Grumman American AA-1


Country of Origin
United States of America
Two seat light aircraft
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.
AA-1A - One 81kW (108hp) Lycoming O-235-C2C flat four piston engine driving a two blade fixed pitch propeller. AA-1C - One 85kW (115hp) O-235-L2C.
AA-1A - Max speed 222km/h (120kt), max cruising speed 203km/h (110kt), long range cruising speed 180km/h (97kt). Initial rate of climb 765ft/min. Service ceiling 13,750ft. Range with no reserves 805km (435nm). AA-1C - Max speed 233km/h (126kt), max cruising speed 217km/h (117kt), long range cruising speed 178km/h (96kt). Initial rate of climb 700ft/min. Max range with reserves 648km (350nm).
AA-1A - Empty 442kg (975lb), max takeoff 680kg (1500lb). AA-1C - Empty 485kg (1066lb), max takeoff 726kg (1600lb).
Wing span 7.47m (24ft 6in), length 5.87m (19ft 3in), height 2.32m (7ft 7in). Wing area 9.4m2 (101sq ft).
Typical seating for two.
Total AA-1 production 1822, including 461 AA-1, 470 AA-1A, 680 AA-1B, and 211 AA-1C.
Related Links
Grumman American AA-1
The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.