A team of reservists and volunteers at History and Heritage – Air Force’s (HH-AF) Restoration Support Section (RSS) is currently restoring an historic Avro Anson in preparation for putting it on display.
FILE PHOTO: Anson W2472 undergoing restoration by History and Heritage – Air Force’s Restoration Support Section.
RSS has been restoring Anson W2472 since February 2017, starting with stripping the aircraft back to its bare frame.
Warrant Officer in Charge RSS WOFF Darren Whitford said while work was significantly hindered by COVID-19 restrictions, the project progressed.
“2020 was a year of major progress for us,” WOFF Whitford said.
“The team fitted the wing spars, engine nacelles, engines and undercarriage, allowing W2472 to stand alone for the first time in many years.”
RSS has since also fitted the nose section, along with a mock Vickers machine gun on the pilot’s side, and is now working to complete the cockpit fit-out, radio operator station, navigator station and upper gun turret.
RAAF first ordered Ansons in 1935 for maritime patrol duties as part of its modernisation program.
In 1940, the Empire Air Training Scheme began to use Ansons as training aircraft for observers and navigators.
To meet this commitment, RAAF received 937 Anson Mk 1s between 1940 and 1944.
In all, the RAAF operated 1028 Ansons – more than any other aircraft type.
OIC Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre (AMB AHC) Wing Commander Clive Wells said the Anson was affectionately known as ‘Faithful Annie’.
“Each aircraft flew with its original British serial number,” Wing Commander Wells said.
Anson W2472 arrived in Australia in August 1941 and began operations in September 1941 with No. 6 Service Flying Training School, Mallala, South Australia.
After World War II, the aircraft was put into storage until it was sold in 1954.
W2472 was photographed lying in a paddock near Kingaroy, Queensland, circa 1965/66.
In July 2010, it arrived at RAAF Base Amberley after the AMB AHC bought it from Aviation Air Parts in Roma, Queensland.
Restoration of Anson W2472 – which will be rebadged as AW655 from 71SQN – is expected to be completed next year.
“The aircraft will then join the impressive and ever-growing fleet on display at the AMB AHC,” Wing Commander Wells said.