Hispano HA-1509 Aguila
At the end of the second world war a number of leading engineers from the Messerschmitt company fled to Spain where they were warmly welcomed by the Spanish Air Force. The brougth with them a large number of design drawings of late war Messerschmitt aircraft and projects and, even more importantly more than 200 Daimler Benz DB603N enigines which had been produced by the Daimler Benz factory in March and April 1945.
The Spanish Air Force was desperate to aquire more modern aircraft to replace the ageing Me-109E's which were leftovers from the civil war. The had started the license production of the Me-109G but lacked suitable engines. Trials were under way to power these with Hispano engines or even Rolls Royce Merlins.
After the arrival in Spain of the DB603, the first thought was to use these engines in the Me-109s. However the Messerschmitt staff managed to convince the Spaniards to let them develop a brand new fighter to equip teh Spanish Air Force. This new aircraft was based on the preliminary designs of the Messerschmitt Me-509 heavy fighter and was designated HA-1509.
It was suggested that a jet fighter should be developed but the lack of engines stopped that initiative.
Detailed design commenced in September 1945 and the first prototype was rolled out in May 1946. The first flight was made on the 2nd of June 1946 and proved to handle quite well. Performance was a little below expectations but still good with a top speed of 795 km/h attained by the unarmed prototype. The only problem encountered was the tendency of the engine to overheat.
The second prototype made it first flight in August 1946. This had a larger radiator to provide better cooling for the engine and was armed with 4 canon in the wing. As a result of the bigger radiator and the weight of the canon the top speed dropped to 750 km/h.
Meanwhile however a number of former Daimler Benz enployees had also arrived in Spain and they managed to improve the performance of the DB603N to an output of 2400hp. This improved engine was fitted to the second HA-1509 prototype and the top speed was raised to 810km/h (506mph).
The Spanish Air Force ordered 120 HA-1509 fighters which were delivered between January 1947 and March 1948. The fighter was called Aguila (Eagle) in service.
The HA-1509 stayed in active service until 1954 when it was replaced by the HA-1000 jet fighter that was developed by the same team as the HA-1509.
This is the Trumpeter 1/48 model of the Me-509 with decals from the spares box.