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During the years 1935-1939 Luton Aircraft, UK designed and built aircraft. Having developed from the Dunstable Sailplane Company, the first Luton evolved from the high efficiency sailplane formula. In 1936, Luton Aircraft Ltd of Barton-in-the-Clay, Bedfordshire, flew the Buzzard I. A hangar fire at the Phoenix Works in 1943 destroyed the single example of the LA5 Major, a two-seat cabin type first flown on 4 March 1939, and also spelt the end for the company. C. H. Latimer-Needham founded a new company at Cranleigh, Surrey, in March 1958, appropriately named Phoenix Aircraft Ltd, which acquired the rights for the Minor and Major. Both designs were improved, the first as the LA4A Minor, and built in the UK and in several countries across the world.


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