Auster A.O.P.6 (Air Observation Post 6)
British 3-seat military observation aircraft
Archive Photos 1
Auster A.O.P.6 (Air Observation Post 6) (C-FKLD, VF582, c/n 140ES) at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada
The Auster A.O.P.6 was a British military air observation aircraft produced by Auster Aircraft Limited to replace the numerous wartime Taylorcraft Auster aircraft then in-service.
The Auster A.O.P.6 (Auster Model K) was designed as a successor to the Taylorcraft Auster V, it had a strengthened fuselage, increased all-up weight and a 145 hp (108 kW) de Havilland Gipsy Major 7 engine. It had a different appearance to the wartime Austers due to the lengthened landing gear struts (due to the larger propeller), and external non-retractable Aerofoil flaps.
An initial production run of 296 were completed for the Royal Air Force in 1949. A second batch was produced from 1952 with a total delivered of around 400. Aircraft ordered by the Royal Air Force aircraft delivered to the Belgian Air Force (22) and the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (2). New aircraft were delivered to Royal Canadian Air Force, South African Air Force, and the Arab Legion Air Force (Jordan).
A dual-control training version of the A.O.P.6 was produced, 77 serving as the Auster T.7 (Auster Model Q). In 1955 two T.7 aircraft were modified for use on the 1956 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, being designated Auster Antarctic (Auster Model C4). The aircraft had extra radio equipment, larger tail surfaces, the ability to be fitted with floats or skis as required and a bright orange finish to aid visibility. The aircraft was replaced with the Auster A.O.P.9 from 1955 and surplus aircraft were converted to civilian use, first as the Auster 6A and later as the Beagle A.61 Terrier.
Specifications (A.O.P.6) 2