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NEW Luscombe 8A ‘sport pilot’ airplanes with O-200 engines

 AirVenture 2005 greeted us with the proposition that new Sport Pilot Luscombes would soon become available using Continental O-200 powerplants.   It might be wise to hold on to that thought and your deposit check for a while until the FAA rules on the certification issues.

While a new sport pilot Luscombe is certainly an exciting proposition, the designation  of “8A” under the Luscombe ATC 694 (and all the sport pilot benefits there under)  is mutually exclusive to the use of an O-200 engine as a powerplant.  The ATC 694 does not offer, and has never offered the O-200 as an optional engine in any certificated Luscombe configuration, certainly not in the “8A” configuration.

All  STC  certificated installations of the Continental O-200 engine require the full compliance with factory  SB 8-47, to include the installation of two wing tanks, and the modification of airframe systems to at least the 8E or 8F configuration.    The completion of those configuration modifications in turn raises the GW of the Luscombe aircraft to 1400 pounds.    Because a 1400 pound GW aircraft exceeds the LSA limit of  1320 pounds, it would not qualify as LSA eligible.

As we all know, the fuselage tank installation in many Luscombe aircraft had an insufficient fuel head for all deck angles and normal climb attitudes, hence the need to placard a use of carb heat for take-off  (Luscombe Service bulletin 2-48).  

It would be foolish to construct an aircraft with such a known defect in today’s society.  There is perhaps a way to address such deficiencies, and the general lack of availability of  new Continental 65HP engines;   However, the FAA certification branch indicates that an expensive recertification plan would likely be required.

Doug Combs
© Copyright of original content, 2004

 

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Last modified: 02/01/06