The Auster AOP6 was a British military air observation aircraft produced by Auster Aircraft Limited to replace the numerous wartime Taylorcraft Auster aircraft then in-service.
The Auster AOP6 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. Former Royal Air Force aircraft were delivered 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.
A dual-control version of the AOP6 was produced, 77 serving as the Auster T7. In 1955 two T7s were modified for use on the 1956 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, designated Auster Antarctic. The aircraft had extra radio equipment, larger tail surfaces, the ability to be fitted with floats or skis as required and a bright orange finish to aid visibility.
The aircraft was replaced with the Auster AOP9 from 1955 and surplus aircraft were converted to civilian use, first as the Auster 6A and later as the Beagle A.61 Terrier.
- Auster AOP6 - main production version, over 400 built.
- Auster 6A - former military aircraft converted for civil use
- Auster T7 - dual-control training version of the AOP6, 77 built.
- Auster T7 Antarctic - modified aircraft for use in the Antarctic, two conversions.
- Auster T10 - AOP6s converted to T7 standard, 10 conversions.
- Beagle A.61 Terrier - former military aircraft converted for civil use
- Auster S - An AOP aircraft based on the Auster 6, with enlarge tail. Prototype only.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.
- Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1. London: Putnam.
- Halley, J.J., The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918-1988, Air-Britain, Tonbridge, ISBN 0-85130-164-9.