Aviation of World War II

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Patrol Aircraft


AVRo Anson from 67 Squadron, Laverton 1945

In early 1934, the RAF Ministry of Aviation announced a competition to design a patrol aircraft. No high requirements were imposed on the aircraft's flight data. What was needed was a simple and reliable aircraft capable of surveying coastal waters at low altitude for a long time. On May 19, AVRo presented a military version of its projected civilian aircraft, the Avro 652A, with more powerful engines, armament of two 7.69 mm machine guns and a small bomb load of up to 127 kg.

Avro 652 - the civilian version - was a twin-engine aircraft of mixed design. Its wing and horizontal tail were wooden, and the fuselage was based on a truss made of steel pipes. The power plant - two radial engines Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah V 270 hp each. rotated metal two-blade constant-pitch propellers Fairey-Reed. The main landing gear was retracted into the engine nacelles ahead of the flight with a manual winch. The plane accommodated four passengers and two pilots with dual controls.

The first military Avro 652A was assembled in March 1935, on March 24 this aircraft with the military number K4771 took off for the first time. It differed from its civilian counterpart Avro 652A by the bulky upper turret Armstrong Whitwort for the Lewis machine gun, the second machine gun, of the Browning type, was mounted in the forward fuselage on the left side. The bomb load was placed under the cockpit floor in the center section. The standard version included two 100-pound bombs and four 20-pound bombs. The crew originally consisted of three people. According to the test results, the range of the stabilizer was increased by about a quarter, while the area of ​​the elevators was reduced.

The lead serial "Anson" I with the number K6152 left the workshop of the plant in Woodford on December 31, 1935. In February 1936, the 48th squadron in Manston received the first vehicles of this type, and on March 6 it was officially declared operational. In the same year, Avro received a new order for 135 Anson. The vehicles of this batch (started by the 3rd series) were supposed to have a metal frame of the ailerons (instead of the old, wooden one) and a new, less sloping, cockpit canopy with a window on the left side. Such aircraft were built since 1938. Starting with the K8720 aircraft, Schrenk landing flaps were introduced. By the beginning of the war in September 1939, almost 1,000 aircraft had been produced.

Avro Anson was mass-produced until May 15, 1952, a total of 11,029 aircraft were produced. End of operation June 28, 1968.

Anson Mk. I Specification
Crew 3-5
Wing span, m 17.20
Wing area, m² 38.09
Length, m 12.88
Height, m 3.99
2 × PE Armstrong Siddеley Cheetah IX, h. p. 2 × 350 (2 × 260 kW)
Weight, kg:
Empty 2438
Loaded weight 3,629
Maximum speed, km/h 303
Cruising speed, km/h 254
Service ceiling, m 5,790
Service range, km 1,271

Armament. One fixed, forward-facing 7.7-mm machine gun on the left side in the bow and one 7.7-mm machine gun in the dorsal turret, bombs up to 163 kg.

Photo Description
Drawing AVRo Anson Mk. I

Drawing AVRo Anson Mk. I

Anson in flight and on the ground

Anson in flight and on the ground


  • Avro "Anson"/ World of Aviation. Vladimir Kotelnikov. /
  • Encyclopedia of military engineering /Aerospace Publising/
  • British warplanes of World War II /under cor. Daniel March/