Auster Aircraft Limited began as Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited in
1939 making light observation aircraft designed by the Taylorcraft Aircraft
Corporation of America at the Britannia Works, Thurmaston near Leicester,
England. 1,604 high wing Auster monoplanes were built during the Second World
War WWII for the armed forces of the UK.
Auster Autocrat from 1952
The name change occurred on 7th March 1946 when production shifted to Rearsby
aerodrome, also 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 crop-spraying purposes;
unfortunately only two of these were completed. When Beagle Aircraft bought the
company in June 1961 the successful high wing design was developed still further
as the Terrier and - with a nosewheel - the Airedale.
The air observation duties,
insurgency and casualty evacuation roles
performed by Austers and similar light aircraft were generally taken over by
light helicopters from the mid 1960s.