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Now on display as part of Plane of the Month program!

The Luscombe Aircraft Company made a name for itself building two-seat, all-metal sport aircraft before World War II.  The most famous was the Model 8, many of which were used in the Civilian Pilot Training Program (1938-1944) to train pilots in preparation for the war.

After the war, Luscombe responded to a 1947 Air Force requirement for a new liaison aircraft to replace the L-4H Grasshopper by redesigning the Model 8 to feature tandem seating and large bubble windows for the observer.  Designated XT8E, the aircraft did well in Air Force trials, but lost out to the Aeronca L-16 on the basis of price. 

Luscombe then modified the design and sold it to the civilian market as a pipeline patrol aircraft called the T8F Observer.  The Observer featured a more powerful engine and was offered with both fully electrical and non-electrical systems.  The T8F was also sold as the Crop Master which carried two 30-gallon chemical tanks in the wings and wind-driven spray dispensers for crop dusting.  Trying once again to sell the design to the military, two heavily modified T8F-L prototypes competed in 1950 for an Army liaison aircraft contract but after testing, were beaten out by the Cessna L-19/O-1 Bird Dog.

This Luscombe T8F belongs to Bruce Eames and is on loan to the Lone Star Flight Museum. 

Photo credit: Moose Peterson

About Plane of the Month

Every month, the Lone Star Flight Museum will welcome new and visiting aircraft giving visitors a chance to see a new plane at the museum every month, all year long. Click here for more on Plane of the Month.

Quick facts

  • Manufacturer: Luscombe Aircraft Company
  • Country: United States
  • Type: Reconniassance
  • Engine: One 90 hp Continental C90-12F
  • Maximum speed: 110 mph
  • Armament: None
  • Ceiling: 16,000 ft.
  • Range: 500 miles
  • Crew: 2.00
  • Length: 20 ft
  • Wingspan: 35 ft.
  • Number built: 110

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