Friends of the Avro Anson Air Museum – 2018 Restoration Update

As my aviation road trip continues, I dropped by the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria in August 2018 with my nephew Nate to catch up with Alan J. Penhall to see the restoration progress on his “Faithful Annie“, a former RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin-engine training aircraft. I had not been to the museum at the Ballarat Airport for over 2 years, so it was great to catch up with Alan and see his efforts to preserve Ballarat aviation history. There is more than just gold fields history in Ballarat!

RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
The “Faithful Annie”, a former RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria (August 2018)
RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
My Nephew Nate learning some local history at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria (August 2018)

The Anson being restored is made up of a number of former RAAF aircraft – predominately LV238, LV284, LV298, MG436 and MH127. The nose is believed to be from LV298 and the airframe is around 80% of LV284, which entered RAAF service in 1943. LV284 was operated in a training role by No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School (1WAGS) at RAAF Ballarat from September 1944 (on the site of today’s airport) and was sold off for scrap in 1947 (52 Anson’s used for training at Ballarat were sold off in 1947/48).

My earlier post from April 2016 details the history of RAAF Ballarat and the background of the Anson museum and restoration. The Ballarat Airport is the most intact of the surviving Victorian Empire Air Training Scheme training bases and was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2007.

As you can see in my photos, since 2016 the aircraft has been put up on its undercarriage and has been repainted in a camo scheme livery. Numerous minor modifications along with fuselage parts, skin etc have also been added.

RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
At first glance the most noticeable change to the Avro Anson, other than the airframe standing on its undercarriage, is the new camo livery but many other areas of the fuselage etc. have been added, restored etc. – Friends of the Avro Anson Museum, Ballarat (August 2018)
RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
A new look for the Avro Anson as the restoration of this Mk.I example continues at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat (August 2018)
RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
Wing panels, fuselage fabric and other changes have occurred since 2016 – Friends of the Avro Anson Museum, Ballarat (August 2018)
Interior cockpit cabin RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
Cockpit and cabin of the Avro Anson Mk.I – Friends of the Avro Anson Museum, Ballarat (August 2018)

Only one of the restored Armstrong-Siddely Cheetah IX engines has been installed and it has been significantly restored since 2016. The starboard engine will eventually follow, once restored at an off-site facility.

 Armstrong-Siddely Cheetah IX engines has been installed on the Avro Anson and has been significantly restored since 2016 - Friends of the Avro Anson Air Museum, Ballarat
Only one of the restored Armstrong-Siddely Cheetah IX engines has been installed on the Avro Anson and has been significantly restored since 2016 – Friends of the Avro Anson Air Museum, Ballarat (August 2018)
RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
The starboard Armstrong-Siddely Cheetah IX engine is awaiting restoration offsite – Friends of the Avro Anson Air Museum, Ballarat (August 2018)

The wooden framed wings are long gone and will not be added to this restoration. This is a typical problem as the wings were hacked off outboard of the engines when sold as scrap by the RAAF to transport them more easily. There is also no room in the building, which was the old RAAF base gym,  to add wings to this Anson restoration!

RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
Small details from replica guns to bomb sights etc. make the restoration – Friends of the Avro Anson Museum, Ballarat (August 2018)
RAAF Avro Anson Mk.I twin engine training aircraft restoration project at the Friends of the Avro Anson Museum in Ballarat, Victoria
It’s a big job for a small volunteer team but the Anson is taking shape year by year – Friends of the Avro Anson Museum, Ballarat (August 2018)

The Friends of the Anson Air Museum (Airport Road, Ballarat, Victoria) is open weekends and public holidays from 1pm to 5pm or by arrangement. Alan J. Penhall can be contacted via avromuseum@gmail.com or telephone (03) 5332 4651. Everything in regards to the restoration and museum is done by volunteers on a shoestring budget with the aid of donations from museum visitors, so any contribution to help complete the project would no doubt be greatly appreciated! I would like to personally thank Alan once again for his time and being so welcome to myself and my nephew during my return visit to the museum. As always, much appreciated!

References

ADF-Serials – Avro Anson

Anson Air Museum Ballarat

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Friends of the Avro Anson Air Museum – 2018 Restoration Update

  1. Kudos to the Restoration Crew of Volunteers … A wonderful example of what can be achieved through endless hours of Hard Graft with a Will & a Prayer from talented Work Crews … Good Luck in your search for a larger building in which to complete your Faithfull Annie.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.