Aeroplane Monthly 1984-11
E.Belfield - AOPs over Normandy
Someone once described flying in the Auster IV as “like sitting in a bubble." The moulded Perspex cabin roof was almost entirely free from optical distortion and the all round view from the aircraft was excellent.
The Auster IV was fitted with a 130 h.p. Lycoming flat-four air-cooled engine and had an all up weight of 1,700lb. With maximum load the take-off run was quoted as “less than 100yd”.
Except for the new engine, the Perspex cabin roof and the tailwheel, the Auster IV resembled previous models externally.
RAF mechanics “servicing" an Auster AOP for the Royal Artillery on the Western Front during the winter of 1944-45.
Taylorcraft Auster AOP IV MT306 of No 651 Squadron is surveyed by RAF personnel at Count Ciano’s Villa near Forti, after suffering flak damage while flying over the 8th Army Front during artillery spotting duties during the winter of 1944/5. Note the rough terrain which was typical AOP country.
The cockpit of the Auster V was equipped with full blind-flying panel, including artificial horizon and direction indicator.
In spite of its small size the Auster V could be used as an ambulance to fly out stretcher cases. What would appear to be an impossible piece of manoeuvring was achieved with an ingenious guide rail in which one of the legs of the stretcher slided. The operation required care if the stretcher case was not to be damaged further!
When radio was carried in the Auster IV it was mounted in place of the front starboard seat. Note the armour plated seat back which folded forward to give access to the third seat.