© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons

Two-seat (side-by-side) lightplane, developed from Plus C and Plus D to meet Army requirements for an Air Observation Post. Initial contracts placed 1941 for 101 Taylorcraft Auster Mk Is and subsequent contracts for later marks kept the type in production throughout the war, as below; Mks 7 to 9 appeared post-war. Used by at least 19 AOP squadrons, and other Army formations.

Taylorcraft Auster AOP Mk III: Improved AOP with 130 hp DH Gipsy Major I engine. Fitted with wing flaps.

Deliveries began early 1943 and total of 470 built. Used initially by Nos 655, 656 and 657 AOP Squadrons.

Max speed, 130 mph (209 km/h) at sea level.

Cruising speed, 110 mph (177 km/h).

Range, about 300 mis (483 km).

Gross weight, 1,700 Ib (772 kg).

Span, 36 ft 0 in (10.98 m).

Length, 22 ft 5 in (6.84 m).

Wing area, 167sqft (15.5m).

Taylorcraft Auster AOP Mk VI: Based on Mk V, but with 145 hp DH Gipsy Major VII, new undercarriage and auxiliary aerofoil flaps. Prototype flown on May 1, 1945; production and service use post-war.

Taylorcraft Auster MkIII