I have always thought that the "SchmittFire" of the "MesserSpit" was a "what-if??" from flightsim-designers. But today my British friend here on Lanzarote dropped by with an article from the Daily Express from this Saturday which with a photograph showed that there has at least one real one flown. Unfortunately I cannot scan the photograph, but it shows the "MesserSpit" in Luftwaffe markings with a swastika on its tail and German mechanics all around. So for those who are interested I have typed over the article.
CAPTURED SPITFIRE THAT NAZIS TURNED INTO ACE FIGHTER PLANE….COMPLETE WITH SWASTIKA
By News Reporter:
This Spitfire is one few will have seen before… being readied for take-off by a German crew with Nazi swastika on its tail.
The iconic fighter had fallen into Luftwaffe hands after crash landing in occupied Jersey in 1942.
German military chiefs knew how manoeuvrable the Spitfire was from the Battle of Britain in 1940, but their top fighter, the Messerschmitt 109, was faster.
So they tried to create a super plane by combining the Spitfire with a superior Daimler-Benz 109 engine.
The “Messer-Spit” looked ungainly but was found during testing to perform better tha both the German and British fighters in speed and rate of climb.
However, it was the only one ever made as there were not enough captured Spitfires available.
The experimental plane was eventually destroyed in an Allied bombing raid on the Daimler-Benz factory near Stuttgart in August 1944.
The extraordinary story is told by British aviation historian Nik Coleman for the PBS America TV show Plane Ressurrection, to be shown in March.
Nik said he became aware of the hybrid plane by seeing photos on obscure German military history discussion forums.
He said: “Funnily it worked great, better than either of the original aircraft. They never pursued the project, but used the information to improve their future fighters”.
The captured Spitfire’s RAF pilot was a German-born Frenchman, Lt. Bernard Scheidhauer, who was captured and sent to Stalag Luft III PoW camp.
He got out through a tunnel in the Great Escape, but was recaptured and shot by enraged camp guards.
Over 33.000 Me-109s and 20.000 Spitfires were produced during the war.
The Me-109s were slightly fater, but were not as agile as the Spitfires, as the British plane proved during dogfights which took place in the Battle of Britain.
There is also a photograph of the unfortunate pilot Bernard Scheidhauer and aviation historian Nik Coleman.
Hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I did.
Safe landings, hertzie.