It is still a man passionate of aeronautics that is at the origin of this adventure which started in 1938.
Alexander Lance Wykes, a well-off businessman from the Leicester area and a member of the County Flying Group, undertook to negotiate the purchase of a license to build light aircraft in the United States to manufacture them . He returned to England with an agreement for the construction of model B from Taylorcraft.
Mr. Wykes created the company Taylorcraft Aeroplanes England Ltd and the first construction work began in February 1939. The first manufactured model came out of the hangar on 24 April 1939 with the G-AFNW registration.
The aircraft thus manufactured was slightly modified in comparison with the US plans to comply with certain clauses imposed by the British Civil Airworthiness. It was called Taylorcraft "Plus C".
He made his first successful flight on 3 May 1939 from Ratcliffe Airfield.
The G-AFNW was delivered to the County Flying Group at Rearsby Airfield and production of the Taylorcraft Plus C began its series.
With the allied war in September 1939, Taylorcraft ceased production and became a repair center on behalf of the British Army. The company repaired some Tiger Moth for the Royal Air Force,
but also hunters Hawker Hurricane and Hawker Typhoon from 1940 onwards.
In parallel to aircraft repair work for the RAF, the C plus model was developed and modified for surveillance and military observation purposes on the war front. A hundred of this model called Taylorcraft Auster Mk 1 was ordered during 1942. Several other models were built with a total of more than 1500 aircraft produced during the war.
In the later days of the war, Taylorcraft's latest model, the Auster Mk V, worked so well that the manufacturer adapted it to make a light civil aircraft. The G-AGOH was modified and used as a prototype, including the installation of a Blackburn Cirrus II 100 Hp engine instead of the 130 Hp engine on the Mk V. It took the name of Taylorcraft-Auster J1 autocrat. The structure of this plane is metallic with wooden wing spars, all covered of course of canvas. In 1946 the company took the name of Auster Aircraft Ltd. The aircraft became known from then on as Auster J1 Autocrat.
The Rearsby-based Auster brand developed and produced numerous versions for various civil, agricultural and commercial activities. For more than 20 years, Auster's light aircraft represented a benchmark with more than 3,800 planes produced worldwide. Several developments took place, including the installation of more powerful engines for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
In 1960 Auster Aircraft Ltd was incorporated into the BEAGLE group and Auster's designs continued to develop until 1968.
The Auster J1 Autocrat SE-CGR from 1946
Today, we propose to rehabilitate the Auster J1 registered SE-CGR of 1946.
The picture above corresponds to the plane we took to Sweden in November 2014.
The initial registration was G-AIZW. This plane has not flown since 1966. We can tell you that there is still a lot of work to be done.