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.