Tiger Aircraft has delivered the first three AG-5Bs to dealers, marking the return to production of a popular US light aircraft last built in the early 1990s. Luscombe Aircraft, meanwhile, is anticipating US certification early next year of another reborn light aircraft, the Model 11E.
Delivery of the firstAG-5Bs signals the culmination of a four-year effort by Martinsburg, West Virginia-based Tiger to restart production of the all-metal four-seater, first built in the late 1960s by American Aviation, then by Grumman Aviation in the 1970s and finally by American General in the early 1990s.
Tiger has reintroduced the fixed-gear, low-wing aircraft with several refinements, including instrument flight rules avionics, leather interior and improved corrosion protection for the honeycomb-panel airframe. Powered by a 135kW (180hp) Textron Lycoming O-360, the AG-5B sells for $220,000.
Tiger is 70% owned by Taiwanese investors and is confident of weathering the downturn in the US general aviation market. The company plans to produce 92 aircraft next year.
Altus, Oklahoma-based Luscombe, meanwhile, is in the final stages of certification of the Model 11E, an all-metal four-seater with high wing and fixed gear based on an aircraft first certificated in 1946 and last produced in 1965. Formed in 1992, Luscombe has converted the aircraft to tricycle gear and uprated it to a 130kW Teledyne Continental IO-360.
Privately owned Luscombe plans to begin production in the new year and deliver the first 11E in June. The first six aircraft will go to dealers while the next eight are earmarked for the US Civil Air Patrol.
Source: Flight International