The Hungarian air force was first deployed in April 1941 during the invasion of Yugoslavia. At the time, it had on paper 302 aircraft, but only 189 of them were operational and most were obsolete. After Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union in late June 1941, the air force was deployed to the Eastern Front. In 1942, the 2nd Air Force Brigade was established with 76 aircraft to support operations of the Second Hungarian Army in the Soviet Union. Almost half of its aircraft were gone by early 1943, and those that remained were merged into German squadrons.
In 1943, under terms of an agreement with the German government, Hungary began production of the Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighter to offset production from German factories destroyed by Allied bombing. Hungary also produced the Me-210. The terms of the agreement provided that 40 percent of aircraft production was to remain in Hungary, but this pledge was not kept. Nonetheless, Hungary was able to add some 170 modern aircraft to its inventory by 1944.
The revitalized Hungarian air force suffered devastating air raids by the Allied powers beginning in 1944. Remaining aircraft were then removed to Austria. Ammunition and fuel shortages meant that no Hungarian aircraft participated in the last weeks of the war. Those that remained were either destroyed by their crews or handed over to Allied forces. During the war, Hungary produced 1,182 aircraft and 1,482 aircraft engines. Among the aircraft were 488 Bf-109s and 279 Me-210s. Of these, Hungary received only 158.
Kozlik, Viktor, György Punka, and Gyula Sárhidai. Hungarian Eagles: The Hungarian Air Force, 1920–1945. Aldershot, UK: Hikoui, 2000.; Szabó, Miklós. A Magyar Királyi Honvéd Légiero, 1938–1945 [The Hungarian Royal Air Force, 1938–1945]. Budapest: Zínyi Kiadó, 1999.; Szabó, Miklós. "The Development of the Hungarian Aircraft Industry, 1938–1944." Journal of Military History 65, no. 1 (January 2001): 56–76.