Auster, British Liaison and Observation Aircraft

Photograph of Taylorcraft Auster III

Royal Air Force. Via Wikimedia Commons

Taylorcraft Auster III





36'0" by 22'5" by 8'0"
10.97m by 6.83m by 2.44m
Wing area
167 square feet
15.5 m2


1050-1920 lbs
476-827 kg

Maximum speed      

130 mph at sea level
210 km/h at sea level
Cruise speed 112 mph at 1000 feet
180 km/h at 300 meters
Landing speed
30 mph
48 km/h
Climb rate
13 fps
4 m/s

Service ceiling

14,800 feet
4500 meters


300 miles
480 km
15 gallons internal; 8 gallons external


one 130hp (97 kW) DH Gipsey Major I driving a two-bladed propeller

Production 1800 of all types

The Auster was a light unarmed aircraft based on an American design similar to the L-5 Sentinel. It saw operation use in Burma spotting for artillery at the seige of Meiktila and with Australian forces in the Pacific. It could operate from the roughest of fields, and it could cruise so slowly that its usual defensive tactic was to circle tightly at very altitude, making it dangerous for a high-performance fighter to attempt a firing pass against it. On the other hand, it was highly vulnerable to ground fire.


Allen (1984) (accessed 2012-2-6) (accessed 2012-2-6) (accessed 2012-2-6)

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