The Avro Anson 

Great Britain
Great Britain

side view front view under view

For it's time the Avro Anson was an advanced aircraft: it was the first monoplane with retractable gear in the RAF. Although not very known for it's war efforts, the Anson was a very succesfull aircraft. After originally being designated as a reconnaissance aircraft, the main role of the Anson became a trainer for bomber crews: navigators, radio operators and gunners.

Versions:

Further pictures:

The Avro Anson
The Avro Anson

 

Technical data on the Avro Anson Mk I
Powerplant 2 × Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX, rated at 335 hp (249.74 kW) each Role during war
  • Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • Advanced Trainer
Length 42 ft 3 inch Height 13 ft 1 inch
Empty weight 5512 lb Operational weight 7955 lb typical,
8500 lb max
Wing Span 56 ft 6 inch Wing Aspect ratio 7.255
Wing Area 440 sq ft Service ceiling 19000 ft
Maximum speed 188 mph at 7000 ft Cruising speed 158 mph at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate 720 ft / min at Sea level Range 660 miles typical,
790 miles max
Fuel capacity internal unknown Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns 2 × 0.303 inch trainable in manually operated top turret, or 2 × 0.303 in guns in power operated top turret. Cannons -
Bomb load - Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 5: 1 Pilot and pupili, plus an additional 3 instructors/trainees Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 24 March 1935 Operational Service 1936 - 1968
Manufacturer A. V. Roe and Company Ltd. Number produced 10061 total, 6706 this version
Metric system
Length 12.88 m Height 3.99 m
Empty weight 2500 kg Operational weight 3608 kg typical,
3856 kg max
Wing Span 17.22 m Wing Aspect ratio 7.255
Wing Area 40.88 m² Service ceiling 5791 m
Maximum speed 303 km/h at 2134 m Cruising speed 254 km/h at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate 219 / min at Sea level Range 1062 km typical,
1271 km max
Fuel capacity internal unknown Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns 2 × 7.7 mm trainable in manually operated top turret, or 2 × 7.7 mm guns in power operated top turret. Cannons -
Bomb load - Torpedoes/rockets -

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the Avro Anson 
Avro Anson Mk I First production model. Used as a trainer
Number built: 6706 Including GR.Mk I models
Avro Anson GR.Mk I Equal to the Anson Mk I, but destined for Coastal Command
Number built: 6706 Including Mk I models
Avro Anson Mk II Canadian built version of the Anso Mk I. It was powered by 2 × Jacobs L-6MB radial, rated at 330 hp (246 kW) each. This version also had a revised nose, and a hydraulic landing gear and flaps, unlike the Mk I which had manual operated landing gear and flaps.
Number built: 1050
Avro Anson Mk III Canadian finished aircraft consisting of a British airframe, and powered by 2 × Jacobs L-6MB radial, rated at 330 hp (246 kW) each. The landing gears and flaps were refitted to hydraulic units on most of the aircraft later.
Number built: 559
Avro Anson Mk IV Canadian finished aircraft consisting of a British airframe, and powered by 2 × Wright R-760-E1 Whirlwind radials, rated at 300 hp (224 kW) each.
Number built: 223
Avro Anson Mk V Based on the Anson Mk II, this version had a cabin accomodating 5 in stead of three trainees. It was powered by 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-128/14B Wasp Junior radials, rated at 450 hp (335 kW) each.
Number built: 1070
Avro Anson Mk VI Just one Anson Mk VI was built: Identical to the Anson Mk V, it featured the Bristol B.1 dorsal turret.
Number built: 1
Avro Anson Mk X Based on the Anson Mk I with a strengthened floor, this version was meant for cargo or people. It was powered by 2 × Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radials.
Number built: 103
Avro Anson Mk XI Based on the Anson Mk X, this version was meant as a transport of freight and/or as an air ambulance. It had a raised roof line to provide more room, and was powered by 2 × Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XIX radials.
Number built: 90
Avro Anson Mk XII Based on the Anson Mk XI, the Mk XII was powered by 2 × Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XV radials, rated at 420 hp (313 kW) each. The type knows 2 different subtypes:
  • Anson Mk XII Series 1: original type of wooden wing
  • Anson Mk XII Series 2: fitted with a metal wing
Various other versions were planned, but not built
Number built: 254
Avro AT-20 A couple of Anson Mk II's wound up in the USAAF. They were redesignated Avro AT-20
Number built: 50 out of 1050 Anson Mk II's

Remarks:

The real success of the Anson was not in combat, but as a trainer of crews. It's success can be derived from the fact that it served more than 32 years, and the number of planes built. About 2900 aircraft were built in Canada with Pratt and Whitney R-985AN-14 Wasp jr. engines, rated at 450 hp each.

The Anson left the RAF service in June 1968, after serving for more than 32 years.

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

 

 

© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 9/20/00