The Auster J-5B Autocar is one of the easier models to recognise.
They are four seaters built along the conventional tube and rag theme like most of its Auster predecessors.
It has the enlarged horn balanced rudder and a domed cabin roof with fuel tanks in the wing roots and powered by the 130hp Gipsy Major 1 engine. The prototype first flew in August of 1949 just in time for the 1949 SBAC Farnborough Air Show.
Eighty of this model were manufactured with c/n 2943 coming to NZ to become ZK-AYN on 15-11-1951 for the NZ agents, British Aircraft Ltd. It got its C of A on 22-11-1951 and went to H B Newton who traded as Bay of Plenty Air Services Ltd. In early March of 1954 it joined the New Plymouth Aero Club with whom it underwent a rebuild in 1960. It then went into private ownership, firstly with R W Bell of Puniho in March of 1961 and then to G E Jamieson of Culverden mid 1963. Barry Cowley and Colin Sutherland, first of Rangiora, took it over on 05-08-1976, and then from Gisborne from 14-09-1981. By March of 1986 Colin Sutherland had it at Rotorua trading as White Island Airways. As I understand it - it was dismantled for rebuild in about 1987; went to Gerald Rhodes of Christchurch in April of 1991 and then to Des Lines of Swannanoa in March of 1998. I believe it has not flown since the mid 1980's, but I am willing to be advised otherwise. Its registration has now been cancelled. It is still in storage along with two other Austers and a Travel Air 4000.
|Auster ZK-AYN at Timaru on 03-06-1968.|