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British Industrial History

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Avro: Anson

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1936. Military cabin monoplane.
1941. Avro: Anson.
Sept. 1946. Avro C.19 Series G-AGLB.
July 1949. (Flight 1949/07/28)
Avro 19 Series 2. Exhibit at Shuttleworth Collection.

Note: This is a sub-section of Avro


Type

  • Multi-role aircraft

Designers

Manufacturers

Production Dates

  • 1936-1952

Number produced

  • 11,020

Engines

The Anson was derived from the commercial six-seat 652 and the militarised version, which first flew on 24 March 1935, was built to Air Ministry Specification 18/35. It was the first RAF monoplane with a retractable undercarriage. Avro allotted the type number 652A to the Anson.

The first production run resulted in 174 Anson Mk I aircraft for service with Coastal Command. No. 48 Squadron RAF was the first to be equipped in March 1936.

A distinctive feature of the Anson I was its landing gear retraction mechanism which required no less than 140 turns of the hand crank by the pilot. To forgo this laborious process, early model Ansons often made short flights with the landing gear extended at the expense of 30 mph of cruise speed.

A total of 11,020 Ansons were built by the end of production in 1952, making it the second-most-numerous (after the Vickers Wellington) British multi-engine aircraft of the war.

Variants

Mk I

  • 6,688 Mk Is were built. Powered by two 350 hp (261 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX or 395 hp (295 kW) XIX engines.

Mk II

  • 1,822 Mk IIs were built in Canada; powered by two 330 hp (246 kW) Jacobs L-6MB R-915 engines and fitted with hydraulic landing gear retraction rather than the manual system used on the Anson I.

Mk III

  • Powered by two 330 hp (250 kW) L-6MB R-915 engines; British-built.

Mk IV

  • Powered by two Wright Whirlwind engines; British-built.

Mk V

  • 1,069 Mk Vs were built in Canada for navigator training; powered by two 450 hp (340 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior R-985 engines and given a new locally developed wood monocoque fuselage.

Mk VI

  • One aircraft was built in Canada for bombing and gunnery training; it was powered by two 450 hp (340 kW) Wasp Junior engines.

Mk X

  • 104 Anson Mk Is were converted into Mk Xs.

Mk XI

  • 90 Anson Mk Is were converted into Mk XIs.

Mk XII

  • 20 Anson Mk Is were converted into Mk XIIs, plus 221 new Mk XII aircraft built.

Mk XIII

  • Gunnery trainer powered by two Cheetah XI or XIX engines; never built.

Mk XIV

  • Gunnery trainer powered by two Cheetah XV engines; never built.

Mk XVI

  • Navigation trainer; never built.

Mk XV

  • Bombing trainer; never built.

C 19

  • 264 were built for the RAF; used as communications and transport aircraft.

T 20

  • 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.

T 21

  • 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 were built.

C.21

  • Modification of T.21s for communications and transport duties.

T 22

  • 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.

Anson 18

  • 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.

Anson 18C

  • 13 aircraft were built for the Indian government; used for training civil aircrews.

Avro Nineteen

  • (Also known as the Anson XIX): Civil transport version; 56 aircraft were built in two series.

AT-20

  • United States military designation for Canadian-built Anson IIs used by the United States Army Air Forces, 50 built.

See Also

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