A4 Avro Anson
The Anson, known affectionately as "Faithful Annie", has a special place in RAAF history as more of them – 1,028 – were operated by the Service than any other type. It was also the RAAF's first low-wing monoplane, the first with a retractable undercarriage and with an enclosed gun turret.
First ordered in 1935 as part of the RAAF's modernisation program, the Anson was conceived as a general reconnaissance bomber and was initially used for maritime parol duties. Deliveries of the first order of 48 aircraft began in November 1936 and were completed in September 1938. Allocated serial number A4-1 to 48 these aircraft served with Nos 2, 4, 21, 22 and 23 Squadrons on maritime patrol work.
Although already obsolete as a front-line aircraft before World War II started, the lack of any suitable replacement led to a further 40 machines being chartered from the British Government and these were delivered during 1938 and 1939. These aircraft retained their British serial numbers.
Upon replacement in the maritime reconnaissance role by the Lockheed Hudson in 1940, the Anson found a new lease of life as a trainer for Observers and Navigators under the Empire Air Training Scheme. To meet this commitment, no fewer than 937 Anson Mk 1s were delivered to the RAAF between 1940 and 1944. These aircraft also flew with their original British serial numbers, and although most served with over 40 training units, some were fitted with ASV radar and patrolled the eastern seaboard of Australia with Nos 66, 67, 71 and 73 Squadrons.
TECHNICAL DATA: Avro 652 Anson
General reconnaissance bomber
OTHER ROLES:Multi-engined trainer
Two 355 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX Radials
Empty 2500 kg (5512 lb); loaded 3608 kg (7955 lb);
Wingspan 17.22 m (56 ft 6 in); Length 12.88 m (42 ft 3 in); Height 3.99 m (13 ft 1 in).
Max speed 302 km/h (163 kt); Cruise 256 km/h (138 kt); Service Ceiling 19,500 ft (5,944 m); Range 1315 km (710 nm).