Luscombe Sedan Builder Suffers Delays

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Quartz Mountain Aerospace, which is trying to revive an updated version of the Luscombe Sedan, laid off about 20 of its 104 workers last week, citing supply and training problems and an FAA inspection bottleneck. The company, which has had its share of startup issues, set up in Altus, Okla., with about $40 million in government incentives and loans. CEO John Daniel told The Oklahoman that the company is in production but doesnít have a production certificate, meaning each aircraft, designated the 11E, has to be inspected by an FAA inspector. There arenít enough of those inspectors to go around and thatís slowed production to a crawl. ďWith delays, we just had more people than we had work for right now,Ē Daniel said. FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said the agency is doing the best it can to attend to new certifications, but its priority is to ensure the safety of the existing fleet. Daniel said he hopes to have the production certificate by September and be in full production by the end of the year. He said customers are being patient with the companyís problems and none have canceled their orders. The original Sedan, which went into production in 1946, was a four-place taildragger that was intended as a competitor for the Cessna 170, but it didnít sell well and the company went bankrupt in 1948. The Quartz Mountain version has updated systems and tricycle landing gear.