|Auster AOP.6 operational with 663 (AOP) Squadron in 1954|
|Manufacturer||Auster Aircraft Limited|
|Primary users||Royal Air Force|
Belgian Air Force
|Number built||AOP.6 378|
|Developed from||Taylorcraft Auster|
|Variants||Beagle A.61 Terrier|
The Auster AOP.6 (Auster Model K) was designed as a successor to the Taylorcraft Auster V, it had a strengthened fuselage, increased all-up weight and a 145 hp (108 kW) de Havilland Gipsy Major 7 engine. It had a different appearance to the wartime Austers due to the lengthened landing gear struts (due to the larger propeller), and external non-retractable aerofoil flaps.
An initial production run of 296 were completed for the Royal Air Force in 1949. A second batch was produced from 1952 with a total delivered of around 400. Some aircraft ordered by the Royal Air Force aircraft were diverted to the Belgian Air Force (22) and the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (2). New aircraft were delivered to Royal Canadian Air Force, South African Air Force, and the Arab Legion Air Force (Jordan).
A dual-control training version of the AOP.6 was produced, 77 serving as the Auster T.7 (Auster Model Q). These flew alongside the AOP.6 in the AOP squadrons.
In 1955 two T.7 aircraft were modified for use on the 1956 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, being designated Auster Antarctic (Auster Model C4). The aircraft had extra radio equipment, larger tail surfaces, the ability to be fitted with floats or skis as required and a bright yellow finish to increase visibility against the snow and ice.
Data from Macdonald Aircraft Handbook
Media related to Auster AOP.6 at Wikimedia Commons