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Great Britain's Taylorcraft Auster reconnaissance

Photos

  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk I reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk I reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk I reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk III reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk III reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk III reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk III reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk IV reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk IV reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk IV reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk IV reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk IV reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster Mk V reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster reconnaissance
  • Taylorcraft Auster reconnaissance

Design

Before World War II the Taylorcraft Auster was designed for the United States' civilian pilot market.

The Taylorcraft Plus C was chosen to be the Auster Mk I.

Cockpit

The Auster's cockpit had excellent viability for the pilot and the observer. The rear of the cockpit had room to carry a small amount of cargo when needed.

Wing

The wing had a large trailing edge flaps which allowed for very low speed.

Tail

The rudder was large and afforded the Auster excellent turning ability.

Engine

There were two hatches that lifted upwards that provided easy access to the engine.

Undercarriage

The undercarriage was strong and had big wheels for operating from rough fields. Some models had skis or floats.

Production

The Taylorcraft Auster was constructed at Thurmaston in Leicestershire.

  • Auster Mk II: 2
  • Auster Mk III: 470
  • Auster Mk IV:
  • Auster Mk V: 800

Variants

  • Auster Mk II: Had Lycoming engine.
  • Auster Mk III: Had a Gipsy Major I engine (130 HP).
  • Auster Mk IV: Had a Lycoming O-290 engine. Larger cabin had a third seat.
  • Auster Mk V: Had blind flying instruments.
  • Auster Mk V??: Experiments with floats were conducted in 1945.

Usage

The Auster equipped 19 squadrons. They were used primarily in North Africa and Europe.

Far East

The No. 656 Squadron was only one equipped with the Auster in the Far East.

Specifications

  Taylorcraft Auster Mk III
Type Liaison, Observation
Crew 2
Engine (Type) D.H. Gipsy-Major
Cylinders Inverted Inline 4
Cooling Air
HP 130
Propeller Blades Wooden fixed pitch
Fuel Capacity 18 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 36'
11 m
Length 23' 5"
7.1 m
Height 6' 8"
2 m
Wing Area 167 sq ft
15.5 sq m
Weight  
Empty 1,050 lb
474 kg
Loaded 1,700 lb
772 kg
Performance  
Speed 126 mph
202.7 kph
Cruising 96 mph
154 kph
Climb 1,075' per minute
328 m per minute
  Taylorcraft Auster Mk IV
Type Liaison, Observation
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Lycoming O-290
Cylinders 4
Cooling Air
HP 130
Propeller Blades Wooden fixed pitch
Fuel Capacity 15 gallons
Dimensions  
Span 36'
11 m
Length 22' 5"
6.83 m
Height 6' 8"
2 m
Wing area 167 sq ft
15.5 sq m
Weight  
Empty 1,050 lb
476 kg
Loaded 1,920 lb
827 kg
Performance  
Speed 130 mph
209 kph
Cruising at 1,000' /
305 m
112 mph
179 kph
Climb 800' per minute
244 m per minute
Climb to 15,000' /
4,575 m
46 minutes
Service ceiling 15,100'
4,600 m
Range 220 miles
352 km
  Taylorcraft Auster Mk V
Type Liaison
Reconnaissance
Crew Pilot, observer
Engine (Type) Lycoming O-290, Lycoming O-290-3
Cylinders Horizontally opposed 4
Cooling Air
HP 130
Dimensions  
Span 36'
10.97 m, 11 m
Length 22' 5"
6.83 m
Height 6' 8", 8'
2 m, 2.44 m
Wing area 167 ft2
15.5 sq m, 15.51 m2
Weight  
Empty 1,050 lb, 1,098 lb
476 kg, 499 kg
Loaded 1,846 lb, 1,920 lb
827 kg, 839 kg
Performance  
Speed 130 mph
209 kph
Cruising 112 mph
180 kph
Cruising at 1,000' /
305 m
112 mph
179 kph
Climb 800' per minute
244 m per minute
Climb to 15,000' /
4,575 m
46 minutes
Service ceiling 15,100', 18,500'
4,600 m, 5,639 m
Range 220 miles, 250 miles
352 km, 402 km

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site