Post 1945 Australia and Canada disposed of surplus Anson aircraft in two main ways.
First a number were sold as airworthy to regenerate the civil transport industry in the respective countries (£A150 to £A250 depending on condition). Once this market was saturated the remaining airframes was sold to local individuals for material recovery.
To farmers this provided a source of steel tube, wood and electrical cabling at a very reasonable going price of about £A5 - 10 shillings per complete airframe. The only proviso was that the aircraft had to be towed out by the main road traffic entrance. With all entrances flanked by large posts this meant hacking the wings off effectively preventing a return to flight for all the airframes sold off in this way.
Over the years the aircraft were stripped of usable parts by their owners then left to slowly corrode where they stood. In the late 1970s a number of enthusiasts toured the farms buying the remains for potential museum use.
The significant remains have now mostly gone but small collections of tubing and other components still exist in the storage compounds.
As part of the T.21 project a selection of forward fuselage tubing had been supplied from a source in Australia to allow check measurements between the welded joints.
Credit: Dave Taylor
Looking through the jigsaw of parts I realised that about 50% of the cockpit frames were present and formed the first two frames (aAA1a1 and bBB1b1). Even more important was that they included the forward firing machine gun portside mount denoting a Mk.1.
In order to fully establish the extent of supplied tubes they were tack welded together resulting in the following assembly.
Credit: Ross McNeill
Close examination has shown damage to portions of the tubing from long term corrosion but these can be patched or the damaged sections replaced as per the Anson repair manual. The remaining frames can be replicated giving a complete Mk.1 cockpit to the front spar.
Further contact with Australia led to the purchase of a set of main fuselage/forward spar mounts and the agreement to buy the windscreen/cowl assembly shown.
Credit: Dave (Battle)
These components and the Mk.1 cockpit instrumentation I had in store made the reconstruction of a Mk.1 nose viable and further sources of Mk.1 parts are being sought.
A replica Browning .303 inch machine gun has been sourced from the UK for installation on the nose mount after fabrication of a manual cocking lever.
Ongoing contact with Australia has resulted in a Mk.1 bombing nose, bomb sight and complete set of fuzing switches being packed ready for shipping to the UK.