Awkward Moves – Avro Anson RCAF 7135

Loaded onto a 55,000lb capacity scissor lift, the Anson makes her way from Hangar 10 towards her first obstacle, the base gate.
Loaded onto a 55,000lb capacity scissor lift, the Anson makes her way from Hangar 10 towards her first obstacle, the base gate.
Loaded onto a 50,000lb capacity scissor lift, the Anson makes her way from Hangar 10 towards her first obstacle, the base gate.

Big Move For A Canadian Anson

On Thursday, we published a story covering the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. One of their most recent, long term restoration projects involved the near total rebuild of Avro Anson Mk.II, RCAF serial 7135. Over a period of nine years, the team of dedicated volunteers at Greenwood restored this tattered wreck to a pristine, world-class example of one of WWII’s most important, British-designed aircraft. Other than fighter pilots, it is doubtful that many Commonwealth airmen graduated to the front line without first flying the ‘Faithful Annie’. They were used in every theatre, in many different guises from trainer, to transport, to coastal patrol craft and even as a light bomber. More than 11,000 rolled off the production lines, and some were still in RAF service as late as 1968.

Anson 7135 soon after she arrived at Greenwood. (photo via GMAM)
Anson 7135 soon after she arrived at Greenwood. (photo via GMAM)

While we will cover 7135’s actual restoration in another article, we can say it took nearly six years, and well over 16,000 hours of labor to get the aircraft ready for display. At the time though, the museum didn’t have a workshop at the museum big enough to handle the job, but they did have access to hangar space at nearby Canadian Forces Base Greenwood. They completed the project inside Hangar 10. However, they then had to figure out how to move this large aircraft, which disassemble in any appreciable way, the two miles or so from Hangar 10 down a veritable obstacle course of road signs, lamp posts, telephone wires and tight turns to the museum for display. The moving crew came up with an ingenious, if precarious plan to mount the aircraft on a massive, motorized hydraulic scissor lift, and slowly guide its precious cargo over, around or under the objects in its path, sometimes with clearances of just a few inches. While the move took place in 2012, we thought our readers would find this journey fascinating, and a potentially instructive demonstration of creative problem solving. We will let the images (all taken by Malcolm Ullman) and their captions tell the story.

Many thanks indeed to Mr. Uhlman for making these images available. For those interested in the museum, please do see our article from last week HERE. The museum website HERE and their Facebook page HERE are also well worth checking out.

Up and over she goes...
Up and over she goes…

IMGP7126 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Now the team can lower the Annie down on the other side...
Now the team can lower the Annie down on the other side…
Delicately turning the corner...
Delicately turning the corner…

IMGP7136 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Moving over the signs...
Moving over the signs…
Jumping the security gate...
Jumping the security gate…

IMGP7168 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012 IMGP7172 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012 IMGP7173 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012 IMGP7180 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Now going under the traffic lights...
Now going under the traffic lights…

IMGP7192 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012 IMGP7193 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Squeaking by the signposts and cables...
Squeaking by the signposts and cables…
About to make the turn past the Canadair Argus, and under the telephone lines...
About to make the turn past the Canadair Argus, and under the telephone lines…

IMGP7201 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012 IMGP7204 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Moving under the telephone lines...
Moving under the telephone lines…
We're on the final hurdle now, passing the CH-113 Labrador SAR helicopter on the right, with the museum buildings in sight.
We’re on the final hurdle now, passing the CH-113 Labrador SAR helicopter on the right, with the museum buildings in sight.
Trundling through the construction site. The museum's Avro Lancaster, sans nose, is in the background...
Trundling through the construction site. The museum’s Avro Lancaster, sans nose, is in the background…
The final turn, with the open face of the still-to-be-completed extension hangar to the left. The P2V-7 Neptune painted in RCAF markings is visible in the background.
The final turn, with the open face of the still-to-be-completed extension hangar to the left. The P2V-7 Neptune painted in RCAF markings is visible in the background.
Curious onlookers from the museum staff...
Curious onlookers from the museum staff…
Raising the Anson up to get past the corner...
Raising the Anson up to get past the corner…
Stop... and lower...
Stop… and lower…
An impromptu refuelling for the scissor lift.
An impromptu refuelling for the scissor lift.
Positioning for the dismount...
Positioning for the dismount…
Getting the ramp ready for offloading the Anson...
Getting the ramp ready for offloading the Anson…
Slowly does it...
Slowly does it…

IMGP7262 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Lining up the Anson's tail wheel with the rolling tow bar as the aircraft's tail lowers...
Lining up the Anson’s tail wheel with the rolling tow bar as the aircraft’s tail lowers…
... nearly there...
… nearly there…
Finally nestled in the rolling tow bar...
Finally nestled in the rolling tow bar…
Off the scissor lift...
Off the scissor lift…
Guiding the Anson towards the hangar...
Guiding the Anson towards the hangar…

IMGP7288 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Lifting the main gear onto dollies to allow the crew to more easily position the Anson in the hangar...
Lifting the main gear onto dollies to allow the crew to more easily position the Anson in the hangar…

IMGP7294 - Malcolm Uhlman photo - Anson Move - Greenwood Military Aviation Museum - Greenwood, NS - December 04, 2012

Pushing the Anson into her spot...
Pushing the Anson into her spot…
The crew finally celebrating moving the Anson into her new home...
The crew finally celebrating moving the Anson into her new home…

 

The recently restored Avro Anson and Willy's Jeep. (photo via GMAM)
Here’s a recent image of the Avro Anson in her completed hangar space alongside the museum’s restored Willy’s Jeep. (photo via GMAM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*