A query was recently posted by "Ian" on ABIX saying "I'm curious why the captions to the pictures are so skimped & no credit under pics for photos". I am very puzzled by this because the captions are, certainly, fairly brief (one or two sentences) - but give all the necessary information, particularly when taken in context with the adjacent text. In some cases much more extensive information is given where it is clearly necessary. As for the photo credits, almost every picture has the initials of the photographer and a key to the person concerned is given in the book introduction. In the rare cases where there is no credit it is because the photographer is unknown and the original picture gives no indication of who took it. Rod Simpson
I guess to some extent there was the pressure of getting this edition done in good time for Middle Wallop, but for the second edition (full production histories) will there be a call out for photos and perhaps a photo CD/USB if the flood of submissions is big enough? Would be nice to think there is a photo out there of every Auster built?
Yes - we might do a trawl for more photos - but as it stands we have a library which includes a picture of almost every individual Auster (other than many wartime examples which were probably never photographed). These have been obtained from many A-B members and from the collections which have been donated to us. Obviously it is impractical to illustrate every aircraft in the second volume but we will aim at covering a great number of them ! - Rod S
How many Austers were built ? Well, that is a matter of some debate but in the book we say 3,399 plus 148 OGMA-built D4s/D5s and 149 Auster B3 unmanned targets. That allows for some missing c/ns - which are presumed not to have been built. Also, many wartime Auster 4s and 5s were bought back by the company and it is probable that they were rebuilt as Autocrats with new c/ns - but nobody is quite sure. Rod S
Micky, you raise an interesting question which gives rise to an equally interesting answer from Rod Simpson. The oft-quoted production of 149 Auster B3s is at odds with the similarly oft-quoted sequence of fuselage numbers, ie AUS100FF to AUS249FF - which equates, of course, to 150 airframes. When I was researching for my book on British military drones/targets ("Sitting Ducks & Peeping Toms") I continuously came across references to 150 Auster B3s built. So, where does the 149 come from? Did somebody make an elementary mathematical error of subtracting 100 from 249 and coming up with 149?
Similarly, Rod quotes 148 OGMA-built D4/D5s. I have for a long while held a fleeting interest in Austers but never really took time out to explore OGMA records which probably explains why my (unreliable) notes only reaches 147. (I am quite content to accept the figure of 148, as Rod suggests). However, what confuses me on this is that the Auster book lists a run from c/ns 001 to 154 suggesting 154 aircraft built. Conversely, when I spent some time on Sao Tome island back in 1968, I took the opportunity to study the two locally-based D5s CR-SAI and CR-SAJ and noted c/ns 141 and 142 although their airframe log-books (which showed first flight dates in late-1966) will have it in the reverse order. The Auster book lists these as I recorded them but also duplicates them as 149 and 150. That, I find puzzling, unless the two Sao-Tome examples were succeeded by two more with the same identities. I am unsure whether your question, therefore, has been fully answered.