INSIGHTS

The owner of the world’s only flying Anson I describes flying his beautiful machine

A quite superb dusk image of Bill Reid flying his Anson I, MH120/ ZK-RRA, in May 2018.
GAVIN CONROY

On our travels around New Zealand to airshows and events, one of the questions we get asked most frequently is what the Anson is like to fly. My simple answer is that for a type designed in 1934 it flies beautifully, and better than a lot of more modern designs.

But to tell the story properly I normally have to dispel a few myths that have built up about the machine.

I think the Anson suffered a bit from being a victim of its own success and the fact that it stayed in service for so long.

Although it is common now to see types such as the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress still in service approaching 70 years since their introduction, when the Anson finally retired from the RAF in 1968 it was unheard-of for an aircraft to have served for 30-plus years.

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