Westland Lysander I   L4674                       


                                     An early Lysander Mk I departing Yeovil, circa 1939.  This aircraft definitely belongs in the
                                     "War Winning" category.   Built to Air Ministry Spec A39/34 calling for a two-seat Army co-
                                     operation aircraft to replace the Hector, the Lysander first flew on 15 June 1936.  A true STOL
                                     aircraft, it was the first British service aircraft equipped with trailing edge flaps and leading edge
                                     slats.  In addition to performing mundane target towing and communications tasks, many were
                                     put to excellent use as Air Sea Rescue machines, dropping dinghies to downed pilots.   But the
                                     most important role was that carried out by Lysanders operated by the Special Operations
                                     Executive.  This Branch formed three squadrons of these slow-flying aircraft (Nos. 138, 161
                                     and 357) and employed them to fly agents both into and out of enemy controlled  territory.....
                                    .mostly, of course, at night.   The full extent of the contribution played by this machine in the war
                                     effort is still, even to this day, shrouded in secrecy.