Westland Lysander

The Westland Lysander was designed as an army-cooperation aircraft. It first flew in June 1936, and first entered service with Britain's Royal Air Force in June 1938. The Lysander was a sturdy, stable aircraft, capable of landing on short, rough air strips, but it was also slow and not particularly manoeuvrable. Employed as light bombers during the campaign in France in early 1940, Lysanders suffered heavily from the attentions of German fighters: of 170 deployed, only 50 survived. Lysanders were used more successfully as liaison aircraft in the Middle East and Burma, and in the latter theatre the last examples were withdrawn from service in 1943. The role for which the Lysander became famous, however, was transporting Allied agents into occupied Europe, a role which its short take-off and landing capability made it particularly suited to. A total of 1,652 Lysanders were produced. 3 Squadron was the only Royal Australian Air Force Squadron to operate Lysanders, but they encountered serviceability problems with their aircraft and they were never employed operationally.

Specifications:



Westland Lysander Mk II

Type:   High-wing army-cooperation aircraft
Entered service:   1938
Crew:   2 (Lysander Mk III could carry pilot and up to 3 passengers)
Wing Span:   15.25 m
Length:   9.3 m
Weight (laden):   6,731 kg
Ceiling:   7,930 m
Endurance:   966 km
Speed:   370 km
Armament:   2 x forward-firing .303-in machine-guns
1 x .303 or 2 x .303-in Browning machine-guns in rear cockpit
227kg of bombs


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