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Avro Anson

With 10,996 built, the Anson had an extremely long service life. The Anson entered RAF service in March 1936 and remained in use until 1968.
Avro Anson (VM325) air to air Avro 19 Anson VM325 on 25th August 1953
The Avro Anson originated from the Avro 652 commercial aircraft which first flew on 7th January 1935.

It was a twin-engine British-built multi-role aircraft which saw distinctive service with both the Royal Air Force and The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm as well as The Royal Canadian Air Force during and after the Second World War.

The prototype 652A first flew at Woodford on 7th January 1935 and was developed from an initial airliner design and named after Admiral George Anson.  The adaptation for a coastal reconnaissance role resulted in the production variant, the Avro 652a, which flew at Woodford on New Years Eve 1935 with the type entering service in March 1936 as the Anson Mk1.  Initially it was flown with a 3-man crew but later developments in its reconnaissance role required a 4th crew member.

In addition to coastal patrol and training roles, Ansons provided support for the Air Transport Auxiliary, thereby having an important role in ensuring the rapid delivery of new production aircraft of all types from the factory and into operational service.  

Avro Anson Nineteen now currently owned and operated by BAE Systems Avro Anson Nineteen now currently owned and operated by BAE Systems


The various marks of Anson were built at Yeadon (now Leeds Bradford Airport) with the Civil Transport Anson XIX prototype (G-AGNI) making its first flight on 30th December 1945.  

The Series 2 version of the Anson C.Mk.19 introduced an all-metal wing in place of the wooden original whilst the Anson T.Mk.20 and Mk21 served as navigation trainers (with the T.Mk.22 being used for radio communications training).

The last of nearly 11,000 Anson to be built (WJ561) was delivered to the RAF on 27th May 1952 and at the peak of production some 135 Ansons were being built every month at Yeadon.

A fleet of five Ansons continued in operation with Kemp’s Aerial Surveys at Thruxton into the 1970’s and today BAE Systems owns and operates a splendid Avro Anson C MK.19 which appears at air shows and events throughout the UK.

The Anson was one of the most successful aircraft built by Avro and 11,020 were manufactured by the end of 1952 (including those built in Canada).

Avro652 Anson - The final aircraft handed over to the RAF (with Roy Dobson looking on) Avro 652 Anson - The final aircraft handed over to the RAF (with Roy Dobson looking on)


  Mk.1 Mk.19
Powerplant Two 335 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX Two 420 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah
Span 56 ft 6 in (Mk 19 Series 2 57 ft 6 in) 56 ft 6 in
Weight 7,665 lb 10,500 lb
Range 660 miles (typically) 660 miles (typically)
Speed 188 mph 190 mph (Series 2 171 mph)

Number Built

 10,996                                             All variants                                            


Anson Mk.I
6,688 built
The most numerous version of the aircraft.  3,935 were built at Woodford and the rest at Yeadon. The Mk I was powered by two Armstrong Siddeley IX radial engines. It carried two machine guns – one fixed forward firing Vickers gun in the nose and one Lewis gun in a dorsal turret. It could carry two 100lb bombs under the wing centre section and eight 20lb bombs under the wings.
Anson Mk.II
The first type to be produced entirely in Canada. It was powered by the Jacobs L-6MB engine and featured hydraulically operated flaps and landing gear. Mostly the same as in the Mk I, other than the nose, which was made of moulded plywood.
Anson Mk.III & Mk.IV
233 built
The Mk III and Mk IV both appeared before the Mk II. Produced for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, combining fuselages from Britain with engines installed in Canada. Powered by the Jacobs L-6MB engine.
The Mk IV combined British-made fuselages with two Wright Whirlwind R-975-E3 engines.
Anso Mk.V
1,050 built
A development of the Canadian Mk II with a monocoque fuselage produced from local wood. Square windows of the earlier models were replaced by circular portholes. Powered by two 450hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-12B engines. Accommodation for five trainees.
Anson Mk.X
104 built
The Mk X was a transport version of the Anson, produced in Britain. It was given a reinforced cabin floor. Unlike the Canadian produced models it retained the manually operated landing gear of the Mk I. 103 Mk Xs were produced at Yeadon.
Anson Mk.XI & Anson Mk.XII
Anson Mk.XI
91 built
Anson Mk.XII
254 built
First British versions to feature hydraulically operated flaps and landing gear, plus a raised roofline, designed to increase the headroom for passengers. Mk XI was powered by the 395hp Cheetah XIX engine while the Mk XII used the 420hp Cheetah XV. Late production Mk XIIs were given an all-metal wing under the designation Mk XII Series 2
Anson Mk.18
25 built
The Anson Mk 18 was a version of the C.19 ordered for the Royal Afghan Air Force, equipped for police duty. 12 aircraft were built for Afghanistan and the rest for India.
Anson Mk.C19
264 built
Developed for civil service as the Avro 19, based on the Mk XI but with five oval windows on each side of the fuselage and a properly furnished interior.  It entered RAF service as the Anson Mk C.19.  20 aircraft were converted Mk XIIs and the were new production.
Anson Mk.T20
60 built
The T.20 was a post war development of the Anson, built as a training aircraft for Southern Rhodesia.
Anson Mk.T21
252 built
A navigation trainer produced for Flying Training Command. T.21 was the last Anson to be completed.
Anson Mk.T22
54 built
The final variant - a radio trainer.
Anson 18
12 built
Developed from the Avro Nineteen for the Royal Afghan Air Force as a communications, police patrol and survey aircraft.
Anson 18C
13 built
Built for the Indian Government as a Civil Air Crew Trainer.
Avro Nineteen
56 built
Civil Transport variant, also known as Anson XIX.
Anson AT-20
50 built
Canadian built Anson II's with US military designation.


Several aircraft survive around the world including the aforementioned BAE Systems aircraft (G-AHKX) which can be seen operating from The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden and at selected events.

Anson MK.1
Camden Aviation Museum, Camden, NSW, Australia
Anson Mk.1 x 2
(VH-WAC & W2121)
RAAFA Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek, W Australia
Anson MK.1
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre, Nhill, Victoria, Australia
Anson Mk.II
Aero Space Museum of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Anson Mk.II
Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 
Anson MK.II
British Columbia Aviation Museum, Sydney, British Columbia, Canada
Anson Mk.V
Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Anson Mk.V
(RCAF12417 / C-FHOT)
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Anson Mk.II
Greenwood Military Aviation Museum, Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Canada
Anson Mk.I
Saskatchewan Western Dev Museum, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Anson Mk.II
Bomber Command Museum, Nanton, Alberta, Canada
Anson Mk.II
Irish Air Corps Museum, Casement Aerodrome, Blandonnel, Dublin 22,
Anson Mk.1
(NZ203 & NZ206)
Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Christchurch, New Zealand
Anson Mk.1
(NZ415 marked NZ406)
Reid Family, Nelson, New Zealand 
Anson MK.19
Al Mahatah Museum, Sharjah, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
Anson Mk.XI
Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Anson C.19
Shuttleworth Collection, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Anson T.21
Classic Air Force, Newquay, United Kingdon   
Anson C.19
(VM352 / K6285V)
St Museum Canadian Allied Forces 1940-45 Museum, Groningen, N'lands
Anson C.19
Norfolk & Suffolk Air Mueum, Flixton, Suffolk, Unired Kingdom.
Anson C.19
Newark Air Museum, Newark, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Anson C.19
RAF Museum, Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire, United Kingdom
Anson Mk.1
RAF Musem, Grahame Park Way, London, United Kingdom

More information


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