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After World War II the light airplane market was saturated with bargain-priced surplus army Piper Cubs. That proved a problem to the Luscombe Aircraft Corporation seeing the number of new orders decreasing. They saw an opportunity in a military observation version of the "Silvaire" and produced a tandem-seat model, designated the T8F, with a large plexiglass bubble behind the wing. However the military were not really interested in Luscombe's offering so the T8F was only produced in small numbers for civilian use. The company struggled on for a few years until in 1961 production finally came to a halt.
During the final years of its existence, Luscombe produced the four-seater Model 11 Sedan which achieved little commercial success. A limited number survived.
Production: 1938 - 1942 and 1945 - 1960, total more than 6.000
Engine: Continental 4 cylinder boxer A-65/C-75/C-90
Cruise speed: 185 km/hr
Maximum speed: 210 km/hr
Landing speed: 64 km/hr
Weight: empty 315 kg, max. 567 kg
Dimensions: wingspan 10,67 m, length 6,10 m, height 1,78 m
The Early Birds Luscombe
The Early Birds Luscombe is a Mode 8A "ragwing", powered by a 65 hp Continental. Built in the West Trenton factory in 1941 it began its career in the southern United States. Having moved through Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia it ended up in Florida with its eightteenth owner who reconditioned the plane in 1987. In 1991 it met with a hard landing and subsequent ground loop, damaging the undercarriage and left wing. In this condition Early Birds aquired the aircraft in 1992. As the logs stated that the plane was "in excellent condition" it was supposed that it would fly again after a relatively short period of repair. These hopes however proved to be premature as several hidden faults were discovered in the fuselage and tail feathers. Eventually it was decided to start a total restoration resulting in a sound structure. Now, after some fourteen years, this restoration is complete. On the 19th of September 2006 the Early Birds Luscombe made its second 'maiden flight' and since performs very well. Its original 1941 registration NC41902 was replaced by the dutch PH-LUS; the dutch civil authorities acknowledged the plane as an "aircraft of historic significance". The plane has been restored by a number of EB-staff members who successively spent some time on the project. A picture of the still present restorers is on this page (click for bigger picture).