Was trolling at a used book store and came across a very worn edition of ' The Sky Was Their Battle Ground' by Herbert Jenkins. It was a collection of stories from the RAF Flying Review, I guess which was a service magazine from some time ago. In one chapter a aircraft called a 'Anson' was mentioned was jury rigged with machine guns and was used as sort of a 'gun ship' in the early days of the BOB( Battle of Britian) What was the Anson originally used for as it looked like a twin engine light transport? Mike IPMS
According to Janes the Avro Anson evolved from the Avro 652 commercial monoplane (designed in 1933 for Imperial Airways) and entered service as a General Recconaissance monoplane.
Anson I had a Vickers .303 in the nose and a manual turret with a Vickers K or a Lewis, internal stowage for 2x100lb bombs, external racks for 8x20lb bombs. When these were withdrawn from service they were converted to navigational trainers (no turret) or armaments trainers (Bristol Mk VI turret)
Anson II - Canadian built, apparently same idea as Anson I; 75% of parts interchangable w/British-built. Supplied to USAAF as AT-20
Anson III/IV - British built Anson I re-engined in Canada
Anson V - Canadian built navigational trainer (1942 onwards)
Anson VI - Canadian built bombing and gunnery trainer, Bristol Mk VI hydraulically powered turret
Anson VII/VIII/IX - marks designated for Canadian use, never used
Anson X - Anson I converted for light transport work
Anson XI - Light transport; raised cabin roof. Two crew, six passengers
Anson XII - Anson XI with different engines; civil version sold as Avro XIX.
Airfix used to do a model of the gunnery trainer version; my dad had one, but I suspect only 'cos he worked for Avro in the 60s, it wasn't that exciting a model.
Don't forget, Tom, Air International started as Air Enthusiast and somewhere around the third volume changed to Air Enthusiast International and then dropped the Enthusiast after one volume (6 issues). I agree that Enthusiast is one of the best but I haven't gotten one since #43. They don't show up in the 'regular newsstands' here and I don't get over to Borders all that often. I have one of the old Airfix models and it was typical early '60s Airfix. The fabric surfaces had overdone 'sag'. The decals were of a Dutch ship and the boxart had the ship under attack by Fw 190s, IIRC.
This ran up one of the biggest airframe production totals of WWII, at over 11,000. There were more marks of Anson beyond those above; Aeroclub offers a 1/72 C.20. I think the Airfix kit was originally marketed as a Coastal Command GR.1 flown by a Dutch crew on coastal patrol, carrying the formidable armament of two .303 machine guns, and with somewhat fanciful boxart showing it shooting down two Fw 190s simultaneously. On the other hand, the Anson actually did have some success against Bf
109s, despite a top speed under 200 mph, so who knows? This was my first (and second ) 1/72 kit, back when I was 12, but they've improved the mold since then. The thread tempts me to put the kit in the queue...
Thank You All for the Info. The chapter in the book had to do with No. 500 Squadron RAuxAF. They mounted Vickers .303 both port and starboard which gave the second pilot and radio operator some thing to do besides just sit there during a attack. Coupled with the Anson's slow speed maneuverability the two gunners could catch the German fighter pilots off guard and for a while they did has some success with several kills and probables. This only lasted for a brief time till the Luftwaffe caught on and the Anson's glory days ended. Still though an interesting story and worth the $1.25 I paid for the book. Mike IPMS
If anyone has the later Anson kit with the saggy fabric, please be advised that the guys at Airfix totally screwed up here... The "original" issue had correct wings, ie "flat" surfaces. Yes, they were fabric-covered, but read on!
We have just finished a major rebuild on our early mark Anson at Duxford. She was stripped right down to the tubular metal framework and her plywood, yes - plywood - wings. The wing surfaces were covered with Egyptian cotton sheeting, much thinner than linen, which was used for the fuselage, much like the rear fuselage of the Hurricane.
I have a series of photos of this refurbishment, including some interesting detail of the turret, which has a "lobster tail" section at the rear, which slides over the gun aperture when the gun is not carried. The engine cowlings on our aircraft are not the originals and do not have the bumps over the cylinder heads.