The initials stand for “Air Observation Post”. Three American manufacturers built large numbers of these military artillery spotters during the Second World War. Auster was a British company, but it was set up as Taylorcraft UK to licence-produce one of the US designs. The post-war AOP 6 was Auster’s own design, but it was closely based on its US predecessors. It had an in-line 4 cylinder deHavilland engine rather than an American flat four, and had trailing flaps added.
Thirty six AOP 6s were bought by the RCAF and the Army Air Corps, and they served with distinction in the Korean War. All were retired by 1958. The Museum’s Auster was built in 1947 and served with 444 Squadron and the Joint Training School. After a period in storage it was sold commercially in 1969, and flew for twelve years before going back into storage.
It was acquired by the Museum in May 2000, and subsequently has been completely overhauled under Transport Canada supervision. It has been repainted in the Joint Training School’s colours and markings. Volunteer work was led by Morris Sweet.