Meier Motors has another successful restoration under their belt with the first flight of Jerry Yagen’s ‘Messerschmitt Bf-109G-4’ on August 11th. Veteran warbird pilot and current RAF instructor, Flt.Lt. Charlie Brown was the lucky man at the controls. With over a thousand hours in Spitfires and hugely experienced in the Me-109, Charlie Brown was the perfect choice for taking the Gustav on her first flight. While technically not a Messerschmitt, the restoration is based upon the airframe of a Spanish-built variant; Hispano Buchon C.4K-64. Yagen obtained the fighter in a trade with the National Museum of the US Air Force about a decade ago, and has slowly had the aircraft rebuilt to a similar configuration as a Bf-109G-4, complete with a Daimler-Benz DB 605 powerplant. With the successful first flight, and presumably after a suitable running in period to gain her airworthiness certificate, the diminutive fighter will be coming to the USA to join Yagen’s collection at the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, Virginia. As Jerry Yagen told WarbirdsNews, “This is going to be wonderful addition to our Cottbus hangar and one of our more exciting airplanes to fly throughout North America.”
One can imagine the marvelous sight we will be treated to next year at the Warbirds Over the Beach air show with the Bf-109 flying alongside the museum’s FW-190A-8/N off the famous grass field in Pungo.
Yagen has ongoing restoration projects around the world, and at least one further fighter under restoration at Meier Motors; his ultra-rare Fiat G.55/59 perhaps being the most eagerly anticipated. The aircraft is actually based upon a post-war Fiat G.59B (MM53778), which was a two-seat trainer variant of the G.55 that used a Rolls-Royce Merlin in place of the Daimler Benz DB605. Restoration technicians have already fully disassembled the wings, and have rebuilt the spars with the ribs going back on at a fast pace. The fuselage is also receiving attention, with the de-skinning process having started in recent weeks. When the G.55 flies again in a couple of years time, the fighter will likely be the only WWII-era Italian combat aircraft in the air, and bring an extinct breed back to the skies again too.