We’ve had the Peugeot 108 for 1/08 so now we go flying, with the Me 108 (or Bf 108).

The 108 (by whichever name you prefer) first flew in 1934 and was originally designed as a civilian plane for entry in the International Touring Challenge. It had an inverted V8 with 240 or 270 hp and was noted for low fuel consumption and good handling. Subsequently it was adopted for military use by the Luftwaffe and other forces in the personnel transport role. Not many personnel obviously as it only had four seats. During WW2 production was transferred to France and continued afterwards as the Nord 100 Pingouin. A revised model, the 208, was also built in France as the Noralpha.

After WW2 several air forces on the winning side used captured 108s, the RAF renaming theirs as the Aldon. Some are still flying and they’ve occasionally been used as stand-ins for the Me 109 (or Bf 108 as preferred)

The 108 wasn’t officially given a name but a German pilot, Elly Beinhorn, called hers the Taifun and the name stuck. More recently Germany protested at plans to name the Eurofighter Typhoon the, er, Typhoon, after the British WW2 plane of that name until the existence of the Taifun was pointed out to them.

images by Joe Rimensberger and Paul Johnson

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