Auster

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Auster Aircraft Limited was a British aircraft manufacturer from 1938 to 1961[1].

Contents

History

The company began in 1938 at the Britannia Works, Thurmaston near Leicester, England, as Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited, making light observation aircraft designed by the Taylorcraft Aircraft Corporation of America. 1,604 high-wing Taylorcraft Auster monoplanes were built during World War II for the armed forces of the UK and Canada.

During the war the head office and drawing office were at a big old house on the outskirts of Thurmaston called "The Woodlands". The fuselages and wings were manufactured at Syston where the works manager was called Sharp. Sheet metalwork was done at the old En tout cas works at Thurmaston. Final assembly, fitting out and testing took place at Rearsby aerodrome. The name change to Auster occurred on 7 March 1946, when production shifted to Rearsby aerodrome, all in Leicestershire. All designs were evolved from the early Taylorcraft with a sprung skid or tailwheel beneath the fin (except for a low-wing aircraft called the "Agricola" designed for crop-spraying; only two of these were completed). When the company was merged into Beagle Aircraft in June, 1961[1], the high-wing design was developed still further as the Terrier and, with a nosewheel, the Airedale.

The various Auster models were extensively used in the UK and British colonies after WWII for a variety of activities such mail delivery, VIP transport, private owner flights and joy rides at seaside airports and town carnivals.

The Auster name was dropped in 1968.

Aircraft

  • Taylorcraft Plus C - licence-built Taylorcraft B
  • Taylorcraft Plus D - re-engined Plus C.
  • Model D/1 - Auster I - military version of Plus C with enlarged windows.
  • Model E - Auster III - re-engined Auster I with split flaps.
  • Model F - Auster II - re-engined Auster I.
  • Model G - Auster IV - enlarged version of Auster III.
  • Model H - Experimental tandem two-seat training glider converted from Taylorcraft B.
  • Model J - Auster V - Auster IV with blind-flying instruments.
  • J/1 Autocrat - three-seat high-winged monoplane light aircraft (fitted with Blackburn Cirrus Minor II engine)
    • Auster J/1A Autocrat - four-seat version of Autocrat
    • Auster J/1B Aiglet - re-engined agricultural version of Autocrat (de Havilland Gipsy Major engine)
    • Auster J/1N Alpha - re-engined four-seat Autocrat (de Havilland Gipsy Major engine)
    • Auster J/1S Autocrat
  • J/1U Workmaster - agricultural version of the Alpha
  • J/2 Arrow
  • J/3 Atom - low-powered version of Arrow with Continental engine
  • J/4 - Arrow with Blackburn Cirrus Minor I engine
  • J/5 Adventurer - three-seat high-wing monoplane light aircraft
    • Auster J/5 Adventurer
    • Auster J/5A Adventurer
  • J/5 Autocar
    • Auster J/5B Autocar - four-seat high-winged monoplane light aircraft
    • Auster J/5E Autocar
    • Auster J/5G Autocar
    • Auster J/5P Autocar
    • Auster J/5V Autocar
  • J/5 Aiglet Trainer - aerobatic version of the Autocar
    • Auster J/5F Aiglet Trainer
    • Auster J/5K Aiglet Trainer
    • Auster J/5L Aiglet Trainer
    • Auster J/8L Aiglet Trainer
  • J/5 Alpine - improved Aiglet Trainer
    • Auster J/5R Alpine
    • Auster J/5Q Alpine
  • Model K - Auster AOP6 - post-war military Air Observation aircraft.
  • Model L - proposed two or three seat low-wing monoplane based on the Model G airframe with a Lycoming O-290-3 engine, not built.

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