Auster mix and match – the J5R Alpine
Tags: Abingdon, Aiglet Trainer, Auster, Auster Alpine, Autocrat, Fairey Reed, Gipsy Major engine, Great Vintage Flying Weekend, GVFWE, J5R, Kenya, nose art, propeller, rhino, rhinoceros, Richard Webber, tail art
We have seen that nose art has a long and distinguished history on military (and sometimes civil) aircraft. Here is a splendid example of artwork at the opposite end of an aircraft – tail art, no less. This painting of a rhinoceros adorns a smartly turned-out example of the rare Auster J5R Alpine, owned by Richard Webber. During the 1950s a whole multitude of Auster varients were produced almost by a process of ‘mix and match’. In this case, you took the fuselage of an Auster Aiglet Trainer, the wings from a J-1 Autocrat, added a De Havilland Gipsy Major 10 engine (130hp) driving a Fairey Reed propeller, stirred it all about and, voila~ a J5R Alpine. Only ten of this variant were built, so this makes the survival from 1953 of G-ANXC something of a minor miracle. The aircraft has, at one time been on the Kenyan registry as 5Y-UBD – hence the rhino!
This was taken early one morning at GVFWE, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
This month’s offerings!