|MULTI-PURPOSE||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Beagle|
It was announced in 1960 that Pressed Steel Company intended to acquire the whole share capital of Auster Aircraft. This resulted in the formation of the Beagle group, which continued production of the Auster D.5/160 and Auster D.5/180, the latter as the A.113 Husky when fitted with a 134kW Lycoming O-360-A1A engine. Before the change-over Auster produced three versions of the D series, which had resulted from an extensive development programme of previous types. A major innovation was the use of metal wing spars which, in conjunction with new low-flammability long-weathering plastic-based butyrate dope and paint finishes, made the D entirely suitable for use in the tropics. The DA was a two-seater with either a 9.75m or 10.98m wingspan and an 80.5, 112/119 or 134kW Lycoming engine; the D.5 was a three-seater offering the two wing spans but only the 119 and 134kW engines; and the D.6 was a four-seater with the greater wing span and engines as for the D.5. The first production D.4/108 flew on 12 February 1960; the first D.5/160 on 10 January 1960; and the first D.6/160 on 9 May 1960.