The Avro Anson, nicknamed "Faithful Annie", was originally intended as a coastal reconnaissance aircraft based on the Avro 652 six-seat civil transport. When it entered service in 1936 it was one of the RAF's most modern aircraft, with a closed cockpit and the first with retractable landing gear. Despite extensive service during the first years of the war, the introduction of superior Hudsons and Beauforts prompted the Ansons to be slowly retired from the recon role and used as aircrew trainers instead. Under the Commonwealth Air Training Scheme, the Anson found new life as thousands of pilots were trained mainly in Canada using these aircraft. So popular was the Anson that the production run continued into to the post-war years with significant improvements, the last example being built in 1952 and the last being retired by the RAF in 1968. The Anson was also built by Canada's Federal Aircraft and was additionally operated by Australia, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Iran, Ireland, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the US.
The Anson first flew on 24 March 1935 as the Type 652A. The Mk. I entered service the following year as a coastal recon aircraft, alas, it was already obsolete by the outbreak of the war but remained in service in this role up until 1941. Subsequent versions were dedicated transport aircraft, these included the basic Mk. X, the Mk. XI with a raised roofline and also the XII with more powerful Cheetah engines. Canadian-built Ansons were given new mark numbers corresponding to the engine type installed, these were the Mk. II and Mk. III (Jacobs), Mk. IV (Wright) and finally the Mk. V (Pratt & Whitney). Post-war examples ranged from Mk. 19 up to Mk. 22.
|Design||Anson Mk. I|
|Wing Span||17.22 m|
|Wing Loading||84.4 kg/m²|
|Engine||2 x Cheetah IX|
|Guns||2 x .303-inBrowning Mk. II|