Aircraft Type
Military Aircraft


The Taylorcraft Company began in 1939 at the Britannia Works, near Leicester, England, as Taylorcraft Aeroplanes Limited. 1,604 high-wing Taylorcraft Austers were built during the Second World War for the armed forces of the UK and Canada.

The Taylorcraft Auster Mk VII was based on earlier wartime versions and was used for artillery spotting or aerial observation.  It had an improved and more powerful power plant: the 145hp DH Gipsy Major VII.  It also featured a more robust undercarriage and auxiliary airfoil flaps.


This particular aircraft was purchased new by the RCAF in 1946 and was flown from Winnipeg to Portage la Prairie, disassembled and put into storage with a total of 1.5 hours of flying time. In 1958 it was struck off strength and sold to a Calgary area businessman.

Our Auster is affectionately nicknamed "Owen’s Auster" by museum insiders. In 1964, museum volunteer Owen Wright was flying a passenger in Auster KYB from Innisfail, Alberta to Calgary when he experienced a "sloppy landing" that flipped the aircraft on its back. Fortunately this occurred at slow speed and no one was injured.  Owen spent two years repairing the aircraft and in 1966 it was returned to the owner who never got the aircraft off the ground but still managed to re-damage the wing.  The aircraft was subsequently further damaged on a flight to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

This aircraft is one of only three existing Mk VII Austers in North America.


  • Clarence Taylor, the man who designed the Auster also designed the famous “Cub” style of aircraft that we associate today with the Piper Company. Piper took over the company from Taylor in 1938.
  • The Auster Mk VII was used for spotting and observation by Canada, Australia, Great Britain and Pakistan.
  • In spite of its small size the Auster had seating for three people.
  • The Auster could land at speeds as slow as 34 mph (55kph)! Lucky for Owen!


  • Wingspan of 10.9 metres (36ft)
  • Height of 2.4 metres (8ft)
  • Length of 6.8 metres (22ft 5in)
  • Maximum speed of 209 km/h (130 mph)
  • Rate of climb of 800 ft/min