Grumman American General Tiger AA5B

By Jason Zilberbrand

December 29, 2022 Educational

Grumman American General Tiger AA5B

Northrop Grumman

American aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and industrialist Leroy Grumman established the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation on December 6, 1929. As a child, Leroy became interested in aviation, even proclaiming that the airplane would be one of the "greatest triumphs" of mankind in his salutatorian speech.

Leroy moved on from high school and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1916. He completed advanced flight training and eventually became a flight instructor. After working in aviation for several years, climbing the ranks, he started his own business. He mortgaged his house and began Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, partnering with several co-founders and investors working predominantly with aluminum.

Eventually, Grumman was awarded U.S. Patent 1,859,624 for Retractable Landing Gear for Airplanes in 1932. Grumman finally won contracts to make retractable landing gears part of manufactured aircraft for the U.S. Navy. Grumman's production contract welcomed the two-seater biplane fighter, the FF-1, with his trademark "splayed out" landing gear in place. Grumman also single-handedly invented the famous "Sto-Wing" wing-panel folding system. This particular invention revolutionized carrier aircraft storage and handling moving forward.

Grumman carried a theme throughout its production, nodding to powerful felines like cheetahs, tigers, and tomcats. Its ever-famous F6F Hellcat is a huge part of World War II history, appearing in the National Naval Aviation Museum. It replaced its predecessor, the F4F Wildcat. The Hellcat was meant to rival the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero in combat and became the United States Navy's dominant fighter in the second half of the Pacific War.

Grumman, as a company, continued to specialize in aircraft production for naval aviation for many more years. It even worked with the Space Steering Group for a while, assisting in the moon landing of 1969 – the same year the company rebranded as the Grumman Aerospace Corporation. It is now known as Northrop Grumman after combining with Northrop Corporation in 1994.

Creating The Tiger & More About Tiger Aircraft LLC

Grumman's AA-5 series was produced from 1971 to 2006. It's important to know that Grumman itself didn't always have many particular models. Other manufacturers include American Aviation, Gulfstream American, American General Aviation Corporation, and Tiger Aircraft.

Grumman's Tiger was created as a final variant of the AA-5 line, including the Traveler and Cheetah. The Tiger was the design of several Grumman engineers, produced in 1974. The Tiger derived from the Traveler's plan, except equipped with a Lycoming O-360-A4K 180 horsepower engine, giving it a cruise speed of 139 knots. Grumman's marketing used a galloping tiger to give it a more distinct look and feel. After Gulfstream bought out Grumman's American division, it began producing the Tiger until all single-engine aircraft production ceased in 1979. A total of 1,323 Tiger aircraft were delivered by its end.

Tiger Aircraft LLC

Tiger Aircraft was an American aircraft manufacturer established from 1999 to 2006. It was based in Martinsburg, West Virginia. It was founded purposefully to continue production of Grumman's Tiger, modernizing it through the AG-5B Tiger.

A notable part of Tiger Aircraft's history is the scandal covering its severe financial issues associated with its President and Chief Operating Officer, N. Gene Criss, who served in his role from August 2003 to August 2006.

Criss was fired from the board after allegedly selling the company's assets to Network Hosts without approval. Tiger Aircraft and its associated owners and partners went to West Virginia Circuit Court to fight against Criss's previously made agreements and to file a restraining order to prevent further damage.

However, Tiger Aircraft had to stop operations entirely in November 2006 and file for bankruptcy, which it did in January 2007.

  • Country of Origin: America

Grumman American General Tiger AA5B

148 kts

Maximum Speed

530 nm

Maximum Range

4

Maximum Occupants

1975-1993

Range Of Years Manufactured

2,752

Total Aircraft Build

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Current Operational Aircraft

1,002 lbs

Useful Load

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Average Sale Value

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Average Days On Market For Sale

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VREF Demand Rating

Operational Resources

Operations Manual

Maintenance Document

Local Resources

Manufacturers

Insurance

Grumman American General Tiger AA5B Details

The following is information about the latest Grumman American General Tiger AA5B.

Interior

The Tiger's interior is simple, with four seats, including two fold-down seats to leave room for extra baggage. It is snug and leaves little room for more modern luxuries. However, its simplicity is what makes it a suitable cross-country lightweight aircraft.

Exterior

Grumman's Tiger features a two-blade propeller, tricycle landing gear, and a low monoplane design. The Tiger comprises an aluminum tubular wing spar construction and bonded aluminum skin with fixed gear features. It also has a slide-back canopy for ideal visibility.

Avionics

  • Garmin 430W

  • Garmin 300XL IFR S-Tec 50 with GPSS Roll Steering

  • JPI 450 Fuel Flow

  • UBG-16 Engine Analyzer

  • Narco VOR

  • King 64 DME

  • Collins AMR350 Audio Panel

  • Collins 251/351 Digital Nav/Com with Glideslope

  • Collins 251/351 Digital Nav/Com with VOR/Localizer

  • Collins TDR950 Transponder

  • King KN64 Digital DME with Remote Switch

  • PS Engineering PM-1000 Four Place Intercom

Optional Equipment

  • Power Flow Exhaust

  • Sensenich Prop

  • Avionics Master Switch

  • Split Nose Bowl

  • True Airspeed Indicator

  • Wing Tip Strobes

  • Shoulder Harness

  • Vernier Mixture Control

Specifications

Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Fixed

Length: 22 ft.

Height: 7 ft. 6 in.

Max Takeoff Weight: 2,400 lbs.

Max Seats: 4

Cruise: 139 kts

Range: 530 nm

Take Off (50ft): 1,550 ft.

Landing (50 ft.): 1,120 ft.

Wing Span: 31 ft. 6 in.

Grumman AA-5 Series Models

AA-5 Traveler

This 1971 four-seat version of the AA-1 is equipped with a 150-horsepower Lycoming O-320-E2G engine. A total of 821 were built.

AA-5A Cheetah

This 1975 variant has a larger fin fillet and no ventral fin fairing, and it also features a redesigned engine cowling and longer rear windows. A total of 900 were built.

AA-5B Tiger

The first Tiger is introduced through Grumman's 1974 variant with a 180 horsepower Lycoming O-360-A4K engine and increased takeoff weight to 2,400 lbs. A total of 1,323 were built.

AA-5C

Only one prototype of this particular model was made.

AG-5B Tiger

Grumman advanced its Tiger with its 1990 variant, produced by American General Aviation Corporation and Tiger Aircraft.

Top Grumman American General Tiger Questions

Check out FAQs about Grumman American's General Tiger.

Why Is American Aviation Associated With Grumman?

At some point, the Grumman Corporation had an 80% share in American Aviation. And in 1972, the company changed its name to the Grumman American Aviation Corporation.

American Aviation began in 1964 to build a production version of the Bede BD-1, a two-seat light aircraft designed and built by Jim Bede. It was first flown on July 11, 1963.

While developing the BD-1, Bede and the other shareholders had an ongoing conflict. In 1965, Bede was removed from the company. Afterward, a 34-year-old attorney and former Marine fighter pilot, Russ Meyer, became the company's president.

Under Meyer's direction, the BD-1 was redesigned for production with a lengthened fuselage, greater wingspan, and larger engine. The company also introduced metal-to-metal bonding of components, a new technique in general aviation at the time. The new aircraft was named the AA-1 Yankee and first flew on March 2, 1967, gaining its type certification from the FAA in July of 1968.

How Fast Is A Grumman Tiger?

The Tiger has a max speed of 148 kts and a cruise speed (75%) of 139 kts.

Is A Grumman Tiger Aerobatic?

Legally, the Tiger is not considered an aerobatic aircraft. However, it is well-known for its quick elevation and the fastest ailerons in its class, contributing to its reputation as a sport machine.

Are Grumman Tigers Still Made?

The latest Tiger in production was the AG5B Tiger, which delivered its final aircraft in 1993. The following includes other details about this aircraft:

Avionics

  • King KMA24 Audio Panel

  • King KX155 Digital Nav/Com with Glideslope

  • King KY96A Digital Comm

  • King KT76A Transponder with Encoder

  • STEC 50 Autopilot with Altitude Hold

  • Garmin GPS 155

  • Insight Strikefinder

Equipment

  • Wheel Fairings

  • Wingtip Strobe Lights

  • True Airspeed Indicator

  • Digital Flight Timer

  • Digital Tach

  • Insight Graphic Engine Monitor

  • EI Digital EGT/CHT

  • Rosen Visors

  • Push-to-Talk Switches

  • Avionics Master Switch

  • PM100 4-Place Intercom

  • Inertia Reel Shoulder Harness

What Happened To Tiger Aircraft LLC?

According to a 2006 article published by Aero-News Network, Network Hosts Inc., of Fleming, Florida, and Tiger's President and COO made a sales agreement, which was signed in August 2006.

Criss supposedly sold the "nearly bankrupt" company to settle its unpaid debt of $8.2 million. However, the problem lay within the agreement's wording, breach of contract, and issues within the company's other shareholders who didn't agree to its sale. Soon after the deal was signed, claims of fraudulent sales receipts surfaced, as did rumors of unpaid real estate and personal property taxes.

Before filing for bankruptcy, there was an apparent last-ditch effort made to save the company. Tiger presented a plan to sell its assembly facilities at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport for $5 million. Included with its price, the sale would include the rights to Tiger's lease along with the airport. But by 2006, Tiger had only two employees left, and the investigation behind its finances continued. After producing only three aircraft that year, Tiger Aircraft filed for bankruptcy.

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