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Austin

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   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 by C.H. Brooks, 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 (Requirement)
Status
Qty
Description
References
   A.F.B.1    Austin-Ball  1918    Proto  1  1S, 1E biplane fighter.  1,2,5,6,8,12,14,16,17
   A.F.B.2      1918    Proj  0  1S, 1E biplane fighter.  (6) - See Note 1
   A.F.T.3  Osprey    1918  A1.(a)  Proto  1  1S, 1E triplane fighter.  1,2,5,9,12,15,18
     Greyhound    1918  RAF Types IIIA, IIIB
 and IX
 Proto  3  2S, 1E biplane fighter.  1,2,5,12
     Whippet    1919    Prdn  5  1S, 1E biiplane light aircraft.  3,4,7,10,13,14
     Kestrel    1920    Proto  1  2S, 1E biplane light aircraft.  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, Nov-Dec 1978
  7. Aeroplane Monthly, Jul 1989
  8. Air Pictorial Sep 1957
  9. Aviation News Vol 18 No. 15
  10. Flight 14 Aug 1919
  11. Flight 05 Aug 1920
  12. The British Fighter since 1912, Peter Lewis (Putnam, 1965)
  13. Ultralights, The Early British Classics, Richard Riding (Patrick Stephens, 1987)
  14. Aviation in Birmingham, Geoffrey Negus and Tommy Staddon (Midland Counties Publications, 1984)
  15. British Research and Development Aircraft, Ray Sturtivant (Haynes, 1990)
  16. Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War, W. M. Lamberton (Harleyford, 1960)
  17. Air Pictorial Nov 1957 (letters)
  18. British Aircraft of WWI, Volume 1 - Experimental Fighters Part 1, Colin A Owers (Aeronaut Books, 2017)




Production Summary top
Select the Prdn_List button to go to the appropriate listings page.

Note: In the Production Summary, conversions are only listed where they result in a change from one Type to another. Changes to sub-type or Mark Number are not shown in the summary. For details of these, see the individual listings.

Type No

Name

Qty (New)

Qty (Conv.)

Canc'd

 A.F.B.1

1

1

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 A.F.T.3

 Osprey

1

2

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 Greyhound

3

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 Whippet

5

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 Kestrel

1

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Total Austin Production

11

Total Austin Cancelled Orders

3

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V1.4.2 Created by Roger Moss. Last updated December 2019