What became Grumman's first light aircraft came from the drawing board of noted kit aircraft designer Jim Bede.
The AA-1 began life as the Bede BD-1, a small and compact design using just 385 parts and bonded honeycomb construction. The original BD-1 was powered by a 65kW (90hp) Continental C90-14, and first flew on July 11 1963. Unlike other Bede designs however the BD-1 was not intended for kit building, instead Bede renamed his company the American Aviation Corporation, and placed the BD-1 in series production at the company's Cleveland plant.
Production aircraft differed from the prototype in having a revised wing layout and vertical tail, a wider track undercarriage and a more powerful Lycoming O-235. First production aircraft were designated the AA-1 Yankee and the first were delivered in 1968, the last in 1971.
The Yankee was replaced in production by the AA-1A Trainer, with a modified wing and equipped for pilot training. It flew for the first time on March 25 1970 and was certificated in January 1971.
In 1972 the AA-1A was replaced by the AA-1B, a revised version with greater takeoff weights. The AA-1B was available as the Trainer, or as the Tr2, a superior spec deluxe version with upmarket interior trim, wheel fairings and more comprehensive standard avionics fit.
Following Grumman Corporation's acquisition of American Aviation, the AA-1 was produced under the Grumman American Aviation Corporation banner. In 1978 Grumman American introduced the further improved AA-1C with greater takeoff weights, a more powerful O-235 engine and revised tail surfaces. The AA-1C was available as the T-Cat trainer model and as the Lynx more luxurious touring model.
AA-1 production was discontinued mid 1978, just before Gulfstream acquired Grumman American.
Copyright Airliners.net, some information Copyright Aerospace Publications
Back to Aircraft Data & History section.
Back to frontpage of Airliners.net