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Beagle Aircraft


After WW2, Auster Aircraft Ltd was formed and commenced a series of variations on the basic theme. In 1960 it was ab-sorbed into Beagle Aircraft Ltd. Beagle became in 1962 a subsidiary of British Executive and General Aviation Ltd.

In this form it absorbed the two other subsidiary companies, Beagle-Auster Aircraft Ltd. and Beagle-Miles Aircraft Ltd. and acquired the lion's share of the limited light aircraft production then going on in Britain.

In 1966 the company was still a subsidiary of British Executive and General Aviation Ltd. but the abbreviated name is the one most normally used. The company has two factories, one of 44000 sq.ft at Shoreham and the other, of 128,000 sq.ft, at Rearsby. The former employs 491 people, the latter 1200.

The board was headed by Col. F. T. Davies (chairman), Mr. A. H. Bellhouse and J. R. Edwards (dep. chairmen) and Peter Masefield (managing director), the other directors being P. W. Brooks, A. G. Burney, A. H. P. Harman, E. P. Hewson and J. W. P. Angell. G. C. J. Larroucau is chief engineer.

Administration, sales and publicity were handled at Shoreham, although the head office was in London. Design, development and testing are also done on the South Coast, as is prototype flying. Rearsby was responsible for all production and for service support of the many original Auster aircraft still flying.

Aircraft in production in 1966 were the B.206, B.206S, Basset, Husky and Terrier 2. Under development were the B.121 Pup and the B.242. Also undergoing further development was the AOP Mark Eleven, one of the military observation aircraft which Beagle has been building for some years.

Beagle Aircraft Ltd. was, immediately before its dissolution, a state-owned company, acquired in August 1968 to continue the production and development of light aircraft in Britain. Production of the basic Auster type continued until the low-wing Pup emerged. This evolved into the Bulldog basic military trainer that was taken up by Scottish Aviation Ltd after Beagle went into voluntary liquidation on 27 February 1970 and finally found its last home with British Aero-space.

The Auster interests were disposed of to Hants & Sussex Aviation Ltd which continued to provide spares and modification support to all Auster aircraft in service.

 


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