No. 4816. Auster B5 A.O.P. Mk.9 (G-BKVK c/n AUS/10/2)
Photographed by Martin Robinson

Auster B5 A.O.P. Mk.9

12/15/2005. Remarks by Martin Robinson: "My 1954 prototype Auster A.O.P. Mk.9, in original Army Air Corps WZ662 military markings, has TTA 500 hours and TTE120 hours.

This three-seater has fantastic short field performance and always draws a crowd. It is unique because it is a prototype which also saw military service in the Far East and is now in private ownership. The Mk.9 was the first Auster aircraft to be designed from a clean sheet of paper rather than being increasingly modified Taylorcrafts.

Unlike other Auster types, no civilian versions of the Mk.9 were ever produced. This was due to an occasional uncommanded wing drop in the ground roll just after touch down. No one ever found out what causes it or a cure. It isn't a problem but is unnerving the first few times. Powered by the Blackburn Cirrus Bombardier engine rated at 180 hp and with a maximum weight of 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), they were used by the Army in the Far East from 1954 until the end of hostilities in the 1967.

There are believed to be only 9 or 10 Mk.9's left flying in the world. 'WZ662's first flight was March 19, 1954 and was the second pre-production prototype, the first having been destroyed in heavy landing tests. In 1968 it was declared NEA (non-effective airframe) and sold for 40. It was registered G-BKVK in 1983. The Victor Kilo Group, of which I am a member, acquired the aircraft May 1, 2003."

Created December 15, 2005