Avro 652A Anson I VH-CAB

One of five Avro Ansons acquired by DCA in the period 1948-1954, Avro 652A Anson I VH-CAB was built by A V Roe & Co at Newton Heath, UK. It was taken on RAAF charge during the War as W2616, retaining its RAF serial.

DCA acquired this aircraft and the other Ansons as communications aircraft for its Regional Offices. It is presently not certain whether DCA had it converted for civil use, or whether it was acquired already converted. This aircraft was added to the civil Register on 12 August 1954. It was based in Brisbane and used by DCA's Queensland Region: the photo shows it at Brisbane's Eagle Farm Airport in September 1958.

Unlike DCA Anson VH-CAD, which retained its original glazing, VH-CAB and some of the other DCA Ansons were given 'cabin windows' as part of their civil conversion.

VH-CAB was withdrawn from use by DCA on 14 September 1960 following the decision to ground all wartime aircraft of wooden construction, and was struck off the Register on 30 June 1962.

Sharp-eyed observers will notice that this aircraft, and all other civil Ansons photographed after about 1946 have smooth cowlings in place of the original 'helmeted' cowls. These were pioneered by Adastra Airways who discovered that fitting cowlings from Airspeed Oxfords gave a marked reduction in engine temperatures with no change in performance. This modification was adopted by DCA, and subsequently the British authorities, as an Airworthiness Directive as of January 1946.

This was the second DCA aircraft to carry the registration VH-CAB: the earlier one was a Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar.

(Photo: Richard Hitchins collection)

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