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Great Britain's Avro Anson trainer

Photos

  • Avro Anson
  • Avro Anson
  • Avro Anson Mk I
  • Avro Anson Mk I
  • Avro Anson Mk I
  • Avro Anson Mk XI
  • Avro Anson Mk XII
  • Avro Anson
  • Avro Anson
  • Avro Anson
  • Avro Anson
  • Avro Anson
  • Avro Anson

Design

The Avro Anson was to meet a RAF Coastal Command requirement for a reconnaissance aircraft. It was based on the Avro 652 airliner.

The Anson's skeleton was made from metal and the skin from wood and fabric.

In January 1936 the rudder area was increased due to some unstability.

The pilot had the only controls. The navigator / bombardier sat behind him with a plotting table and instrument panel. The radio operator / gunner sat at the rear of the cabin.

The bombardier used a Wimperis Mk VIIB bombsight. He would go through a panel in the floor and move forward to the front of the plane.

The turret in the top of the cabin was a manually operated Armstrong Whitworth turret. It had a 7.7 mm Lewis Mk 3A MG. It had five drums of ammunition. When not being used the barrel was lowered into a slot in the fuselage.

In 1944 a version had radar installed and the Royal Navy used them for training.

Undercarriage

The undercarriage of the Avro Anson was the first RAF plane to have retractable landing gear.

The rear wheel was fixed and the main wheels required 164 1/2 turns of a handle to raise them. Later models had hydraulically operated gear.

Prototype

It first flew on March 24, 1935 and entered service in 1936.

Production

Production models had a 25% increase in the tail plane span and a reduction in the elevator area over the prototypes.

3,000 of them had Wright, Jacobs, or Pratt and Whitney engines installed when they were manufactured in Canada.
2,882 were constructed in Canada.

Production continued until 1952 and remained in RAF service until 1968.

  • Type 652: 4
  • Anson Mk I: 6,742
  • Anson Mk II: 1,832
  • Anson Mk III / Anson Mk IV: 223
  • Anson Mk V: 1,050
  • Anson Mk VI: 1
  • Anson Mk X: 103
  • Anson Mk XI: 91
  • Anson Mk XII: 254
  • Anson Mk 18: 25
  • Anson Mk 19: 325
  • Anson Mk 20: 60
  • Anson Mk 21: 252
  • Anson Mk 22: 34
  • Total: 10,996, 11,000, 11,020
  • Manufacturer: A. V. Roe and Co. Ltd, Federal Aircraft Ltd.

Variants

  • Anson Mk I:
  • Anson Mk II: Produced by Federal Aircraft Ltd in Canada. First flew in August 1941. Supplied to United States as AT-20. Nose was molded plastic and plywood.
  • Anson Mk III: Airframe built in Great Britain and converted to taken new engines by de Havilland Aircraft of Canada.
  • Anson Mk IV: Airframe built in Great Britain and converted in Canada to take new engines.
  • Anson Mk V: Produced by Federal Aircraft Ltd Canada. The fuselage was made primarily from plywood and plastic. First flew in November 1942.
  • Anson Mk VI: Produced by Canada. Had Bristol Mk VI hydraulic gun turret installed.
  • Anson Mk X: Conversion to transport. Floor was made stronger for cargo.
  • Anson Mk XI: Conversion to transport. Roof was raised to allow for more headroom. Landing gear and flaps were hydraulic.
  • Anson Mk XII: Conversion to transport.

Usage

The Anson was used by Australia, Britain, Canada, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United States.

First entered service in (March 1936) 1936 with the No. 48 Squadron. It saw it's first combat on September 5, 1939 by attacking a U-Boat. Eventually a total of 8,138 were delivered to the Royal Air Force.

It could turn inside a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and was credited with shooting down 6. Two of these were shot down by the No. 500 Squadron during the evacuation of Dunkirk.

From 1941 several air-sea rescue squadrons were outfitted with the Anson.

Canada selected the Anson in 1940 to be it's primary trainer. These were mostly Anson Mk IIIs and Mk IVs.

Finland received three in 1938.

Specifications

  Avro Anson
Type Advanced trainer, Reconnaissance, Trainer
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Armstrong-Siddeley Cheetah IX
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 310 each
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 56' 6"
17.2 m
Length 42' 3"
12.9 m
Height 13' 1"
4 m
Wing area 463 sq ft
43.1 sq m
Weight  
Empty 6,510 lb
2,952 kg
Loaded 7,600 lb, 8,500 lb
3,860 kg
Maximum load 9,900 lb
4,490 kg
Performance  
Speed 188 mph
Speed at sea level 170 mph
272 kph
Speed at 7,000 /
2,130 m
188 mph
303 kph
Speed at 10,000' /
3,050 m
186 mph
297.6 kph
Speed at 15,000' /
4,580 m
175 mph
280 kph
Cruising speed at 6,000' /
1,830 m
158 mph
252.8 kph
Climb 750' per minute
229 m per minute
Service ceiling 19,500'
5,948 m
Range 790 miles
Armament  
Nose 1: MG
Dorsal turret 1: MG
Bombs 360 lb
  Avro Anson Mk I
Type Advanced trainer, Reconnaissance, Liaison
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX piston
OR 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XIX
Cylinders Radial, Radial 7
Cooling Air
HP 320 each, 335 each, 350 each
Dimensions  
Span 56' 6"
17.22 m
Length 42' 3"
12.87 m, 12.88 m
Height 13' 1"
3.99 m
Wing area 463 ft2
43.01 m2
Weight  
Empty 5,361 lb, 5,375 lb, 5,512 lb
2,438 kg, 2,500 kg
Loaded 7,663 lb, 7,955 lb, 7,984 lb, 8,000 lb
3,476 kg, 3,608 kg, 3,629 kg
Maximum load 8,000 lb, 8,500 lb
3,627 kg, 3,855 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 7,000' /
2,130 m
188 mph
303 kph
Speed @ 7,000 ' /
2,133 m
188 mph
302 kph
Speed @ 7,000' /
2,135 m
188 mph
302 kph
Cruising speed 159 mph
256 kph
Climb @ sea level 750'/minute
229 m/minute
Climb 720'/minute, 750'/minute
219 m/minute, 228 m/minute
Service ceiling 19,000', 19,500'
5,790 m, 5,944 m
Range 787 miles, 790 miles, 820 miles
1,270 km, 1,271 km, 1,320 km
Armament 2: 7.7 mm MG
2: MG
Nose 1: 7.7 mm MG
1: 0.303" MG, Vickers 0.303" MG
Dorsal turret 1: 7.7 mm MG
1: 0.303" MG, Lewis or Vickers K 0.303" MG
Bombs 360 lb
163 kg
Bombs - Internal 2: 100 lb
Bombs - External 8: 20 lb
  Avro Anson Mk II
Engine (Type) 2: Jacobs L6MB
Cylinders Radial 7
HP 330 each
  Avro Anson Mk III
Engine (Type) 2: Jacobs L6MB
Cylinders Radial 7
HP 330 each
  Avro Anson Mk IV
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-760-E3 Whirlwind
2: Wright Whirlwind R-975-E3
Cylinders Radial
HP 300 each
  Avro Anson Mk V
Type Navigation trainer
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior
2: Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN14B
Cylinders Radial
HP 450 each
  Avro Anson Mk VI
Type Bombardier training, Gunnery training
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior
Cylinders Radial
HP 450 each
  Avro Anson Mk X
Type Transport
Engine (Type) 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX
OR 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XIX
Cylinders 7
HP - IX 335 each
HP - XIX 395 each
Weight  
Loaded 9,450 lb
4,290 kg
  Avro Anson Mk XI
Type Transport
Crew 2
Passengers 6
Engine (Type) 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XV
OR 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XIX
HP 420 each
Propellers Fairey-Reed metal, Fixed pitch
  Avro Anson Mk XII
Engine (Type) 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XV
OR 2: Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XIX
HP 420 each
Propellers Constant speed , 2 blade Rotol constant speed
Weight  
Loaded 9,500 lb
4,313 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
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