, near Murmansk (Russia) in 1993. It had crashed there during combat on 24 January 1942, while flying for 5/JG5.

Automobile collector/seller Eberhard Thiesen from Hamburg acquired the wreck in 1995 and sent it to the UK for restoration to airworthy condition.

The project received the British identity G-EMIL in December 2003 registered to Glenn R. Lacey/ RLM Aviation, Fairoaks.

The plane was struck-off the British registry in January 2007 and shipped to Manching, Germany. That summer, taxi trials were performed there by Klaus Plasa until serious engine problems arose in the plane’s DB601. In November of that same year the Bf-109 was registered in Germany as D-FEML.

According to local spotters at Bonn-Hangelar, D-FEML was flown once since then, which happened more than one year ago. In the past week careful taxi trials were undertaken, which could be an indication that ‘Emil’ is ready for takeoff again.

WerkNr. 1983 is also referred to as a Bf-109E7, which is also correct: the plane was built as an E4, but was later modified as an E7 with a.o. an additional fueltank. During its restoration D-FEML was brought back to E4 configuration.

Photo by Udo Schumpe 

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