By Graham Warwick in Washington DC

Renaissance Aircraft is starting production of the 1940s-vintage Luscombe 8 Silvaire as a light-sport aircraft (LSA) after moving to a site at Flabob airport in Riverside, California. The company plans to market the all-metal two-seater as the Luscombe Silvaire, with deliveries expected to begin in the fourth quarter.

The Luscombe 8 was introduced in 1937, and more than 2,000 are still flying in the USA, says Renaissance president John Dearden, who acquired the type certificate in the 1990s, but struggled to get the aircraft back in production. The latest hurdle was overcome when the company won a lawsuit against the Luscombe Foundation, which is now a subsidiary of Renaissance making replacement parts for in-service aircraft.

The settlement came too late to save plans to build the Luscombe 8 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Renaissance is instead setting up in Flabob.

The airport is owned and operated by the Wathen Foundation, which will build dedicated facilities for production of LSA and certificated versions of the aircraft. Dearden says he plans to repay debt owed to Cape Girardeau, although Commander Aircraft has since moved into the factory built for Renaissance.

The LSA version of the Silvaire will be powered by a 100hp (75kW) Teledyne Continental O-200 and is expected to sell for around $90,000, says Dearden. The company is aiming for a production rate of 50 a year by the end of the first year, building to 100-150 a year by the end of the second year. Once its permanent facility is completed, Renaissance plans to expand into production of the certificated aircraft, powered by a 150hp Textron Lycoming O-320.

Source: Flight International