As the end of the Second World War approached the designers at Taylorcraft decided to develop a tourer version of the robust and reliable Taylorcraft Auster Model J AOP.V observation aircraft series. An Auster 5, registered G-AGOH, was modified to take a 100 hp (75 kW) Blackburn Cirrus II engine for trials. At the same time a prototype aircraft was built designated the Taylorcraft Auster V Series J/1 Autocrat. The long name was not used as the company changed name to Auster Aircraft Limited and the aircraft became known as the Auster J/1 Autocrat.
The designation J/1 derived from the progenitor Model J, which was the Auster AOP.V.
Production and operation
The first production aircraft, registered G-AGTO, was delivered in December 1945. One of the more spectacular feats of the type was the first visit of a civilian aircraft to an aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious in the English Channel in October 1946. The last Rearsby built J/1s were delivered in 1952.
The Autocrat became one of the most successful post-war British light aircraft with more than 400 built. A small number of variants were built and the aircraft became the basis for a family of light aircraft.
Many J/1s were converted to J/1N Alpha standard with a higher fin and fitted with a 130 h.p. Gipsy Major engine, as used in the J/1B Aiglet. Numbers of Autocrats and Alphas continue to fly (2009) with private owners in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
(Source : Jackson, 1974, P. 67)
Published in July 2009.
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