The Beagle Husky (originally, the Auster D.5 and initially designated the Auster J/1Y) was a three-seat British light aircraft built in the 1960s which originated from a Portuguese Air Force requirement for a liaison/training aircraft,[1] a development of the Auster Alpha. It first flew as an Auster design in January 1960, but that company was taken over by Beagle Aircraft in September that year. It was initially available with a 160 hp Lycoming O-320 engine as the Auster D5/160.

Auster D.5 series
Role Utility aircraft
Manufacturer Auster, Beagle Aircraft, OGMA
First flight 10 January 1960
Number built 179
Developed from Auster Alpha

Twenty-two D5/160 were built for Portugal by Auster Aircraft at their Rearsby, Leicestershire, factory, in addition to a single D5/180 (the first such aircraft, with a 180 hp Lycoming O-360 engine). 141 sets of components for D5/160s were built by Auster and shipped to Portugal from Rearsby for assembly by the Oficinas Gerais de Material Aeronautico OGMA under licence, and 5 modification kits to bring a D5/160 to D5/180 standard were also sent.[2] The exact number of aircraft completed by OGMA is a point of contention[1][3][2] but it is probable that 138 D.5 aircraft were completed with one kit becoming a test airframe and two kits remaining as a source of spares.[1] The Portuguese Air Museum preserves two; one in flying condition.[4]

A further three Auster D5/160 were sold to the Congo. Subsequently, Beagle developed the D5/160 as the "Beagle D5/180 Husky" with a 180 hp Lycoming O-360 engine, the first being G-ASBV first flown in 1962. Only 15 Huskys were made before production was discontinued in 1967.[5] Since each aircraft was made to order to each customer's specification and there was no standard design of a Beagle Husky, production was accordingly uneconomic.[6][7] It was estimated that the cost of each Husky was £6,045, which was £1,747 more than the UK market price.[8]

The last[9] Husky, OE-DEW (c/n 3691), was the last of approximately 3868 aeroplanes[10] in the Auster line to be produced by Auster/Beagle; this aircraft is now back in the UK, registered G-AXBF and is still airworthy (2018). Later a few more airframes of a variety of Auster models were completed from spare fuselages or converted privately.

The designation "A.113" was only a design number and was not used in promotional material or in aircraft registrations with the Civil Aviation Authority where the term 'D5/180' was preferred. Additionally, the name Husky was only given to this version and not to the D5/160.

Operators edit

Husky of Airviews Ltd, Manchester, in 1971, fitted for banner towing and photography
  United Kingdom

Specifications (D.5/160) edit

Data from British Civil Aircraft since 1919: Volume I[12]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 23 ft 4+12 in (7.125 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 11 in (2.41 m)
  • Wing area: 185 sq ft (17.2 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,450 lb (658 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,450 lb (1,111 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-320-A2A air-cooled flat-four engine, 160 hp (120 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 125 mph (201 km/h, 109 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 108 mph (174 km/h, 94 kn)
  • Range: 460 mi (740 km, 400 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,800 ft (3,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 640 ft/min (3.3 m/s)

See also edit

Related development

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Wenham 2015, p.42
  2. ^ a b Jackson 1974 pp. 186-189
  3. ^ Hitchman 2006, pp28-29
  4. ^ ex-OGMS: Aviões da FAP – Auster
  5. ^ Jackson 1974, pp. 187-188.
  6. ^ Wenham 2015, pp. 45–49.
  7. ^ Hitchman 2006, p.32.
  8. ^ Hitchman 2006, p. 64
  9. ^ Wenham 2015, p. 51.
  10. ^ Hitchman 2006, p. 155.
  11. ^ "UK Serials (XW)". UK Serials Resource Centre. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  12. ^ Jackson 1974, p. 188.

Bibliography edit

  • Jackson, A. J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume I. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10006-9.
  • Wenham, Tom (2015). False Dawn - The Beagle Aircraft Story. Air-Britain. ISBN 978-0-85130-479-3.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 85.
  • Simpson, R. W. (1995). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing. p. 43.
  • Hitchman, Ambrose (2006). The History of the Auster Aeroplane (Revised 3rd Ed.). International Auster Club Heritage Group.