The first Avro Ansons were ordred by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1935 as part of its modernisation program, with the Anson being the RAAF’s first low-wing monoplane, the first to have a retractable undercarriage, and the first to have an enclosed gun turret. Ansons entered service with the RAAF the following year and were initially used for maritime partols. By the start of the Second World War, however, Anson’s were already considered to obsolete as a front-line aircraft and their maritime patrol duties were taken over by Lockheed Hudson’s in 1940.
Anson’s were then used as a training aircraft for Observers and Navigators under the Empire Air Training Scheme. Ansons proved ideal in this role, and more than 900 aircraft were delieved to the RAAF between 1940 and 1944. Although most Ansons served with training units, some were fitted with radar and patrolled Australia’s east coast.
Avro 652 Anson
Type: General reconnaissance bomber and multi-engined trainer
Entered service: 1936
Crew: 3 to 4
Wing span: 17.22 m
Length: 12.88 m
Weight (laden): 3 608 kg
Ceiling endurance: 19,500 ft
Speed: crusing speed 256 km/h; max. 302 km/h
Armament: Two 0.303 machine guns, one fixed in nose and one in dorsal turret; bomb load 163 kg
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