View Full Version : Lysander nickname?

15th Feb 2010, 19:48
Am I correct in thinking the Lysander's nickname was the Lizzie?

15th Feb 2010, 20:31
Indeed you are, Stephan.

17th Feb 2010, 17:06
It was also known by some crews as 'The Flying Carrot' allegedly due to the shape of it's fuselage.

17th Feb 2010, 17:09
Was it Chris Wren who paraphrased the Bible "Consider the Lizzies of the field; they neither stall nor do they spin"?

18th Feb 2010, 11:16
I believe that the Royal Navy divided aircraft into three categories:-

1. Aircraft approaching - deemed hostile
2. Aircraft departing - deemed friendly
3. Lysanders

18th Feb 2010, 12:46
The Lizzie always looks somewhat ungainly and a bit of a dragmaster, so I'm always quite surprised to see the turn of speed demonstrated at Shuttleworth.

Ah, remember Duxford when they put up a formation of three a few years ago... Plus the Glad and the Blenheim, probably every airworthy Mercury at that time (I gather the Gauntlet in Finland has a P&W or a Wright and TFC's Glad was still in pieces).

diesel addict
18th Feb 2010, 15:47
I think the Finnish 'Gauntlet' is fitted with a 'Leonides'.

18th Feb 2010, 21:21
Yes, Treadigraph, I have video of all three in the air. Good sights to be seen at Duxford. Soon be May.

18th Feb 2010, 23:25
What can be surprising, if you've never seen one before or if, like me, you'd not seen one for decades, is the size of the thing.

Visiting museums in Canada last summer I came across a couple of examples , the sheer bulk of the aircraft and the fact it is a single engined machine with superb STOL performance is impressive, the moreso viewed from the perspective of Canada, the home of postwar civilian STOL performance.

19th Feb 2010, 06:47
Did anyone come up with a name for this variant? :)


19th Feb 2010, 09:12
The Canadian Heritage/Historic Flight flew their Lysander to Oshkosh last year. It was in the static for several days, looked gorgeous in it's target towing colours.:)

19th Feb 2010, 11:57
My first balsa model:ok: Pretty awful, but the paint job was good, always a Lizzie:E

19th Feb 2010, 18:40
The staff at The Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop are often complimented on their Lysander gate guard by the visiting public......... Trouble is its a Beaver.

It says something for Joe Public thet when they see a high winged, single engine monoplane in camouflage it can only be a Lizzie.:ok:

20th Feb 2010, 15:02
My father flew Lysanders on 16 Sqn at the beginning of the war. He had transferred from the army to the RAF, and for a while they wore army uniforms with RAF insignia. He died in a Beaufighter in 1942, and I'm more sad than I can say that I never knew him. But my mother always talked about the Lizzie with great affection.

Only last year I heard an interesting story from my father's surviving younger brother. On his 21st birthday in March 1940, he was serving in the Gunners in France. My father found out where he was and flew over in his Lizzie and dropped a message streamer to him with 21st birthday wishes. My uncle never did find out how my father knew where to find him.


20th Feb 2010, 17:53
Did anyone come up with a name for this variant? :)


The concept of a turret night-fighter version of the Lysander culminated in the curious "Experimental Aeroplane No. 136". Late in 1940, a further attempt was made to fit a turret, this time according to the French http://www.unrealaircraft.com/hybrid/thumbs/Hlysan_sch.jpg (http://www.unrealaircraft.com/hybrid/pages/lysan_sch.php)Delanne formula. This meant fitting a second wing in tandem to the main one - effectively a much enlarged tailplane - with end-plate fins and rudders. The aircraft became a kind of hybrid, an army-co-operation aircraft with a "generic" heavy bomber tail unit.

The aircraft underwent trials in the winter of 1940-41. Lysander K6127 was by now fitted with a Bristol Perseus XII engine. Radical changes to the rear fuselage enabled a mock-up of a four-gun Nash & Thompson turret to be installed, made of plywood and perspex and having a very light framework. The overall length of the aircraft became 25 feet 7 inches. It was hoped the design would develop into an effective night-fighter, or at least a gunnery trainer. However, the Lysander turret night-fighter, despite successful flight trials, remained a one-off experiment.

K6127 was later used for communication tests, and in the Welkin program, before being broken up in 1944. Lysanders, apart from more regular roles, served on as experimental platforms. Few Lysanders lasted beyond WW.2, some surviving briefly as crop sprayers. By the late 1960s only two remained intact, one in England and another in Canada.

20th Feb 2010, 17:59
So that would be a "no"?

20th Feb 2010, 20:03
I worked with a cameraman called Ted Wooldridge and I discovered much later that he flew Lysanders out of Tempsford for a while during WW2. Tricky job that, landing in enemy territory at night. Liked to gamble on horses. Whenever a horse came up with Lizzie in the name he would always place a bet for our crew. Now I know why.

20th Feb 2010, 21:12
Lysander I (project) L4673- was an attempt to provide a ventral gunners position by enlarging the fuselage, dubbed the "Pregnant Perch," and it was planned to be involved in anti-invasion duties. Unfortunately engine failure resulted in it crashing and the project was abandoned...http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/3195/63657346.jpg (http://img203.imageshack.us/i/63657346.jpg/)
http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/4053/99472370.jpg (http://img411.imageshack.us/i/99472370.jpg/)

No idea if these Lysander experimental conversions received colourful nicknames...

http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/5048/18550437.jpg (http://img717.imageshack.us/i/18550437.jpg/)
http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/472/69982694.jpg (http://img192.imageshack.us/i/69982694.jpg/)
http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/9642/lys4.jpg (http://img97.imageshack.us/i/lys4.jpg/)

20th Feb 2010, 21:19
By the late 1960s only two remained intact, one in England and another in Canada.

Not true. See Preserved Aircraft 200-2001 of the Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945 Preserved FAA Aircraft Page (http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/Aircraft/Preserved/lysander.htm)
Over the last 40 odd years I've seen 10 of those listed.

20th Feb 2010, 22:08
Re. the Delanne tandem-wing Lysander modification, I've always thought that was a classically silly weapons system probably dreamed up by academics who had never been out of their ivory towers. What could be stupider than strafing targets on a beach, say, that are _receding_ from you as you narrow and refine your aim. The opposite is true of a conventional nose-guns strafer, which is why they frequently hit things. And, admittedly, frequently flew into them as well, from target fixation.

21st Feb 2010, 04:35
There's a great example in the Udvar Hazy at Dulles:

21st Feb 2010, 08:39
Hi all,

I was under the impression that the tandem wing turretted 'Lizzie' was known as the Westland P12 Wendover...:confused:

I maybe completely wrong.



21st Feb 2010, 09:05
Spot on actually.

" In this form it was used in trials intended to attack German invasion barges.

K6127 was extensively modified to another intended form of strafing power against ships or ground troops. The fuselage was shortened 1.45 m (4 ft 9 in) to 7.85 m (25 ft 9 in) and a tail turret mock-up (to carry four guns) was fitted. A second wing (de Lanne type) with full-span elevators and twin endplate fins and rudders, was fitted beneath the fuselage, just in front of the turret. This increased the wing area from 24.15 sq.m (260 sq.ft) to 36.46 sq.m (392 sq.ft). Flown by the company’s test pilot Harold Penrose it handled well, however none were ordered.

The aircraft is also known as "Wendover" and "Tandem Wing"."

India Four Two
21st Feb 2010, 13:03
KW mentioned Few Lysanders lasted beyond WW.2, some surviving briefly as crop sprayers. And here they are:


This picture is from one of my favourite, but little known books about Canadian aviation history: Flying the Frontiers by Shirlee Smith Matheson.

Four ex-air force pilots formed the company [Westland Air Services] in 1947. They purchased four surplus Lysanders (CF-DGI, CF-DRL, CF-FOA AND CF-GFI), two-place high wing monoplanes powered by 900-horsepower radial engines that could carry payloads of up to 1,400 pounds. Westland was the only company in the world to operate Lysanders commercially.More details from here: http://www.erudit.org/revue/phyto/2004/v85/n1/008900ar.html
Also in 1946, Westland Dusting Services, based in Edmonton, Alberta, was established by E.S. (Ted) Holmes. He chose the Westland Lysander, a British warplane that had been built under licence in Canada. Those war surplus aircraft were available from War Assets at Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and Suffield, Alberta, at a cost of between $50.00 and $250.00 each. To equip these planes for crop application work required little basic alterations. The 95 gallon (360 L) Lysander fuel tank was used to carry the liquid agricultural spray material, and a new 45 gallon (170 L) tank for the aircraft’s fuel was constructed in the centre section behind the pilot’s seat. Within one yr, Westland had four of these modified aeroplanes. While applying chemicals to a crop, those aeroplanes commonly flew at a height of between 2 and 3 m, at a speed of 225 km per h. At that time, the Department of Transport required the pilot to wear a parachute, a regulation that was waived soon after that Department was convinced that more than 80% of their flying was done below 10 ft (3 m), thus making parachutes quite useless. Although that company did very good work, there was not enough of it and Holmes sold the company in January 1948 after only 2 yr of service. The new company, calling itself Westland Spraying Service Ltd., of High River, Alberta, bought two more Lysanders, but it too soon found there was not enough demand for their services and the company went out of business in 1950 (Milberry 1979).