INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT
The Lysander MkI is powered by an 890 hp Bristol Mercury XII nine-cylinder radial engine and, first went into service in 1938. In WWII they were affectionately know as "Lizzies". During the war they were used for night fighting, ground attack, target towing, glider towing and air-sea rescue, the latter duty, which involved dropping rubber rafts and survival packs.
MkII Lysanders had a 905 hp Bristol Perseus XII engine and the MkIII and 870 hp Mercury XX or XXX. Some MkII's were fitted with twin machine guns in the rear cockpit, thesebeing designated MkIIA. MkIISAS's fitted with long range fuel tank and a side ladder, were used to transport Allied agents into enemy occupied territory and to pick up "evacuees".
The British Lysanders were built on a cottage industry basis.Parts were built by small firms and individuals, trucked toother locations where they were assembled into components, taken to yet another location, where they were assembled into an airplane.
In total 1652 Lysanders were built, including 225 built in Canada by National Steel Car in Toronto. The Fleet Air Arm received a total of 67 Westland Lysander MkIII and III TT transfers from RAF between 1940-1943.
The first RN squadron to receive the Lysander was 754 squadron at Arbroath in mid 1941, receiving the majority of its aircraft between September and November 1941 at Worthy Down. Thence also deliveries were made to 757 squadron later in November 1941 at Worthy Down and further deliveries to 757 in April 1942. The third main unit to be equipped with the Lysander was 755 squadron which received its aircraft at Worthy down between February and June 1943.
Only one wartime front-line squadron received Lysanders, Lysander T1677
was used by 804 squadron at their bases in Belfast and Yeovilton between
July 1941 and February 1942. The majority of the Fleet Air Arm Lysander
were returned to the RAF by mid 1944.
Battle Honours and Operational History
None with Fleet Air Arm
Most of the world's few surviving Lysanders are ex-RCAF. Examplaes are at the RAF Museum (UK), Woodford collection (UK), Imperial War Museum - Duxford (UK) and the National Aviation Museum (Canada).
Lysander Mk IIIA V9281 of the Woodford Collection (UK).
Lysander Mk IIIA V9281 of the Woodford Collection (UK). The Lysander was restored to flying condition by the Aircraft Restoration Company ARC Duxford, UK. This is accurately finished as V9300 of 161 special duties Squadron at Tempsford when it was used for delivering and collecting agents from the French Resistance movement. Amongst those at the 'Roll Out' in October 1993 was Group Captain Hugh Verity DSO DFC, who flew the original V9300 on those secret operations.
Lysander MkIII 1194 RCAF 2349 Preserved at the Canadian Museum of Flight
The Canadian Museum of Flight Lysander was a composite aircraft. The Museum gathered parts to assemble one of these very rare airplanes from 7 different locations, ranging from Texas to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Vancouver Island. Eventually the job of restoring the airplane began in late December, 1985. This impressive restoration was accomplished in less than 4 months almost entirely by volunteers, for display at Expo 86 (as shown in the above photo). Covered in clear plastic sheeting to create the "Gossamer Lysander" at Expo's request, it was featured in the Aviation Plaza. It is currently on display in the museum hangar at Langley Airport.
Associations and reunions