I am surprised, and more than a little disappointed, that the new Air-Britain Auster book glosses over the very considerable part played by Courtney Prentice, the owner of G-AFDN, to popularise the Taylorcraft Model A in the United Kingdom long before the County Flying Club became involved.
The Auster book states that the County Flying Club added Taylorcraft Model A, G-AFJW, to their fleet and at the same time several other Taylorcraft Model As were imported, listing G-AFDN, G-AFHF, G-AFJO, G-AFJP, G-AFKN, and G-AFKO.
This is a distortion of the facts, and except where noted otherwise, the following details have been taken from the Flying Logbook of Courtney Prentice for the year 1938.
G-INFO records that G-AFDN was registered to Courtney Prentice on 19/01/38.
The aircraft was tested by its owner at Hanworth on 21/01/38 and flown (via Hatfield) to his local aerodrome at Ipswich on 23/01/38.
In addition to demonstrating G-AFDN on numerous occasions locally, Courtney Prentice demonstrated the aeroplane at Ely, Lowestoft, Norwich and Walsall, during March 1938.
During April 1938 G-AFDN was demonstrated at Chelmsford, Gravesend, Heston, Maidstone, Romford, Southend, and Tollerton, but more significantly, Courtney Prentice spent two days (9/10 April) giving demonstrations at Rearsby.
Demonstrations continued during May 1938 with visits to Hanworth, Redhill, Witney and Wyton.
Courtney Prentice delivered Taylorcraft Model A, G-AFHF, from Hanworth to Ely on 21/05/38 and G-INFO records that the aeroplane was registered to Cambridge Flying Services Ltd two days later.
G-AFDN was demonstrated at Rearsby for a second time on 26/06/38 and again on 23 and 24 July.
Taylorcraft Model A, G-AFJW, was collected from Stapleford on 03/09/39 by Courtney Prentice and flown to Ipswich via Hanworth, but it was not until 30/09/38 that he delivered the aeroplane to Rearsby.
G-INFO records that G-AFJW was registered to the County Flying Club on 24/10/38.
This type of input is vital to the Production Histories Auster second volume that will hopefully appear later next year. From a personal viewpoint (UK register and individual histories freak that I am !) I would hope that ALL those with data on individual Austers will flood the Inbox of Malcolm. However small the bit of information may be (even just a date of arrival with a new owner that usually differs from the official CofR transcripts) it is all grist to the mill. If we don't assemble the maximum amount of data for the second volume, it certainly is unlikely to be published again in our lifetime !
Bernard and others. Yes please! Any information you think might not be readily available please get in touch. I am also working on the Bulldog production list which may also have problems but at present I have only just started! Regards. Malcolm
Micky, Nice picture of the Hellenic Auster AOP.III. Thinking about my own AAC project, one area that has long concerned me is the designation of those Auster AOP.6s that were converted for dual instruction. Because there was a difference between the AOP.6 and the T.7, a new designator was raised. There is documentation in AAC files that relate to the Auster T.10. Looks odd, but it is there. There is also documentation that suggests it be designated AOP.10 because T.10 might cause workshop confusion with the Chipmunk T.10. For a long time I used the T.10 variance but subsequently warmed to it being an AOP.10. However, I note that the Auster book uses both T.10 and AOP.10 as on pages 134 and 135 (text and caption). Is there any supportive (official) material that suggests that a change was made or, for that matter, that it was genuinely designated T.10 ?
Your input underlines my firm belief that it was the Auster T.10 but over time it has morphed into AOP.10. One specialist in all things Auster made it clear to me some years back that Austers termed it as an AOP.10 and that the T.10 was entirely spurious. Not quite so. The documentation recommending a change to AOP.10 is undated and emerged from 72 Aircraft Workshop, REME. Now, not wishing to cast any aspersion on the integrity of REME (who feared confusion with Chipmunk T.10) it does infer that there was a case for change. But that is only one small scrap of paper. And I have seen nothing that takes the argument forwards. Somewhere, there must be a piece of paper (in the public domain) that can settle this. After all, the use of AOP.10 has been around for a very long time but I must confess to have never had the inclination to explore more deeply. I had, of late, chosen to change allegiance, to follow the crowd and lean towards AOP.10 but now I find myself swaying back to left of centre. Perhaps the piece of paper is the illustrated Pilot's Notes. Struggling slightly less.
There is nothing more refreshing for the mind than walking the dog across the fields on a sunny Summer Monday morning. Regarding the Auster AOP.10/T.10 discussion, I am now reminded of the case for the de Havilland Queen Bee. For decades, the Queen Bee has been described as a DH.82B; indeed one or two owners of restored examples claim their mounts to be so-designated. But, as I tried to point out in 'Sitting Ducks & Peeping Toms', the DH.82B was a very different aeroplane and the 'B' tag is quite spurious when associating it with the Queen Bee. (It is, in fact, a DH.82 Queen Bee - nothing more, nothing less). Referring back to my contributions to BARG 'Roundel' (back in 1981/82) I see that I referred to the conversion as an 'Auster Mk.10', clearing taking the coward's approach. Referring to Ian's timely intervention, I rather imagine that the conversion was to Auster T.10 and that any reference to AOP.10 is as nonsensical as is the DH.82B Queen Bee. Mike
Found this photo in the IPPA/Dan Hadani collection (The National Library of Israel).
It´s G-ASLT, a J/5F c/n 2771 and pictured at Ramat Gan (Israel) early 1972.
It was registered on 24 May 1967 to Abi Nathan, the Israeli Peace activist. Its UK registration was cancelled 8 November 1973, probably because it was DBF on 17 March 1972 at Ramat Gan (as mentioned in the Auster book).
Last Edit: Sept 15, 2018 20:52:49 GMT by kuntz1952
(Attention is also drawn to some chronological inexactitudes)
11 “Lord Alanbrooke” was General Sir Alan Brooke at this time. He did not become a peer until 1945.
37 “blister roof” on J2, compared with “cut out panels” for the J4. In fact, both were identical, with three windows in the roof.
38 “Royal Pakistan Air Force”. At partition, the Royal Indian AF became the IAF and the Pakistan Air Force was created, never having been Royal. Also p110 and p123.
42 “loss of six month’s civilian production”. Apart from being a case for the punctuation police this condenses six years of the Second World War into one-twelfth of the time
57 “Bombardier stressed that ...” Bombardier was the name of the engine; the manufacturer was Blackburn (or its Cirrus division). Also an “MK.9” which should be Mk.9.
59 Four AOP.9s to Christmas Island; two of the serials should read WZ676, WZ698, (not WE).
62 “in 1952...Everest pioneer, Sir Edmund Hillary”. The gentleman was not an Everest pioneer until May 1953 and not a ‘Sir’ until June 1953. (Also, the sentence has a superfluous “was”; and he was not a joint expedition leader with Fuchs, as the text implies.)
73 “control linkages run externally along the side of the fuselage...abandoned”. A short external section was buried in production aircraft, but mostly external control cables were standard on all built.
73/74 “electric cabling had to be similarly protected”. But p74 states “the Agricola did not have a battery or electrical system”. The fact is that it had cables installed for an external power source for starting; this is not explained.
80/149 Two slightly different descriptions are given of the Atlantic’s mishap. p80 says “on landing”; p149 says “following landing, while taxying back”. From photographs, the second appears to be true.
57/81-82 AOP.10 conversion. Described twice, but conflicting statements on how many converted by Auster: nine (p82) or 10 (p57). Refer to other posts for T.10/AOP.10 debate.
88 “Handley Page Victor and Jetstream”. If the date is early 1960s, I suggest substitute “Herald” for Jetstream, which latter was not authorised for prototype manufacture until 1966.
95 Tugmaster “fitting larger fin and rudder”. My understanding is that the horn-balanced tailplane was fitted at the same time.
96 Charles Masefield? Presumably Peter’s son but, surely, he had no executive position in Beagle.
97 “Mark IV had the auxiliary trim surface” [like the Mks I-III/Plus D]. Re-stated on p109, plus shown on a cutaway drawing. Had I been aware of these references, my drawing on page 214 would have conformed and not showed the Mk V trim system on a Mk IV. It seems the Mk IV survivors all have the Mk V trim system as a retrofit — and all sources available for making drawings for the book showed this later state of affairs. (Unless the earlier statement and cutaway drawing are in error. More research needed.)
100 G-APUW was a B5/160 not a /1690.
106 There is missing text: “evaluation by [?] at Larkhill”.
122 J5F “essentially, standard 36ft wings with 24 inches removed at each tip”. In fact, the wings were not clipped, but re-designed throughout their length with, for example, ribs closer together and an extra bay inboard of the ailerons.
133 “At a later stage production Austers [AOP.6] added a larger horn-balanced tailplane”. See comment regarding page 95. I have never seen an AOP.6 in Army service with horn-balanced rudder, or elevators. However, there are some civil conversions masquerading in military colours and having tail surfaces they never wore when with the RAF.
139 Model H. There is a school of thought that this was not G-AFKO, that connection invented to disguise the unauthorised appropriation of war materials in the form of a new fuselage.
144 “149 examples, AUS100FF to AUS249FF”. That’s 250 examples.
216 Avis side views do not illustrate the reported (p140) 3° leading-edge sweep of this model. The question of trailing edge sweep remains unanswered.
230 SBAC designation system. Auster would have been assigned a prefix letter for its regularised designations: eg xA1 to xA9. It has yet to be ascertained what ‘x’ was.
Ian, Mike, The question of AOP.10 or T.10 is either helped or hindered if we remember the contemporary Saro Skeeter. When ordered for the military, the mark numbers jumped from Mk 6 to AOP.10 (three for evaluation) and T.11 (one for CFS). They then proceeded with main AOP.12 production and (alleged) T.13 conversions thereof. Auster T.10 would mean no confliction with Skeeter AOP.10; and Skeeter T.11 deconflicts with Auster AOP.11. One gets the impression of a unified AOP designation system, irrespective of aircraft type, but which didn’t quite work out.