Avro C.19 Anson - Civilian
This aircraft had the first of its test flights in November 1946 and was subsequently delivered to Smiths Instruments at Staverton who operated it on communications and instrument development work until 1959.
For the next six years it was used on aerial survey contracts by Meridian Air Maps, based at Shoreham. Sold on in 1958 to Treffield Aviation, 'AHKX flew freight until returning to survey work with Kemps Aerial Surveys Ltd of Southampton in 1968. Kemps kept the aircraft for just under five years, until early 1973, when it was acquired by the expanding Strathallan Museum.
Unfortunately the Strathallan Collection was not to last and its aircraft were put up for auction in July 1981. Keen to preserve one of the few remaining examples of this Manchester built aircraft the Directors of British Aerospace sent representatives to bid for the Avro 19 and managed to secure it for the bargain price of £600 (it was then, of course, unairworthy).
It was originally intended that restoration of the aircraft would be useful in providing apprentices with hands on experience but as, apart from the basic airframe, the Avro 19 was largely constructed of wood with fabric covering this proved impractical and the task was completed by volunteer retired staff. The result of their many hours of dedicated effort first flew again on 8 March 2002, and is a regular performer at flying displays.