Extract from George Doughty Archives.
Click on image below to expand. However, for ease of reading, the text is re-created below.
George’s Story: AVRO ANSON (developed from an early 1930s Avro passenger plane)
Various makes of Ansons were dispatched after inspection and modification by the MU. They were regarded affectionately by the aircrew who flew them and used at Silloth by the OTUs for training and reconnaissance. It was recorded that a sighting had been made of a German U Boat of the West Cumbria Coast and an Anson was despatched from Silloth to see if they could spot it. No sighting was made.
Later on, we had a batch of communication Ansons, with seating arrangements for about eight passengers. Some of the clerical types wanted a flip and arranged themselves a trip on a test flight. During the trip, the aircraft hit an ‘air pocket’ over the Solway and hit the water, bounced back in the air with severely cropped propeller blades. Frank Shuttle worth who was up front with the pilot said the pilot quite calmly said “I’ll get you back” and proceeded to keep low and came in over the railway bridge, over the allotments and put down on the runway. Nobody suffered a scratch. They all had a lot to thank the pilot and “old Annie” for….
History of the Avro Anson
Avro Lancaster was a British aircraft manufacturer founded on 1st January 1910 by Alliott Verdon Roe. Based at the Brownsfield Mill on Great Ancoats Street in Manchester, the company remained in Lancashire with development and manufacturing sites Alexandra Park, Chadderton, Woodford and Trafford Park.
The Avro Anson Mk1 is a twin engine, multi role aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and numerous other air forces, before, during and after the second World War. Initially designed in 1933 as a civil passenger aircraft (Avro 652), the militarised Anson 652A entered the RAF service as a Coastal Reconnaissance aircraft in 1935, The vast majority of Ansons, served as training aircraft in the UK as well as Canada.
In 1935 Avro became a subsidiary of the Hawker Siddley Aircraft Group and when in 1963, the company was absorbed into Hawker Siddley Aviation, the Avro name was discontinued.
However, in their time, Avro were responsible for many famous aircraft, the WW1 Avro 504, the Manchester, Lancaster and Lincoln heavy bombers, followed post war by the Shackleton, York and Vulcan – Avro’s first military jet.
Production Ansons were first issued to No 48 Squadron, which put the RAF’s first low-wing, retractable landing gear monoplane into service on 6 March 1936. Armament included two 45kg and eight 9kg bombs, a forward-firing Vickers gun and a Lewis gun in a turret amidships. Operational with Coastal Command between 1936 and 1939 and for air-sea rescue until 1942, the majority were delivered as turretless trainers for the Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada, Australia and South Africa.
The MK1 was the most prolific version. Powered by two Armstrong Siddeley IX engines, it carried two machine guns – one in the nose and the other in the dorsal turret.
The Anson could be equipped with two 100lb bombs under the wing centre section and eight 20lb bombs under the wings. Note: There is currently only one airworthy example in New Zealand and a static example can be seen at Duxford.
The Anson 10, introduced in 1943, had strengthened floors for continental freight runs by Air Transport Auxiliary.
After the war surplus Ansons were sold to civil charter firms and the air forces of Belgium, Holland, Iran, Israel, Norway, Portugal and Saudi Arabia. Increased headroom, introduced in 1944, created the Anson 11 or 12 according to engine. The latter, furnished as a feeder-liner eight-seater, became the Avro 19 Series 1 or Series 2 (tapered metal wing) for the RAF, BEA and civil operators in the UK and abroad. Final variants of 1948-49 were Anson 18 trainers for Afghanistan and India; Anson T.20 (perspex nose) for navigation training in Southern Rhodesia; T.21 (metal nose) for the RAF in the UK; and T.22 radio trainer.
Click on images below to expand.
Above Video Copyright: Historical Aviation Film Unit. Published 9 Jan 2013.
“Bill and Robyn Reid’s immaculate 1934 Mark 1 Avro Anson taxis, takes off and lands at Omaka Aerodrome in Blenheim, New Zealand.