The Militarised RAF Avro Anson, which was based upon the commercial 652 6-seater, first flew on the 24th of March 1935.
The Anson was the first RAF monoplane that featured retractable undercarriage although it had to be manually operated by a hand crank which required 140 turns by the Pilot.
The first production run of the Anson MK.I saw service with RAF Coastal Command No. 48 Squadron in March 1936 with 174 produced.
By the start of WWII there were 26 RAF squadrons which operated the Avro Anson Mk.I, 10 with Coastal Command and 16 with Bomber Command.
As the War progressed the Anson had become obsolete from these roles and were replaced by the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and the Lockheed Hudson.
Although a few Avron Ansons continued to serve in coastal patrols and air/sea rescue duties, its main role became a trainer to help pilots learn to fly multi-engine bombers such as the Avro Lancaster.
The Avro Anson was also used to train other bomber crew such as Navigators, wireless operators, gunners and bomb aimers.
By the end of its production run in 1952, a total of 11,020 Ansons were manufactured making it the second most numerous British multi-engine aircraft during WWII, after the Wellington.
|Specifications (Mk.I): -|
|Crew:||3 to 4|
|Length:||42ft 3in (12.88m)|
|Wingspan:||56ft 6in (17.22m)|
|Height:||13ft 1in (3.99m)|
|Empty Weight:||5,512lb (2500kg)|
|Max. Weight:||8,500lb (3900kg)|
|Engines (x2):||Arm. Sidd. Cheetah IX|
producing 355 hp each.
|Max. Speed:||188 mph (303 km/h)|
|Range:||790 miles (1300 km)|
|Front Gun:||Browning 0.303"|
|Dorsal Gun:||Browning 0.303"|
|Bomb load:||360lb (163kg)|
6,688 Mk Is were built. Powered by two 350 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX or 395 hp XIX engines.
1,822 Mk IIs were built in Canada; powered by two 330 hp Jacobs L-6MB R-915 engines and fitted with hydraulic landing gear retraction system.
Powered by two 330 hp L-6MB R-915 engines; British-built.
Powered by two Wright Whirlwind engines; British-built.
1,069 Mk Vs were built in Canada for navigator training; powered by two 450 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior R-985 engines.
One aircraft was built in Canada for bombing and gunnery training; powered by two 450 hp Wasp Junior engines.
104 Anson Mk Is were converted into Mk Xs
90 Anson Mk Is were converted into Mk 11s
20 Anson Mk Is were converted into Mk 12s, plus 221 new Mk 12 aircraft were built.
264 were built for the RAF; used as communications and transport aircraft.
Navigation trainer for the RAF, a variant of the Mk XIX to meet Air Ministry Specification T.24/46 for an overseas navigation trainer, one pilot two wireless operators (one trainee and one instructor) and five navigator positions (three trainees and two instructors). Used for bombing and navigation training in Southern Rhodesia, 60 built..
Navigation trainers for the RAF, a variant of the Mk XIX to meet Air Ministry Specification T.25/46 for a home navigation trainer, one pilot two wireless operators (one trainee and one instructor) and five navigator positions (three trainees and two instructors). A prototype was flown in May 1948, 252 built.
Modification of T.21s for communications and transport duties.
Radio trainers for the RAF, a variant of the Mk XIX to meet Air Ministry Specification T.26/46, one pilot and four wireless operator stations (three for trainees and one for an instructor), a prototype was flown in June 1948, 54 built.
Developed from the Avro Nineteen; 12 aircraft were sold to the Royal Afghan Air Force for use as communications, police patrol and aerial survey aircraft.
13 aircraft were built for the Indian government; used for training civil aircrews.
Civil transport version; 56 aircraft were built in two series.
United States military designation for Canadian-built Anson IIs used by the United States Army Air Force, 50 built.
Avro Nineteen Anson, 'G-AHKX' first flew in November 1946 and operated on communications and instrument development until 1959.
It was then used for aerial surveys until 1973 after which it was acquired by Strathallan Museum. In 1981 it was sold for restoration and flew again on the 8th of March 2002.
The Avro Nineteen is a frequent flying exhibit at the Shuttleworth Airshow, Old Warden where it can be seen today.