1941 Avro 652A Anson Mk I / III

1941 Avro 652A Anson Mk I / III (RCAF 6081 / RAF R9882)

This Avro 652A Anson Mk.1 (Serial # R3/LW/9680, C-GTCU) in its present skeleton state, waits its turn for restoration. Once restored, will be one of a few MK.1s in the world still in existence.

The Avro “Anson” was a British twin-engine, multi-role aircraft that served with the RAF and RCAF during the Second World War and afterwards. Named for British admiral George Anson. Manufactured by AV Roe & Company (Avro), the Anson originated from the Avro 652 commercial aircraft

The Anson MkI had a low-mounted one-piece wooden wing composed of a combination of a plywood and spruce wing, throughout the wing-box and ribs. The fuselage was composed of a welded steel tubing framework which was principally clad in fabric; the exterior of the nose was clad in magnesium alloy and manually-operated landing-gear and flaps.

Originally built as a General Reconnaissance aircraft the Mk I (652A) it was armed with:

2 – 350 HP Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX Radial Engines.
one fixed forward-firing Vickers .303 in machine-gun in port side of the nose,
one Lewis or Vickers K .303 in gun in an Armstrong Whitworth manually-operated turret.
Two 100lb bombs and external racks for eight 20lb bombs, flares or smoke-floats.
It was slow, cold and noisy and is the most famous British aircrew trainer of all time. Used in huge numbers, nicknamed ‘Faithful Annie’ is fondly remembered by most of Royal Air Force-trained.

When war broke out in 1939, the Anson quickly became outclassed in front line combat roles.  With its operational life drawing to a close, it had a new purpose. The RAF needed to rapidly expand its aircrew training program. Schools were established in the United Kingdom and, under the British Common Wealth Air Training Plan, in Canada, South Africa and Australia to train pilots, observers, wireless-operators, and bomb aimers.

These schools needed a multi-seat, multi engine trainer and the Anson was suitable for this role and became the mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. By the end of its production life in 1952, the Anson spanned nine variants and a total of 8,138 had been built in Britain by Avro and, from 1941, a further 2,882 by the Canadian Federal Aircraft Ltd.

The museums Anson is a British built MK I /III. served as RAF R9882. First assigned to the RCAF (6081) to the BCATP No.3 Service Flying Training School (Calgary AB). A winter conversion kit was installed by Prairie Airways Ltd at Moose Jaw, SK in early 1941. Thereafter transferred to MacDonald Brothers Aircraft in Winnipeg for conversion (modified) to a MK III December 1941-Jan 1942. Transferred to No.4 Training Command (Regina SK) when completed. Retired for disposal June 1944, transferred to No.2 Command Dec 1944, and stored by No.10 Repair Depot (Calgary AB).