The four seat AA-5 series is the bigger brother to the two seat AA-1, sharing 60% structural commonality.
The first AA-5 prototype (built by American Aviation) flew on August 21 1970. Primary differences from the AA-1 included the stretched fuselage allowing seating for four, greater span wing, higher max takeoff weight and more powerful 110kW (150hp) Lycoming O-320 engine. Production deliveries of the AA-5 Traveler began in December 1971. The Traveler was instantly popular, especially with its higher cruising speeds than those for other 110kW (150hp) powered light singles including the Cessna 172.
Significant improvements were introduced when Grumman American (following Grumman's 1972 acquisition of American Aviation) released the AA-5B Tiger. Performance was boosted considerably with a more powerful 135kW (180hp) Lycoming O-360 (giving performance more like that of 150kW (200hp) powered retractable gear singles), while the maximum takeoff weight was increased. Other revisions included increased span horizontal tail surfaces, larger rear cabin windows, greater fuel capacity, revised wheel fairings and deletion of the ventral fin fitted to the earlier Traveler model. The AA-5B was offered alongside the AA-5.
The basic AA-5 was modernised in 1976 as the AA-5A Cheetah with the aerodynamic improvements introduced on the AA-5B, optional extra fuel and other improvements to boost speed slightly.
On September 1, 1978, the Grumman interest in Grumman American was bought by American Jet Industries, and the company was renamed Gulfstream American. Production of the AA-5A and AA-5B continued through the late 1970s until production was suspended late 1979. The production rights to the series were then put up for sale. Over a decade later the American General Aircraft Corporation restarted production of a revised AA-5B in 1990 as the AG-5B. However American General ceased trading in mid 1994 due to poor sales and financial problems.
In 2002 production of an improved AG-5B Tiger was resumed by Tiger Aircraft.
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