A Brief History of the Avro Anson
The Avro Anson, also known as Faithful Annie to its crews was built to Air Ministry Specification 18/35, which called for a twin-engined coastal reconnaissance landplane. Being first flown on 24th March 1935 it was the first RAF monoplane with retractable undercarriage. When the Second World War began there were 26 RAF squadrons operating the Anson MK1, 10 with Coastal Command and 16 with Bomber Command. By this time however the Anson was obsolete in the bombing and coastal patrol roles and was being replaced by the Armstrong Withworth Whitley and Lockheed Hudson.
Instead of being scrapped like most other obsolete aircraft, the Avro Anson was found to be perfectly suited to aircrew training. Becoming on of the main aircraft in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (known in some countries as the Empire Air Training Scheme), it was used to train pilots for multi-engine bombers of the time. It was also used to train the other members of a bomber crew, such as navigators, wireless operators, bomb aimers and air gunners.
After WW2 the Anson carried on in the training and light transport roles. The last Ansons were withdrawn from RAF service in June 1968. By the time production ended in 1952, around 11.000. Avro Ansons had been built, spanning over 9 versions.