Restored bomber for airshow

Avro Anson bomber MH-120 in October 2011, at its first taxi trials with both engines running and...
Avro Anson bomber MH-120 in October 2011, at its first taxi trials with both engines running and minus engine cowls. Photo by Gavin Conroy.
The only remaining airworthy Avro Anson from World War 2 has been confirmed to fly at the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow this Easter.

The aircraft were popular coastal reconnaissance bombers that performed anti-submarine and convoy protection duties.

About 11,000 were produced between 1935 and 1952.

Now owned by Bill and Robyn Reid, of Nelson, Avro MH-120 operated postwar in Australia as a passenger and freight hauler and also appeared in a film about a famous air race, called Half a World Away.

The restored aircraft has a wingspan of nearly 13m and is over 17m long. Turret and military equipment has been reinstalled, and it has been painted to represent a machine that flew with 206 Squadron of the Royal Air Force.

MH-120 had seating for two pilots, a navigator and a radio operator.

Airshow event manager Mandy Deans said the aircraft "probably represents the first aircraft flown in combat by a New Zealander in the Second World War".

The aircraft joins a growing contingent of WW2 combat aircraft to be seen at Wanaka.

Several more aircraft and acts have yet to be confirmed, Ms Deans said yesterday.

More than 60 aircraft are likely to take part.


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