The owner of the Luscombe Model 8 type certificate plans to bring the two-seat aircraft back into production as a low-cost trainer.
Steve Testrake, an aeronautical engineer, owns the Luscombe Aircraft Corp., which built two-seat, all-metal, tailwheel airplanes beginning in the 1930s and shut down more than 50 years ago. He’s negotiating with officials in western New York for a production facility at the Chautauqua County/Jamestown Airport.
“There’s significant demand for a low-cost, economical trainer that’s not being addressed,” said Testrake. “Western New York has a skilled workforce of hard-working people [who] know how to work with metal.”
Testrake has self-funded the program to date. He said the company will generate revenue by producing parts for the vintage Luscombe fleet.
“The design has been orphaned so long that parts can be extremely hard to find,” he said. “There’s a lot of pent-up parts demand. Owners of existing airplanes have been tremendously encouraging.”
Testrake estimates it will take up to three years for his company to start building LSAs and about five years for the first FAA-certified, tricycle-gear trainers.