On the YouTube video, you hear the distinctive whine of a turboprop engine spooling up. But the sight picture doesn’t match up. Isn’t that a 1948 Luscombe 8E? The extended nose is the tipoff that this is no piston-slapping flivver of an airplane. And then, it backs up on the ramp.
This turboprop-powered Luscombe is for sale on eBay, with a suggested first bid of $65,000 and posted as a “no reserve” auction item. So far, no bids. But you have until November 10 to take your shot. The owner lists “lost medical” as the reason for the sale. The Luscombe is located in Glendale, Arizona.
The backstory dates from the mid-1990s when the Luscombe Foundation, formed to help preserve Luscombe models with parts and engineering support, decided that re-engining a Model 8E with a 150-shaft-horsepower Apex turboprop engine would be a fun idea. According to the current owner’s eBay ad, somewhere around $300,000 went into the project.
The Foundation completed the aircraft in 1999, and co-founder Doug Combs, a dedicated Luscombe fancier, suffered an engine failure on the way home to Arizona from that spring’s Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In in Florida. The culprit was a caterpillar that blocked a fuel line, leading to a forced landing that damaged both the Luscombe and Combs, who suffered back injuries. The aircraft was repaired by the Foundation.
In all, the bare-metal Luscombe with the long nose has logged about 200 hours. Cruise speed is reported as around 125 knots, with an initial climb rate better than 1,500 fpm. So if you’re looking for something that will turn heads and capture interest wherever you fly, check out the listing here.
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