Luscombe 8E Pilot reps?

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Pete Barker

Well-Known Member
Hi All:
Any pilots with comments on flying the Luscombe 8E/C85?

-pete

etterre

Well-Known Member
I miss it

I've got a little over 10 hours in an 8A... it's the first plane I took lessons in. With myself and my CFI it was a close fit, but not uncomfortable. The goofiest thing was the trim knob. The indicator was between the seats, so we both had to squirm around to see it and it was always a guessing game on which way I should turn it... I never really did get the hang of it, so I usually just ignored the trim. We had to hand prop it... and "hot starts" could get a little frustrating. I don't really believe that it had any bad habits... but you do have to coordinate your turns and I'm glad that I learned how to do that. A bit underpowered by today's standards - a 98 degree F day with the normal 90% humidity meant that climb performance was poor enough to warrant a cancelled lesson.

Pete Barker

Well-Known Member
Hey Roy:
Would you rebuild one (8E) if you had the opportunity for a good price?

-pete

Staff member

-pete

Cameron

Active Member
I've got about 200 hours in an 8E, and I loved it. They are great flying little airplanes. It really bothered me when I sold it. The Luscombe really is a pilot's airplane.

Many believe that the Luscombe was certified for aerobatics, but that is untrue. However, the CAA (former FAA) did publish a list of suggested entry speeds for various aerobatic manuevers. This along with the fact that the Luscombe has a very strong airframe contributed to the rumor that it was aerobatic. With that said, I think it would be safe to say that most of the Luscombes out there have done aerobatics at some point in their lives. My tailwheel instructor (14,000 hour + CFI) had an 8A when he was young, and he did about everything in it. It got rolled, snap rolled, looped, hammerheaded, etc. Then, when annual time came around, several cracks were found at the vertical stab attach fitting, and at the rear of the vertical stab. He didn't do any more aerobatics in his Luscombe. I never looped or rolled mine, but the previous owner did. During my annual inspections, no structural issues were found.

As far as the new LSA Luscombe goes, I don't believe that it is actually being produced yet, but I could be wrong.

Pete Barker

Well-Known Member
Re: Luscombe 8E

Probably a good idea to minimize stress on a 60-year old airframe.

The 1946 8E photos on your website are great. Did you do the rebuild, or do you have contact info on the mechanic who did? Could you say a little about how your C85 is configured, and the specifics on the starter, alternator (or generator if original) and whether you are using Slicks, Bendix or Eiseman magnetos? Looks like it is configured with a keyed ignition, instead of pull ring. Are the seats Luscombe original? Some 8Es are retrofitted with 150 seats. Finally, which prop is installed, and does this work for your type of flying?

We would be interested in hearing from anyone involved in 8E restorations with experience, parts and/or advice.

-pebarker

djschwartz

Well-Known Member
Pete,

I would strongly recommend a Sky-Tec starter. For a pull start engine this does require modifications to the engine that can be done without removing or disassembling it. Instructions are on their web site:

Continental Starters

Likewise an alternator in place of the old boat anchor generator. These two will save quite a bit of weight over the original equipment and give you a much more reliable electrical system. Since the Sky-Tec starter uses less current than the original, and the alternator puts out current even at pattern and approach RPM's you can then switch to a smaller battery and save even more weight. I use the Odysee Powersafe.

SBS J-16 Aircraft Battery

I have C150 seats in my current O-200 powered Luscombe; my first 8A had the original. The adjustable seats are a really nice addition. I did have to buy a 1/4" shaft extender, meant for knobs on electronics equipment, to extend the trim control shaft so I could adjust the trim with either seat all the way forward.

Shoulder harnesses are a valuable safety addition and can be done with either seat type as they attach to the cabin top behind the rear spar carry through.

The Luscombe is capable of aerobatics but I would not recommend it as a place to start. You have to understand energy management and be ahead of the aircraft enough to avoid getting out of control. It does not have the structural or control margins to tolerate major mistakes. Get training in something more capable and then practice maneuvers using part throttle and less than full control. I have done loops, aileron rolls, snap rolls, cuban 8's, even 4 point hesitation rolls in my 65 HP 8A. I used entry speeds between 130 and 145 (Vne) MPH. It was quite easy to get those speeds even with an A-65 and throttling back to keep the RPM within limits. Aileron roll rate is not that great. Replacing all of the pulleys in the aileron system with ball bearing ones will help as it reduces friction and allows you to have a little more cable tension. It was carefully restored by a trusted crew and I had added the then newly required 4130 steel vertical tail attach fitting in place of the original aluminum one. Any aircraft you buy today should have that, it was an AD in the late 70's or early 80's.

Dave

Pete Barker

Well-Known Member
DJ:
What are the weights on your O-200 8E? Sounds like the 8A/A-65 was pretty light with minimal electrics. Sky-Tec is the preferred starter from all reports.

Any chance you could post some photos, especially engine compartment and panel?

Is there a reason the original Luscombe seats were replaced with 150 rails and seats?

Have a lot of work ahead before we are anywhere near thinking about running up the C85-12F, much less aerobatics, so this is good info.

-pete

djschwartz

Well-Known Member
DJ:
What are the weights on your O-200 8E? Sounds like the 8A/A-65 was pretty light with minimal electrics. Sky-Tec is the preferred starter from all reports.[/QOUTE]

900 lbs with full electrical, gyros, Cleveland wheels and brakes, C-150 seats, shoulder harnesses, pneumatic tailwheel, tail pull handle, split cowl.

Any chance you could post some photos, especially engine compartment and panel?
If I can figure out how to post pictures not on a web site with this new interface, sure. If not, I'll email them to you.

Is there a reason the original Luscombe seats were replaced with 150 rails and seats?
Adjustability to suit a wider range of pilots

Midniteoyl

Well-Known Member
If I can figure out how to post pictures not on a web site with this new interface, sure. If not, I'll email them to you.
Hit 'Go Advanced' then click the 'paperclip' to attach pictures..

Hit 'browse', find the pic you want on your computer, click it, then hit 'upload'.

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djschwartz

Well-Known Member
Here are a couple of pictures of the Luscombe's engine and panel

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onelix

Member
woo, nice airplane.

djschwartz

Well-Known Member
woo, nice airplane.
Thanks much. it's a joy to fly. Here's what the rest of it looks like

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Pete Barker

Well-Known Member
Re: Luscombe 8E Docs

DJ-
Are there books/manuals you recommend for the Luscombe?

N1404B arrived here last weekend and we're looking her over, rivet by rivet. She has some 8A features (no "D" windows) and A-type sliders where the stock 8E has door handles.

-pete

Midniteoyl

Well-Known Member
Pete.. cool journal.

What happened to the Pixie?