08/31/2011. Remarks by Walter van Tilborg: "After WW II, the Luscombe Airplane Corporation developed a modified Model 8 intended for military use as an AOP/liaison aircraft.
Three prototypes built for US Army evaluation and the first of these aircraft, designated XT8E, was first flown during 1947, registered NX2788K. This variant was powered by one 85 hp Continental C85-12 engine and compared to the standard Model 8 had a modified fuselage and cabin with tandem seating, larger cabin windows, large bubble rear window.
When the competing Aeronca L-16A was selected, Luscombe developed the T8F Observer for the civil market for surveillance, power and pipe line control etc. It was powered by one 90 hp Continental C90-12F engine, it had a large dorsal fairing and the main undercarriage members repositioned. The Observer was available in Deluxe and Special models (the latter had no electrical system). No flaps were installed in these T8F versions.
Designated T8F Crop Master, the crop sprayer version was based on the Observer, but with oversized tires, wing flaps and two built-in wing tanks for the chemicals/dispersant. Many aircraft which had been built as crop sprayer were later modified to the standard T8F models. For another US Army competition, two prototype aircraft, designated T8F-L, were built in 1950 with a fuel-injected C90 engine, flaps, larger cabin doors, a modified u/c and dual-controls. The competing Cessna 305 was selected as the L-19 Birddog.