For the Roman god of the south wind, see Anemoi § Auster. For other uses, see Auster (disambiguation).
Auster Aircraft Limited
Industry Aerospace
Fate Merged with Beagle Aircraft.
Founded 1938 (as Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited)
Defunct 1960
Headquarters Rearsby, Leicestershire, UK

Auster Aircraft Limited was a British aircraft manufacturer from 1938 to 1961.[1]


The company began in 1938 at the Britannia Works, Thurmaston near Leicester, England, as Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited, making light observation aircraft designed by the Taylorcraft Aircraft Corporation of America. 1,604 high-wing Taylorcraft Auster monoplanes were built during World War II for the armed forces of the UK and Canada, primarily for the role of Air Observation Post (AOP).

Auster Alpha parked in front of Auster's original assembly facilities at Rearsby in 1966

During the war the head office and drawing office were at a big old house on the outskirts of Thurmaston called "The Woodlands". The fuselages and wings were manufactured at Syston under the works manager by the name of Sharp. Sheet metalwork was done at the old 'en tout cas' works at Thurmaston. Final assembly, fitting out and testing took place at Rearsby aerodrome. The name changed to Auster (after the Roman name for the south wind) on 7 March 1946, when production shifted to Rearsby aerodrome, all in Leicestershire. All designs were evolved from the early Taylorcraft with a sprung skid or tailwheel beneath the fin (except for a low-wing aircraft called the "Agricola" designed for aerial farming work; only nine of these were completed). When the company was merged into Beagle Aircraft in June, 1961,[1] the high-wing design was developed still further as the Terrier and, with a nosewheel, the Airedale.

The various Auster models were extensively used in the UK and British colonies after World War II for a variety of activities such as AOP, mail delivery, VIP transport, private owner flights and joy rides at seaside airports and town carnivals.

The Auster name was dropped in 1968.


Auster Autocrat 5J1, built 1946
The Auster A.2/45 second prototype, VL523, of 1949

IAC 40th Anniversary Rearsby Fly In - 24 August 2013

To mark the 40th anniversary of the International Auster Club, 13 Austers descended onto a farmer's field next to the old wartime factory in Rearsby.

See also


  1. 1 2 Willis, issue 122, p.55
  2. "Britain's Aircraft: Auster A.2/45". Flight 8 September 1949, p. 293


External links

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