Luscombe Aircraft has begun certification flight testing of its Spartan light aircraft, a reincarnation of the 1946-vintage Luscombe 11A.

The first of two conforming pre-production prototypes flew in March and US Federal Aviation Administration flight testing is expected to begin within three months, says Joe Courtney, director of administration for Luscombe, which is based in Altus, Oklahoma.

The company, which owns the original 11A type certificate, hopes to gain amended type certification for the updated Spartan "in September or October".

Luscombe plans to begin deliveries of the all-metal four-seater by the end of the year but Courtney admits the company "is still working on the financing".

The high-wing, tricycle-gear Spartan is being marketed as a competitor for Cessna's 172R Skyhawk, and will have a similar price of "around $150,000". The aircraft is performing better that expected in flight tests, and could emerge as a competitor to Cessna's more expensive 182, Courtney believes.

Source: Flight International