Westland Lysander

Created to meet Specification A.39/34 for an Army cooperation aircraft to replaced the Hawker Hector, Westland’s P.8 flew in June 1936, receiving the name Lysander. The initial production Mk Is with Bristol Mercury engines were to give way to the Mk.II with the Perseus.

Lysanders were deployed to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force, and crews were in the thick of things when fighting began in earnest, spotting, dropping supplies and messages, and even striking at German targets with light bombs.

Following the evacuation from Dunkirk, the Lysander acquired a new role, using the type’s STOL capability to deliver and pick up special services personnel from improvised landing strips in occupied territory. Others flews as target tugs and rescue aircraft. Lysanders also served (quite briefly) as night fighters in the summer of 1940, this was not unprecedented, as one “Lizzie” actually shot down an He 111 in the early months of the war.


Lysander Bibliography:

Photo: (small) Royal Egyptian Air Force Lysander Air International May 1982 p.242
Photos (2): Lysander prototype K6127, with and without adjustable tailplane RAF Yearbook 1984 p.49
Color profiles: Lysander II L4767, III R9125, Indian AF Lysander, IIIA V9367 in all-black special duty paint, and Turkish 3130. Air International January 1987 p.42
Photos (2): Lysanders OO-SOT and V9281/G-BCWL Aeroplane Monthly December 1988 p.711
Photo: Lysander III R9003/110 Squadron RCAF Aeroplane Monthly June 1989 p.339
Philip Jarrett “Nothing Ventured…” The Westland P.12 Tandem Wing Lysander – includes some excellent views, and a 3-view diagram. Aeroplane Monthly June 1990
Photo: Lysander G-BCWL FlyPast July 1998 p.75
Robert Rudhall “Canadian Lizzie” FlyPast October 1998 restoration of Lysander C-CGWL by Canadian Warbird Heritage
“Lysander Leaves” FlyPast December 1998 Mk. IIIA V9545/G-BCWL.
Daniel Ford “Lumps and Bumps” FlyPast February 1999 Includes photos of the tandem wing K6127, P9105 with shortened high lift wing, and prototype K6127.
Review of the 1/72 Lysander Mk III in Ilmavoimat service kit by Eduard Skymodel 20/09 p.61
“Anti-Camouflage: Lysander Target Tugs” Model Airplane International August 2013

Bill Gunston Classic World War II Aircraft Cutaways Lysander cutaway drawing, and an in-flight shot of three No.16 Squadron aircraft p.22-23

Jim Winchester Classic Military Aircraft: The World’s Fighting Aircraft 1914-1945 p.433: color profile of Lysander Mk II R1999