Avro Anson

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Avro Anson
Avro Anson Oren Rozen-photo.jpg
Avro Anson in flight photo Oren Rozen
Avro Ansons (L9162 and N4876).jpg
Two Ansons collided in mid flight and landed in paddock
Type Avro Anson
Role Twin engine maritime patrol and trainers
Designer Avro
Manufacturer Avro
Produced 1930s - 1952 UK (8,138); Canada (2,882)
Number built 11,020
Primary users RAF; Fleet Air Arm; RCAF; RAAF
In service 1935
Out of service late 1990s.


Originally intended as a cheap landplane for maritime reconnaissance to supplement the more expensive flying boats. Avro at that tme had a civilian twin engine, six seater aircraft capable of being modified. Evaluated against the de Havilland DH.89M in May 1935, the Avro proved to be superior and an order for 174 aircraft was issued. On 31 Dec 1935 the first production aircraft performed its maiden flight. Along the way a number of changes to its designed had enhanced its performance from its civilian model.

One of the early planes to feature a retractable undercarriage, although it took the pilot 144 turns of a crank handle to lower or raise the undercarriage. With the undercarriage down the plane was 50 Km/h slower. When on reconnaissance duty the crew numbered three - a pilot, a navigator, bomb aimer, and a radio operator/gunner. Later the crew was increased to four with the bomb aimer and Navigator now separate roles. By the outbreak of the war the RAF had 824 Ansons flying in 26 squadrons. Crews destined to crew larger bomber aircraft began by flying Ansons. As numbers of these larger aircraft came on line the role of the Anson was as a training aircraft, and to ferry pilots to and from aircraft collection points.

The RAAF operated a total of 1,028 Ansons, as late as 1955. Post war the aircraft were used as light transports and executive aircraft, with manufacture continuing until 1952. On 29 September 1940, Avro Ansons L9162 and N4876 of No. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAF collided in mid-air and became locked together in flight. A successful emergency landing was made at Brocklesby, New South Wales. L9162 became a ground instructional airframe, whilst N4876 was repaired and returned to service. (see photo above)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Three or four
  • Length: 12.88 m
  • Wingspan: 17.22 m
  • Height: 3.00 m
  • Empty weight: 2,500 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,900 kg
  • Powerplant: 2 x Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah radial engines, 350 hp each
  • Maximum speed: 392 km/hr
  • Range: 1,271 km
  • Service ceiling: 5,791 m
  • Armament
  • Guns: 1 x 7.7mm machine gun in front fuselage, 1 x 7.7mm Vickers machine gun in dorsal turret.
  • Bombs: 163 kg

Air Crew

No. 67 Squadron RAAF

No. 73 Squadron RAAF

No. 4 Service Flying Training School RAAF Geraldton

Ground Crew

No. 14 Squadron RAAF Pearce

No. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAF Wagga Wagga

No. 4 Service Flying Training School RAAF Geraldton

No. 6 Service Flying Training School RAAF Mallala

No. 7 Communication Unit RAAF