One of the Shuttleworth Trust's preserved aircraft, the Westland Lysander started its service life with the RAF in 1934. Designed to take off and land in very short distances and from grass landing strips it initially comemnced service in the army co-operation role but as World War II started to bite they were found to be unsuitable for this role with many lost in action. However they did become famous working for the Special Operations Executive, dropping agents and supplies behind enemy lines in Europe.
This example is carrying the markings of 161 Squadron and the tail of the access ladder that was fitted to Mk III Lysanders can just be seen under the large drop tanl. Painted black they operated mainly during periods of full moon for navigation purposes. Lysanders of 161 Squadron and 138 Squadron successfully dropped 101 agents and recovered 128 from occupied Europe until the liberation of France in 1944.
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