Aircraft – Lysander

Aircraft - Lysander

One of 4 watercolors of British aircraft, which we assume were copied by Des from published photos, possibly all from the same source as that mentioned in the caption for the ‘Defiant’.

Westland Lysander

‘The Lysander was designed as an Army Co-operation aircraft. The Lysanders’s very good short take off, later made it ideal for clandestine flights into occupied France. ‘Stub’ wings on the wheel struts enabled it to carry small bombs or canisters of equipment for dropping by parachute.

Other jobs the Lysander carried out were target towing and communications. Several Lysanders also served with the Fleet Air Arm.’

Source: thanks to Peter Stubbs and Graham Bettany

‘The Westland Lysander 111 – British Army co-operation.

One 830 hp Bristol Mercury XX air – cooled radial motor. All metal construction with fabric covering. Two fixed machine guns to fire forward from wheel spats. Aft gunner has twin movable Vickers K guns.

Dimensions: span 50 ft; length 30 ft 6 in; height 11 ft 6 in; wing area 260sq ft; aspect ratio 9.61.

Weights: Empty 4,489 lb; loaded 6015 lb.

Performance: Max peed 205 mph at 10,000 ft; range 600 miles at 170 mph; initial climb 1,600 ft per min; service ceiling 26,000 ft.’

Source: Valentines ‘aircraft recognition’ cards; the proficiency test series (3rd class), No 25

Hawker Hector was a British biplane army co-operation and liaison aircraft of the late 1930s It served with the Royal Air Force and saw brief combat in the Battle of France in May 1940. It was named after the Trojan prince from the Trojan wars.

Starting in February 1937, the Hector equipped seven RAF army co-operation squadrons, but began to be replaced by Westland Lysanders from July 1938. The Hectors were transferred to Auxiliary Air Force squadrons; 613 Squadron were in the course of converting to Lysanders at RAF Hawkinge when they flew in support of the Allied garrison in the Siege of Calais. On May 26th along with the squadron’s Lysanders, six Hectors dive bombed German positions around Calais and on the following day, attempted to drop supplies to the troops, unaware that they had already surrendered; two Hectors were lost.