Auster J-5 Autocrat (oz2449)


Auster J-5 Autocrat (oz2449) by Steve Gardner 1980 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Auster J-5 Autocrat. Rubber scale model from the 12-80 issue of Model Builder.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Quote: "A good flying 18-inch model of the 'British T-Craft' of the late 40s. Should be great for indoor flying if built light, or how about a double-size version for Jumbo Rubber Scale? Auster J-5 Autocrat, by Steve Gardner.

In 1940, Taylorcraft Aeroplanes Ltd of England started building Taylorcrafts with English engines. They made more and more changes to the basic American Taylorcraft until it wasn't really a Taylorcraft anymore, so in 1946 they changed their name to Auster Aircraft Ltd. They started to produce a large number of different airplanes, including the Autocrat, the subject of this article.

The J-5 was produced for use in Australasia and differed from previous models by the bigger engine (130 hp Gipsy Major) and heavier gross weight.

The model was designed for easy and light construction for the beginner and the lazy expert. It will fly very well if a minimum of care is taken and can be detailed to compete, although mine has never been flown in a contest.

Begin construction by selecting very springy, hard wood for the longerons. They have a fairly tight curve to make, so choose flexible wood. Build the side of the fuselage over the traditional Saran Wrap. When one side is finished, lay the plastic wrap over it and build the next side over the first. This will insure identical sides. This is a little difficult to do for the beginner, but it is a good technique to master.

The sides are joined next, starting at the tail and working toward the nose. Take care at the bend and the nose to keep everything straight and square. Then sheet the nose over the hard balsa formers and carve the noseplug, including a healthy dose of down thrust and a little right thrust. Install the gear and cabin braces, then the side stringers.

Next, build the wings, laying them out like the fuselage sides. The wing tips may be a bit different than the beginner is used to in kit jobs, but there isn't anything difficult about them. To make the tips, use two strips of basswood (three if you use hard balsa), about 1/32 x 1/16. Glue them together with white glue, and while still wet, wrap them around a form cut to the inside edge of the tip, and pin until dry. When they are done they will hold their shape and look good, too.

After the tips are done, place them on the board and glue them to the wing frame, then glue the spar in place and add the wing ribs to the top of the spar, taking note of the riblet at the root of the wing, and the gussets. Join the wings to the center-section using the plywood dihedral former to set the dihedral of the wings. The expert may want to reduce the dihedral for more scale points.

Start the tail surfaces by pinning the outlines to the board and building them just like the fuselage sides. The expert may also want to make the rudder and elevators separate from the stabilizers for flight trim. The model should be covered with silver or gray tissue, as the standard finish was silver dope.

The model is easy to cover and since there have been several good articles on covering with Japanese and domestic tissue, I will refer you to them for the finer points of covering. I suggest white glue and water in a fifty-fifty mix for adhering the tissue, for a neat job.

Add roundels and/or the civil regis-tration numbers to the model now. The outlines were added with a Sharpie permanent marking pen, although the old method of thin strips of black tissue will look fine and is not as risky as the pen. Assemble the model, adding the wing struts, gear fairings, tail wheel, exhaust stacks, and the windshield. Paint the details with enamel, but use it sparingly to keep the weight down.

If you haven't flown too many models successfully up to now, this one will help teach you how to trim a scale model. The model's tail is rather small and is on a short arm: this is a common problem with scale models, and the secret to easy trimming is to use a forward balance point. The forward balance point will require a largearnount of up trim to get a good glide. The model balances at the point indicated on the plans with some clay in the nose. Once you have it gliding the way you want, try some power to see if you need more down thrust than you built into the model; it is likely that you will. Let the model follow its natural turning tendency if you fly outdoors, or fly it left if indoors. Use side thrust to control the power turn and let the glide go where it will, as long as it doesn't stall or dive.

The model is powered by a loop of 1/8-inch brown rubber about as long as the model from prop hook to tailpost. Enjoy your British T-craft and please, if you do, write me about it care of RCMB."

Supplementary file notes

Planfile includes article.


Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

Auster J-5 Autocrat (oz2449) by Steve Gardner 1980 - model pic

  • (oz2449)
    Auster J-5 Autocrat
    by Steve Gardner
    from Model Builder
    December 1980 
    18in span
    Scale Rubber F/F Cabin Civil
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 18/02/2012
    Filesize: 348KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow
    Downloads: 1615

  • Auster_Autocrat | help
    see Wikipedia | search Outerzone
    Test link:
    search RCLibrary 3views (opens in new window)

    ScaleType: This (oz2449) is a scale plan. Where possible we link scale plans to Wikipedia, using a text string called ScaleType.

    If we got this right, you now have a couple of direct links (above) to 1. see the Wikipedia page, and 2. search Oz for more plans of this type. If we didn't, then see below.

    ScaleType is formed from the last part of the Wikipedia page address, which here is
    Wikipedia page addresses may well change over time.
    For more obscure types, there currently will be no Wiki page found. We tag these cases as ScaleType = NotFound. These will change over time.
    Corrections? Use the correction form to tell us the new/better ScaleType link we should be using. Thanks.

Auster J-5 Autocrat (oz2449) by Steve Gardner 1980 - pic 003.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email

User comments

This plan prints out to just under 20.5" for wing span. So, you'll have to adjust printing percentage to achieve 18".
FS Gilbert - 29/08/2022
Fair point. But checking this, it seems probable this is just how it got printed, in the magazine. I mean, the 3 inch scale bar measures correctly, the 6 inch prop measures correctly - so I guess the real mistake here was the magazine article saying "18-inch"? Feel free to correct me.
SteveWMD - 29/08/2022
Steve, you are correct... the scale bar and prop measure correctly - so most probably a mistake by the magazine, a common occurrence. But the wing measures 21" almost on the dot (9.5" per panel plus 2" for the center fuse section), which means that if the plan prints out to just under 20.5" for wing span like FS Gilbert points out, it is actually printing slightly undersized.
RC Yeager - 31/08/2022
Add a comment



Download File(s):


* Credit field

The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.


This model plan (like all plans on Outerzone) is supposedly scaled correctly and supposedly will print out nicely at the right size. But that doesn't always happen. If you are about to start building a model plane using this free plan, you are strongly advised to check the scaling very, very carefully before cutting any balsa wood.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.