1938 Westland Lysander

The Collection’s exhibit

Built originally for the RAF as V9552 this aircraft went to Canada in 1942 as a target tug for the RCAF. Post WWII it was sold to a Canadian collector and then, in 1971, went to the Strathallan Collection in Scotland where it was restored to flying condition by late 1979. Grounded in 1986 it was stored, then went Duxford in 1997 for restoration. Purchased by the SVAS it joined the Collection in 1998. It arrived painted in standard RAF camouflage with additional markings to represent No. 309 (Polish) Squadron while operating from bases in Scotland between 1940 and 1942.

In the autumn of 1999, with the aid of a donation from the family of Peter Vaughan Fowler who had flown with 161 Squadron on Lysander operations during World War II, it was repainted in black overall with the markings of his aircraft, bearing the serial V9367. A fixed ladder was installed to allow rapid access to the rear cockpit – as fitted to facilitate picking up agents; a dummy 150 gallon long range fuel tank was attached below the fuselage. In this configuration the Lysander III S.D. (Special Duties) was employed by No. 161 RAF Squadron on clandestine night flying operations from RAF Tempsford and Tangmere between 1942 and 1945.

After uncarriage repairs during 2015 the Lysander returned to airworthiness in April 2016.

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