Auster T7 Antarctic

The Auster AOP.6 was a British military air observation aircraft produced by Auster Aircraft Limited to replace the numerous wartime Taylorcraft Auster aircraft then in-service. First flying in 1945, an initial production run of 296 were completed for the Royal Air Force in 1949.

The Auster T7 is a two-seat, dual-control aircraft designed for training of aircrew for the AOP6 artillery spotting and light communications aircraft, from which the T7 was developed.

In the training role the T7 replaced the Auster MkV, preparing crews for air observation post operations and as such was equipped to simulate night and instrument flying conditions. Many were transferred to the Army Air Corps during 1957/58 as the Army took overall responsibility for its aviation requirements.

The T7 prototype (a converted AOP6) first flew in 1947, production beginning in 1949. Seventy-seven T7s were built, while an additional ten AOP6 aircraft were later converted to T7 standard as the T10.

In 1955 two T.7 aircraft were modified for use on the 1956 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, being designated Auster Antarctic.

The aircraft had extra radio equipment, larger tail surfaces, the ability to be fitted with floats or skis as required and a bright yellow finish to increase visibility against the snow and ice.