Return of infamous German aircraft to region’s museum

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THE name itself was enough to strike fear into many throughout the Battle of Britain during World War Two.

And a replica of a Messerschmitt Bf109G has returned to the Yorkshire Air Museum after a two-year absence following a loan to a company which has taken a mould of the famous aircraft.

The cast will now be used to produce more replicas for future sales by the firm, Gate Guards Ltd based in Newquay, Cornwall, which specialises in supplying aircraft to museums, collectors and film-makers across the globe.

The Messerschmitt replica was painstakingly built by staff and volunteers at the museum at Elvington, near York, and the aircraft has been painted in the striking, aggressive “come and get me” colours of German flying ace, Herman Graf.

His tally of 212 air-to-air victories was formidable, and was mostly achieved during the conflict on the Russian front. After a forced landing near Berlin in 1945, he was captured by the Americans and handed to the Russians, who accepted him for his engineering skills. He was repatriated to Germany in November 1949 and died 39 years later from Parkinson’s Disease.

The Yorkshire Air Museum’s director, Ian Reed, said: “It is an outstanding recreation of the Luftwaffe’s most famous fighter, and has fooled even former German pilots who have visited the museum into believing it was the real thing.”

email paul.jeeves@ypn.co.uk