Auster Adventurer

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Auster J/5 Adventurer
Auster J5 Adventurer ZK-AXJ Ardmore NZ 26.02.92R.jpg
J/5 Adventurer at Ardmore airfield, Auckland, New Zealand in February 1992
Role private owner aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Auster Aircraft Ltd
First flight 15 November 1947
Introduction 1948
Status several still in operation
Primary user private owner pilots and agricultural contractors
Number built 59
Developed from J/1 Autocrat

The Auster J/5 Adventurer is a British-built three-seat light high-wing monoplane of the late 1940s.


The Adventurer three-seat high-wing monoplane was developed from the J/1 Autocrat with extra power provided by the installation of the 130 h.p. Gipsy Major engine, to enable more flexible operations in the hotter climate of Australia and New Zealand, where most examples were sold. Unlike the similarly powered J/1 Aiglet and J/1N Alpha, the Adventurer retained the smaller tail surfaces of the Autocrat, the new engine being set back sufficiently far for the original fin area to remain sufficient.[1]

The prototype Adventurer was converted to the new standard from a J/1 Autocrat c/n 2093 and first flew on 15 November 1947.[2] This was followed by a further 58 production examples delivered between 1948 and 1952.[3]

Operational history[edit]

Most J/5s were sold to private pilot owners in Australia and New Zealand where they were given the name Adventurer. Eleven Adventurers were still in service in Australia in 2009 and one in New Zealand (see image). Six Adventurers were sold to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and four to the Royal Rhodesian Air Force (RRAF). Five examples were completed for agricultural use as the J/5A Cropduster and served in Africa and Pakistan.[4]


civil version, also operated by the RNZAF and RRAF (54 aircraft)
agricultural version with spray bars, spray tank etc. (5 aircraft)


 New Zealand
 Southern Rhodesia

Specifications (J/5)[edit]

Data from Green, 1965, p. 138

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: two passengers
  • Length: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
  • Wing area: 185 ft2 (17.19 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,205 lb (547 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,000 lb (907 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Gipsy Major I, 130 hp (97 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 125 mph (201 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 106 mph (171 km/h)
  • Range: 200 miles (322 km)
  • Rate of climb: 750 ft/min (3.81 m/s)


  1. ^ Green, 1965, p. 138
  2. ^ Hitchman, 1989, p. 59
  3. ^ Ellison, 1965, pp 56-58
  4. ^ Ellison, 1965, pp. 56-58
  5. ^ a b Jerram Aeroplane Monthly January 1988, p. 54.
  • Ellison, N.H. (1965). Auster Aircraft Ltd - Aircraft Production list. Air Britain (Historians). 
  • Green, William (1965). The Aircraft of the World. Macdonald & Co (Publishers). ASIN B001AH4Y0E. 
  • Hitchman, A.V. (1989). The History of the Auster Aeroplane. International Auster Pilot Club. ASIN B0019BV2YM. 
  • Jerram, Mike (January 1988). "For Business and Pleasure: Part Six". Aeroplane Monthly. Vol. 16 no. 1. pp. 54–57. ISSN 0143-7240.