The airfield at Yeadon was active with R.A.F. Training Units in 1941 when the whole site was taken over by the Ministry of Aircraft Production and the shadow factory on the north side of the aerodrome was allocated to Avro. Some of this facility was unique as much of it was underground with the flat roof being merged into the local fields with farm building and dummy animals. Houses had to accommodate the steadily growing labour force and a causeway had to be built from the factory for completed aircraft to be towed to the airfield for test flying and eventual delivery.
In October 1940 work had started on a new fighter named the Hawker Tornado, but after initial design and some tooling, the project was handed over to the Avro project office at Chadderton.
The whole programme was cancelled soon after the first production aircraft had flown from Woodford in August1941 as Hawker had developed the excellent Typhoon.
Avro Production at Yeadon commenced with the Anson late in 1941 and this programme continued throughout the war with a magnificent total of 3,945 being built, of these 2,368 were flown away while the remainder were crated for shipment overseas. The peak months for Anson production was during late 1943 and early 1944 when 135 were completed for each of five months.
The requirement for extra production lines for the Lancaster saw the Yeadon factory commencing manufacture early in 1942. The first of this type had its maiden flight in October of that year and by the end of hostilities 695 had been built. January 1945 saw the excellent production figures of 44 Lancasters and 32 Ansons being manufactured.
After the war had ended Avro Yeadon built a further 76 Ansons, 12 Lancasters, 27 Yorks and two Lincolns, with the Avro establishment ending its tenure in December 1946.
On New Years Day 1947 Yeadon was handed over to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the magnificent Avro wartime production effort just became a distant memory.