and restored the markings to represent

Messer D-120 as it appeared during operation Yoav. An interesting event happened

when I revisited the IAF museum in April

of the following year. The correctly green-painted Avia had turned to be… Gray! The

lack of UV protective layer had turned the

green into gray and so the mystery of grey

S-199 was concluded. Now it is clear, why

the 1950's vintage document was wrong.

On October 12, 2014 I finally had the opportunity to see the Avia S-199 fuel cap on my

own eyes. IAF museum curator Avi Moshe

Segal presented me the key to his vault

where the original Avia-painted S-199 fuel

cap was kept. With Tambor German RAL,

United States FS595b, British Standard

BS381c/1964 and Humbrol color catalogs

at hand, I compared the color of the S-199

fuel cap in direct and indirect sun light. The

fuel cap's khaki color was a direct match

to RAL 6013, it was slightly darker than

FS595b-14257 and had no equivalent in

BS381c and Humbrol color catalogs. Fortunately for us model builders RAL 6013

is available in the Revell enamel range of

paints as SM362.

The names given to the S-199

in the IAF

The official IAF code name for the Avia

S-199 was Python. IAF pilots who were

WWII war veterans referred to them as the

Messerschmitt and this name was shortened to Messer as stated to me by Ezer

Weizman. Messer has also the dual meaning, amongst European Jews who spoke the Yiddish language, the messer also

means the knife, which is pronounced as

Sakeen in Hebrew. So the name Sakeen is

sometimes used as well for S-199.


White Crow Publications – Avia S-199 in Israeli

Air Force Service 1948 – 1950, by Alex Yofe and

Lawrence Nyveen

Air Enthusiast Magazine Spring 1995 No. 57

Air Enthusiast Magazine Sep/Oct 1995 No. 59

IDF Ministry Publishing, The Messerschmitt –

the First Fighter Plane of the IAF (Hebrew text)

Spitfires Over Israel – by Brian Cull, Shlomo

Aloni and David Nicolle; Grub Street London

IPMS Israel Kne-Mida magazine No. 23,

December 1995

Zlinek model magazine, Avia S-199

Aero Journal issue No. 22, Dec 1 – Jan 2

Biaf Air and Space Magazine issue

no.30, Feb.1979

Wings & Wheels Publications – Avia S-199


Personal interviews with Ezer Weizman

and Lou Lenart

April 7, 2004: With no clear UV coating applied to the newly painted airframe, the D-120 faded to an overall gray color in less than a year...

IAF museum Messer D-121 as of August 10, 2007, painted in RAL 6013 with incorrect tail number D-120 instead of D-121 and clear coated with UV gloss coat to avoid the color degradation.

May 2022

INFO Eduard