Auster Agricola
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David Shaw, e-mail, 27.04.2021 15:29

My husband David Shaw (88 years old) was employed by Auster aircraft 1954/1955 in the design office under chief designer Richard (Dickie) Bird. He went on to work at AWA where, in 1957, he met me! I was working on the aero elastics of the Argosy. We married in 1959 and are still together.
David worked with Rolls Royce until 1988 when he took early retirement to restore vintage Bentleys.
We have three sons, all interested in aircraft.
We would be interested to be in touch with other enthusiasts.
Ann Shaw

murray kirkus, e-mail, 05.11.2017 15:37

Hi Bruce, I remember you well when I began flying with WAC around 1960

bruce cunningham, e-mail, 22.04.2017 06:48

I was a personal friend of Mac MacGregor who was engineer of Wellington Aero Club of which I was Secretary. He introduced Agricolas into NZ and I well remember his writing to one of the Royal Family who was Patron of some light aviation group in the UK complaining about the service!!!! His topdressing Co was Airlift. A new company was later formed involving farmers. Associated Farmers Aerial Work of which I was Secretary. After the loss of one of our aircraft I told Austers there were no more Agricolas around and what spares they had could be buried if we did not get them. As a result they were sold to us for a small sum and if memory serves me well, it enabled us to build two more machines. These parts had to come to MZ by KLM aircraft due to the length of the Agricola spars. Not a pretty looking aircraft but built for the job and robust. The pilot Claude Stephenson who clearly flew more hours on the them than anyone else, thought they were great.

derk Kleinjan, e-mail, 06.10.2016 05:27

as a teenager, these flew on dads farm, I have found about 15 min of real flying and topdressing of this aircraft, of which I also took 8mm film while we had rides, whee can we leave these films to protect it cheers

murray kirkus, e-mail, 06.12.2013 15:58

Hi Mike, the aircraft you refer to was to be built as c/n1o8 for New Zealand as ZK-BMP however when the order was cancelled it was completed as c/n 117 and leased to the Skeldon Estate British Guyana for spraying sugarcane plantations where it flew as VP-CAZ until being burnt out in a crash in 1959. The remains were later returned to the UK

Mike Kemp, e-mail, 21.08.2013 12:33

This a/c re-flew in the UK on Aug 10th. However I have always been led to understand another ZK- example was held in store by the South Wales A/c Preservation Soc in a disused railway yard near RAF St Athan (UK). I have no more details but would anyone have any ideas.

murray e kirkus, e-mail, 27.08.2012 17:12

A total of eight Agricola were built at Rearsby of which five were initially exported to New Zealand. One further aircraft (ex G-APFZ)was sold in New Zealand around 1960 and three more were built there from crashed aircaft and components left over from the abandoned production run

Barry, 08.03.2012 16:23

Without wishing to be contradictory there was definitely more than 2 built, but I believe it to be eight in number. The cost of development was prohibitive and whilst one could understand Auster wanting to "spread it's wings", if you excuse the pun they could not have looked at the Piper Pawnee or the work done by Leland Snow.

The whole venture was another nail in Auster's coffin which all came to nowt with the formation of the appallingly run Beagle enterprise. So much for British light aviation!

Eric West, e-mail, 31.01.2011 07:05

In fact, I believe nine were built, at least three operated in New Zealand, ZK-AMI ZK-CCU and ZK-BXO

BXO is the sole survivor of the type (Well it was up to 2005) being operated privately out of Whitianga in New Zealand until it was sold and exported. I believe it went back to England

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