Auster Autocar

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J/5 Autocar
Auster J.5B Autocar G-AJYK Airviews Ringway 02.07.50 edited-2.jpg
The prototype J/5B Autocar of Airviews Ltd at Manchester Airport in 1950
Role Touring aircraft
Manufacturer Auster Aircraft Limited
First flight August 1949
Introduction 1950
Status several still airworthy in 2012
Primary user private pilot owners
Number built 180

The Auster J/5 Autocar was a 1940s British single-engined four-seat high-wing touring monoplane built by Auster Aircraft Limited at Rearsby, Leicestershire.

Design and production[edit]

The company recognised a need for a four-seat touring aircraft to complement the three-seat Auster J/1 Autocrat. The J/5 Autocar looked similar to the Autocrat, but was a new model featuring wing-root fuel tanks and an enlarged cabin.

The designation of J/5 for the Autocar followed on from its progenitor, the wartime Model J, which was designated the Auster AOP.V by the Royal Air Force. Postwar models derived from the Model J commenced with the J/1 Autocrat - note the use of J/1, not J-1.[1][2]

Auster J/5G Autocar at Sydney (Bankstown) Airport in 1970

The prototype Autocar G-AJYK, a model J/5B, first flew in August 1949 and was exhibited at the Farnborough Air Show in September.[3] A demand for a more powerful version for the tropics produced in 1950 the J/5E powered by a 155 hp (116 kW) Blackburn Cirrus Major engine. This was further developed as the J/5G which was first flown in 1951.


Saunders-Roe of Cowes, Isle of Wight, acquired a J/5G Autocar and fitted it with an experimental hydro-ski undercarriage and emergency under-wing floats. With this equipment, the aircraft could remain almost stationary on the water.

The Autocar has been primarily operated by private pilot owners but some were used by small charter firms in the UK and elsewhere as taxi and photographic aircraft. Pest Control Ltd took delivery of five J/5G Autocars in 1952 for crop spraying operations in Sudan.


J/5P Autocar at Kidlington Airport, Oxford in 1966
Auster J/5B Autocar
production version.
Auster J/5E Autocar
prototype export version with a Blackburn Cirrus Major 3 engine.
Auster J/5G Autocar
export version with a Blackburn Cirrus Major 3 engine.
Auster J/5GL
one Auster J-5G fitted with a Lycoming piston engine.
Auster J/5G Super Autocar
One J/5G converted in Australia by Kingsford Smith Aviation Services with a 225hp (168kW) Continental O-470 engine.
Auster J/5H Autocar
with Blackburn Cirrus Major 2 engine, one rebuilt from J/5B
Auster J/5P Autocar
version with a de Havilland Gipsy Major 1 engine.
Auster J/5V Autocar
development aircraft with 160 hp (199 kW) Lycoming O-320 engine.
Kingsford Smith Bushmaster
An Auster J/5G conversion in Australia by Kingsford Smith Aviation Services, fitted with a 180hp (134kW) Lycoming O-360 engine, constant speed propeller and other improvements.

Civil operators[edit]

United Kingdom

Military operators[edit]


Specifications (J/5B)[edit]

General characteristics



  1. ^ Hitchman, 1989, p. 53
  2. ^ Ellison, 1966, p. 72
  3. ^ Jackson, p. 75
  • Ellison, N.H. (1966). Auster Aircraft - Aircraft Production List. Air Britain (Historians) Ltd. ASIN B0041OQAEG. 
  • Hitchman, Ambrose (1989). The History of the Auster Aeroplane. International Auster Pilot Club. ASIN B0019BV2YM. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  • Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10006-9. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Auster Autocar at Wikimedia Commons