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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]

Overview [2]


  • Auster AOP.6
  • Role: observation aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Auster Aircraft Limited
  • Introduced: 1945
  • Primary users: Royal Air Force, Belgian Air Force
  • Number built: approx 400
  • Developed from: Taylorcraft Auster
  • Variants: Beagle A.61 Terrier

The Auster AOP.6 was a British military air observation aircraft produced by Auster Aircraft Limited to replace the numerous wartime Taylorcraft Auster aircraft then in-service.

History [2]


The Auster AOP.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 AOP.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 AOP.9 from 1955 and surplus aircraft were converted to civilian use, first as the Auster 6A and later as the Beagle A.61 Terrier.

Variants [2]


  • Auster AOP.6 - main production version, over 400 built.
  • Auster 6A - former military aircraft converted for civil use.
  • Auster T.7 - dual-control training version of the AOP.6, 77 built.
  • Auster T.7 Antarctic - modified aircraft for use in the Antarctic, two conversions.
  • Auster T.10 - AOP.6s converted to T7 standard, 10 conversions.
  • Beagle A.61 Terrier - former military aircraft converted for civil use
  • Auster S - An AOP aircraft based on the Auster 6, with enlarged tail. Prototype only.

Operators [2]


Military Operators

  • Australia: Royal Australian Air Force (Two AOP.6 aircraft only).
  • Belgium: Belgian Army (AOP.6), Belgian Air Force (AOP.6)
  • Burma: Burma Air Force (T.7)
  • Canada: Royal Canadian Air Force (AOP.6 and T.7)
  • Hong Kong: Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force
  • India: Indian Air Force, Indian Army
  • Jordan (TransJordania): Arab Legion (AOP.6 and T.7)
  • New Zealand: Royal New Zealand Air Force - One Auster T.7c was used by the RNZAF for the 1956 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition; No. 3 Squadron RNZAF
  • South Africa: South African Air Force (AOP.6)
  • United Kingdom: Army Air Corps, Royal Air Force (AOP.6 and T.7)

Specifications (AOP.6) [2]


General Characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 23 ft 9 in (7.24 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft (10.97 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 4½ in (2.55 m)
  • Wing area: 184 ft² (17.09 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,413 lb (641 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,160 lb (980 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× de Havilland Gipsy Major 7 inline piston, 145 hp (108 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 124 mph (200 km/h)
  • Range: 315 miles (507 km)
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4265 m)

References


  1. Shupek, John. Auster AOP.6 Air Observation Post images via The Skytamer Archive, Copyright © 2009 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia. Auster AOP.6

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