The Luton L.A.4 Minor
was a 1930s British
single-seat high-wing ultra-light. Prototype built by the Luton Aircraft Limited
and design plans sold for home building.
ultralight was powered by a 35hp Anzani inverted Vee air-cooled engine, and was of spruce, ply and fabric construction. The Minor was designed by C.H. Latimer-Needham and built by Luton Aircraft at Barton-in-the-Clay, Bedfordshire in 1936. The prototype registered G-AEPD, designated the L.A.3 Minor
, used the fuselage and components of the earlier experimental L.A.2
tandem-wing aircraft. The aircraft was a successful flyer despite the low-powered engine and it was redesigned for home construction. Designated the L.A.4 Minor
it had a strutted undercarriage, parallel wing struts. The first L.A.4 Minor was built at the companies new factory (the Phoenix Works) at Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire. It was fitted with a 40hp ABC Scorpion
two-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. All subsequent Luton Minors were home-built from plans sold by the company.
The Phoenix Works had burnt down during 1943 and Luton Aircraft had closed the designer C.H. Latimer-Needham and A.W.J.G. Ord-Hume created a new company in March 1958 to take over the design rights for the Luton Minor. Latimer-Needham updated the design to take more modern lightweight four-cylinder engines and an increased all-up weight. The redesigned aircraft was designated the L.A.4A. The design and subsequently the aircraft has been built all over the world as homebuilt aircraft with a wide variety of engines, with the plans for the aircraft being distributed by Alf Knowles as the Knowles Duet before being passed onto the Popular Flying Association in the UK.
- Prototype ultralight, one built.L.A.4 Minor
- Homebuilt version, one factory built and numerous homebuilt examples.L.A.4A Minor
- Updated homebuilt version to take more modern engines, all homebuilt.
- Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 3. London: Putnam.