|These aircraft operated
with wheel, ski, or float undercarriage.
Although the second A series numbers
tentatively commenced in 1935, the prefix A11 of the first A series
remained in use until Southampton A11-2 was withdrawn from service in
1939. Eventually, in 1944, A11 was allocated to the British Taylorcraft
Auster, Air Observation Post (AOP), series of aircraft. These aircraft
originated from the American Taylorcraft sports-plane of 1938, which was
built in England under licence. In 1946 the British firm changed its
name to Auster Aircraft Ltd., and all English models consequently became
known as Auster AOP aircraft.
The RAAF Auster AOP Mk IIIs, of which
A11-1 was originally a Mk II, were allotted to Nos 16 and 17 AOP
Flights, and the official history "Air War Against Japan"
describes these aircraft in operations. Somewhat surprisingly, the
volume also pictures A11-5 with aggressive "sharks teeth"
In post war years, Auster continued
to operate with No16 AOP Flight until 24 July 1959 when A11-41 and
A11-53 were flown from Canberra to Tocumwal by Capt Doyle and Lt
Constable, the latter being the last Auster trained pilot before the
arrival of the Cessna 180As. In all 56 Mk III and two Mk V Austers
appeared on the RAAF register.
In addition, two Auster Mk 6 aircraft
A11-200 and A11-201, accompanied the 1953/54 Antarctic Expedition, and
Sqn Ldr Leckie again used A11-201 on the 1955/56 voyage. Also, Auster
J-5G Autocar aircraft of the Royal Australian Navy carried the RAAF
prefix A11 and were numbered from A11-300.
(Auster AOP Mk III)
DESCRIPTION: Two seat, composite wood
and metal structure, fabric covered.
POWER PLANT: One 130 hp DH Gypsy Major
DIMENSIONS: Span, 36 ft; length, 23ft
5ins; height, 8ft.
WEIGHTS: Empty, 1100lb; loaded,
PERFORMANCE: Max speed, 130 mph;
cruising speed,108 mph; initial climb, 950 ft/min; ceiling, 15,000ft;
range, 250 miles.
ARMAMENT: None carried
from RAAF Museum