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Luton LA3 / LA4 Minor
Luton Minor
Phoenix Aircraft Ltd LA4A Minor


The tandem-wing LA2 never flew, but its fuselage and other components were incorporated into the LA3, which was itself redesigned for home-assembly as the LA4 Minor. Designed by Mr. C. H. Latimer-Needham, the first was built at the company's Phoenix Works at Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, and fitted with a 40hp ABC Scorpion, but subsequent models were horne-built from drawings and fitted with many different engines.

The Minor is a single seat aircraft with a two piece wooden two spar wing of 5’ 3” chord, attached to a tubular steel pylon on the fuselage. The wings are divided for ease of building, transport and storage. The wing section is RAF 48. The leading edge is plywood covered, the remainder of the wing being fabric covered. The fuselage is a rectangular all wood structure; the sides and bottom being plywood covered, while the top decking behind the cockpit is fabric covered. The under-carriage incorporates rubber disc shock absorbers for the main legs and optional brakes. The tailwheel is fully castoring.

The first Luton Minor flew in England in 1936 and in 1960 the design was restressed enabling engines up to 55 hp to be fitted. The Minor was designed for the 37 h.p. Aeronca JAP engine, although the 55 hp Lycoming and converted Volkswagen engines may be installed. A 6.5 Imp. gallon fuel tank is located behind the firewall.

The design of the Luton Minor was brought up to date by Phoenix Aircraft Ltd., successors to Luton Aircraft Ltd. In 1959-60 the Minor was accredited as one of the finest single seater amateur aircraft in Europe, and the easiest to build.

Engine: Aeronca JAP, 37 h.p.
Span: 25’ 0”.
Length: 20’ 9”.
Wing Area: 125 sq. ft.
Empty Weight: 450 lb.
Loaded Weight: 750 lb.
Wing Loading: 6.0 lb. sq. ft.
Max. Speed: 85 mph.
Cruise Speed: 75 mph.
Stall Speed: 37mph.
Initial Climb: 450 fpm.
Range: 180 miles.
Fuel capacity 6.5 Imp.Gal.
Takeoff run: 250 ft.
Landing roll 120 ft.
Seats: 1.



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