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Austin

Austin Motor Company (1914) Ltd.


History

Centered at Northfield, Birmingham, Warwickshire, this engineering company became a War Office contractor for airplanes during the First World War, building over 2,000 subcontract aircraft. the aircraft department was set up in 1914, under the leadership of J.D. North (later of Boulton Paul) following his departure from Grahame-White Aviation. In 1917 the company began to build aircraft of original design, the first being designed with input from fighter ace Albert Ball, whose father was on the Board of Directors of Austin and used his influence to have his sons specifications considered by the company. The Osprey (1918) was a triplane single-seater designed by John Kenworthy (later of ADC) and C. H. Brooks; this was followed by the Greyhound two-seat fighter, also designed by Kenworthy and assisted by Harold Roxbee-Cox, but not flown untill after the Armistice. Post war, the company built two civil types; the Kestrel side-by-side two-seater (awarded 2nd prize in an Air Ministry competition) and the Whippet single-seater. Aircraft activities ceased 1920, but in 1936 the "shadow factory" scheme began and Austin once again had aircraft connections, producing more than 2400 aircraft of other companies designs during World War II.

Company References
  1. British Built Aircraft Volume 4, Ron Smith(Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2004)
  2. http://www.austinmemories.com/page6/page6.html
  3. Aviation In Birmingham, Geoffrey Negus and Tommy Staddon (Midland Counties Publishing, 1984)



Project Data top

Project No

Type No

Name

Alternative Name(s)

Year

Spec

Status

Qty

Description

References

  A.F.B.1  Austin-Ball 1918  Proto  1 1S, 1E biplane fighter 1,2,5,6,8
  A.F.B.2   1918  Proj  0 1S, 1E biplane fighter (6) - See Note 1
  A.F.T.3 Osprey  1918 A.1A Proto  1 1S, 1E triplane fighter 1,2,5,9
   Greyhound  1918  Proto  3 2S, 1E biplane fighter 1,2,5
   Whippet  1919  Prdn  5 1S, 1E triplane 3,4,7,10
   Kestrel  1920  Proto  1 2S, 1E biplane 3,4,11

Notes
  1. Bruce [6] speculates that the second, unbuilt, Austin-Ball fighter would have been designated A.F.B.2.

Project References
  1. British Aeroplanes 1914-18, J.M. Bruce (Putnam, 1957)
  2. British Fighter Since 1912, Francis K. Mason (Putnam 1992)
  3. British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, Vol 1, A.J. Jackson (Putnam, 1973)
  4. British Light Aeroplanes, Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume (GMS Enterprises, 2000)
  5. Fighters Of W.W.I, Vol 1, J.M. Bruce (McDonald, 1965)
  6. Aeroplane Monthly Magazine, Nov-Dec 1978
  7. Aeroplane Monthly Magazine, Jul 1989
  8. Air Pictorial Magazine, Sep, 1957
  9. Aviation News Magazine Vol 18/15
  10. Flight Magazine, Aug 14, 1919
  11. Flight Magazine, Aug 5, 1920



Production Summary top

Type No

Name

Qty (New)

Qty (Conv.)

Canc'd

 A.F.B.1

1

1

Prdn_List_5.jpg

 A.F.T.3

 Osprey

1

2

Prdn_List_5.jpg

 Greyhound

3

Prdn_List_5.jpg

 Whippet

5

Prdn_List_5.jpg

 Kestrel

1

Prdn_List_5.jpg

Total Austin Production

11

Total Austin Cancelled Orders

3

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V1.3.0 Created by Roger Moss. Last updated February 2017