Luscombe 8 | Basic Aircraft Products

Luscombe 8

Basic Aircraft Products has the BPE-14 turbo alternator available for the Luscombe 8 Aircraft.

Luscombe 8

The Luscombe 8 is a series of high wing monoplanes designed in the late 1930s.

The Model 8 followed in the Luscombe tradition of using no wood in the construction, and had a monocoque fuselage with fabric-covered metal wings. For a cheap, light aircraft, this was a revolutionary construction technique. Its competitors were built of fabric-covered steel tubing, with wooden spars and sometimes ribs in the fabric-covered wings. Luscombe's construction techniques allowed him to build his aircraft quickly and cheaply, without sacrificing strength. His aircraft were also more efficient than his competitors, cruising 10-20 mph faster on the same power.

The new Luscombe sold well, and soon the factory was making changes to the design. Continental had upgraded the A-50 engine to the A-65 engine of 65 horsepower (48 kW). Luscombe quickly certified this engine on the Model 8, and began producing it as the Model 8A. In 1938 and 1939, though, personality conflicts arose within the company, and Don Luscombe was forced out of the company in a proxy battle. Many Luscombe employees left at this time, also.

March of 1940 saw the introduction of another version of the Model 8, the 8B. This aircraft was powered by a Lycoming O-145-B3 engine of 65 horsepower (48 kW). A month later, the company developed the deluxe model 8C, powered by a Continental C-75-8J engine. The interior was finished off with maroon cloth and tan leather upholstery, with a shock-mounted section in the instrument panel. The deluxe model was named the Silvaire, (in a contest) and was sold with full-color advertising.

Early in 1946, Luscombe decided to redesign the wing to an all-metal monocoque design, eliminating the fabric covering and simplifying the construction. The company also produced a prototype of a single-place low-wing design called the Model 10. This was never placed into production, since the market for single-seat aircraft was considered to be too small.

The Model 8 was upgraded once again in June, producing the 8E. This aircraft had an 85 horsepower (63 kW) engine, and the fuselage tank was replaced by two 12.5 (US?) gallon (47 L) wing tanks. This freed up space to install rear windows and a "hat throw" (shelf) in the space formerly occupied by the fuel tank. For a while, both all-metal and fabric-covered wing Luscombes were produced before the fabric-covered wing was phased out (use of old stock) in favor of the all-metal design.

Further design changes to simplify construction of the model 8 vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer construction were implemented in 1947. These changes were alleged to save several hundred man hours in the construction of the airplanes.

The last major upgrade to the Silvaire came in 1948. The Model 8F was introduced in January using a 90 hp (67 kW) Continental engine. The tandem aircraft was simultaneously upgraded to produce the T8F model. Sales were not strong, however, and the company was failing. In December, its major suppliers put Luscombe on a COD basis. More financial problems followed, and the company closed its doors in 1950.

After many years of being out of production, a group of enthusists purchased the type certificate with the intent of producing parts and providing technical support to the existing fleet. This led to the creation of the Don Luscombe Aviation History Foundation. Throughout the years this foundation offered parts support and major restoration abilities. One proposal was to market the Luscombe aircraft as a kit plane. FAA inquiries showed some problems with this that might make it difficult, but not insumountable, however, After one of the investors backed out with his financing for that project it was abandoned by the proponent. The Luscombe Foundation did however continue to manufacture and sell parts and service to current Luscombe owners in order to finance the TC purchase.

Specifications: Model 8 (Luscombe 50)

  • Engine: 50 hp (37 kW) Continental
  • Length: 20 ft (6.1 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft (10.7 m)
  • Gross Weight: 1200 pounds (544 kg)
  • Useful Load: 535 pounds (243 kg)
  • Max Speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 98 mph (158 km/h)
  • Range: 370 miles (595 km)
1946 Luscombe Silvaire 8A

Specifications: Model 8A (Silvaire)

  • Engine: 65 hp (48 kW) Continental
  • Length: 20 ft (6.1 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 feet (11 m)
  • Gross Weight: 1200 pounds (1260 optional)
  • Useful Load: 535 pounds (595 optional)
  • Max Speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 105 mph (169 km/h)
  • Range: 370 miles (600 km)

Specifications: Model 8B (Silvaire)

  • Engine: 65 hp (48 kW) Lycoming
  • Length: 20 feet (6.1 m)
  • Height: 5 feet (1.5 m), 10 inches
  • Wingspan: 35 feet (11 m)
  • Gross Weight: 1200 pounds
  • Useful Load: 535 pounds
  • Max Speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 105 mph (169 km/h)
  • Range: 370 miles (600 km)

Specifications: Model 8C (Silvaire)

  • Engine: 75 hp (56 kW) Continental
  • Length: 20 feet (6.1 m)
  • Height: 6 feet (1.8 m), 3 inches
  • Wingspan: 35 feet (11 m)
  • Gross Weight: 1200 pounds
  • Useful Load: 535 pounds
  • Max Speed: 125 mph (201 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 110 mph (180 km/h)
  • Range: 370 miles (600 km)

Specifications: Model 8D (Silvaire)

  • Engine: 75 hp (56 kW) Continental
  • Length: 20 feet (6.1 m)
  • Height: 6 feet (1.8 m), 3 inches
  • Wingspan: 35 feet (11 m)
  • Gross Weight: 1310 pounds
  • Useful Load: 630 pounds
  • Max Speed: 125 mph (201 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 110 mph (180 km/h)
  • Range: 500 miles (800 km)
1947 Luscombe Silvaire 8E

Specifications: Model 8E (Silvaire)

  • Engine: 85 hp (63 kW) Continental
  • Length: 20 feet (6.1 m)
  • Height: 6 feet (1.8 m), 3 inches
  • Wingspan: 35 feet (11 m)
  • Gross Weight: 1400 pounds
  • Useful Load: 630 pounds
  • Max Speed: 128 mph (206 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 112 mph (180 km/h)
  • Range: 500 miles (800 km)
1946 Luscombe Silvaire 8F

Specifications: Model 8F (Silvaire)

  • Engine: 90 hp (69 kW) Continental
  • Length: 20 feet (6.1 m)
  • Height: 6 feet (1.8 m), 3 inches
  • Wingspan: 35 feet (11 m)
  • Gross Weight: 1400 pounds
  • Useful Load: 630 pounds
  • Max Speed: 140 mph (230 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
  • Range: 499 miles (803 km)

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