Luscombe Plant Closes

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The dream of reviving a timeless aircraft design appears over for Missouri-based Renaissance Aircraft. The company, which was planning to produce an updated and souped-up version of the Luscombe 8F, announced Friday that it has abandoned the venture and will pull out of Cape Girardeau, Mo., within 30 days. The project was dogged from the start by expensive litigation over the use of the Luscombe type certificate (Renaissance won, but spent hundreds of thousands of dollars). With the lawsuit settled last April, owner John Dearden had hoped to start building airplanes but had trouble finding investors, according to the Southeast Missourian newspaper. Dearden's attorney, Eric Rowe, said Dearden will try to pay off any debts as he considers options for the future. However, the taxpayers of Cape Girardeau could be stuck with the $2.6 million it cost the city to put up a hangar and extend services to the local airport to accommodate Renaissance. Mayor Jay Knudtson said the city will try to find a buyer or another tenant to cover the monthly payments.