Grumman American AA5B Tiger (2022)

Grumman American AA5B Tiger (1)

When Grumman American dealers converged on headquarters in Cleveland for the annual round of executive horn tooting last fall, constant reference was made to the, ahem, Big Surprise everyone already knew was coming. Company officers, all wearing uniform you-ain’t-seen-nuthing’-yet smiles, tried to fire suspense in the knowing assembly. Finally, the PLAY button was pushed on a hidden tape recorder and “Tiger Rag” crescendoed trough the hall, spangled curtains parted, and out rolled a rather garish-looking, orange-and-black-striped Traveler. So went the debut of the Grumman American Tiger, a 180-hp Traveler.

“They’re certainly making a big deal out of an engine change,” commented one aviation writer amid the din.

Well yes, but rightly so. The Grumman Tiger is a big deal, even if it is just a beefed-up Traveler. There’s not another fixed-gear, 180-hp bird made that can catch it. It can outrun one 200-hp retractable and almost match performance with two others. And this hot little number comes respectably equipped for $24,137, making it a very nice buy for the performance you do get and the maintenance problems you don’t. (It has a fixed-pitch prop as well as fixed gear.) Grumman can be pardoned for its trumpeting.

(Video) The Underdog Of American Aviation l Grumman Tiger

Still, there’s no argument regarding the Tiger’s lineage; it is a Traveler with a 180-hp Lycoming. The Tiger and the 150-hp Traveler even share the same type certificate. The Tiger is an AA-5B, while the Traveler is an AA-5. The two aircraft have identical wings, fuselages and panels.

What differences do exist between the two aircraft, however, are anything but cosmetic. Obviously, installation of the Lycoming O-360 is the most significant alteration. Grumman also upped the Tiger’s wing tanks to 52 gallons from the Traveler’s 38 gallons. This increase in fuel capacity has given the Tiger respectable cross-country legs. Whereas the Traveler’s range at 75% power, with a 45-minute reserve, is quoted as 520 statute miles, the Tiger can cover 650 miles at the same power, with the same reserve. It burns about 10.6 gph.

This year’s Traveler has a published cruise speed of 147 mph at 75% power at 9,000 ft. Not bad for a 150-hp airplane. The Tiger cruises at 160 mph, with a 170 mph top speed. Rate of climb for the Traveler is 660 fpm, versus the Tiger’s 850 fpm. The Traveler’s service ceiling is given as 12,650 ft, and the Tiger territory tops out at 14,600 ft.

Like the Trainer, the TR-2 and the Traveler, the Tiger has a sliding canopy that can be left open in flight (up to 130 mph for the latter two).

Rear seats in both the Traveler and the Tiger can be folded down, providing over seven feet of flat space – room enough for samples or sleeping bags or a quick set of Ping Pong, should the flight prove too dull. With all the seats up, the rear cargo area is still 27 ½ inches deep and rated for 120 pounds of baggage. There’s also a 9 ½ -inch-deep hat shelf behind this baggage space.
The Tiger’s four bucket seats are plush and comfortable enough, but could hardly be called overstuffed. There’s plenty of leg room both front and rear, plus 40 inches of shoulder room forward and 37 ½ inches aft.

(Video) Grumman American AA-5 Tiger In Action

The panel is clean and easy to read, but a continual surprise in these Grumman birds is discovering the compass secluded in the upper left corner of the board, instead of high on the windscreen where it’s “supposed” to be.

A most laudable feature in this newest Grumman – but again not unique to it, for the Traveler has the same – is the placement of the fuel selector and gauges. These are positioned directly below the power controls. The fuel selector moves right and left and points directly to the gauge of the tank in use. The display is easy to read, simple to use, and prominently placed.

A couple of gripes include location of the trim tab and the flap switch and indicator on the console between the two front seats. Here they are difficult to see, particularly at night. Also, the OAT gauge sticks up from the center of the windshield where the compass might normally be found. So placed, it mars the contours of the trim canopy and might be used – once – as a handhold by an unwitting passenger.

The Tiger’s top cowling is hinged in the middle and secures by a pair of fasteners on both port and starboard sides. Just flip the fasteners and you can raise either, or both, cowl halves, exposing half or the entire engine top. Just like a Model A Ford.

For our Tiger hop we had two adults plus some gear and full tanks. We were about 280 pounds under gross. Our departure airport was Big Bear, which rises 6,750 feet above Southern California. Despite a density altitude of 7,500 feet that day, the Tiger was airborne into a light wind after and estimated takeoff run of 1,625 feet.

(Video) 1979 GRUMMAN/AMERICAN GENERAL AA5B TIGER For Sale

There’s enough elevator available on the Tiger to raise the nosewheel as the airspeed is passing through 55 mph and to have the ship fly off in ground effect below 65 mph. The aircraft accelerated rapidly through its best-angle-of-climb speed, 81 mph, to its best–rate–of–climb speed, 104 mph
Airborne, I found the Tiger’s entire spectrum of control pressures to be refreshingly light. If you exert anything more than fingertip pressure, except in a full-stall landing, you’re working to hard. The aircraft trimmed out nicely in a 500-fpm descent, at idle power, with full flaps and trim tab rolled all the way back – a nice configuration to remember if you’re VFR, low on fuel, and caught above a solid sheet of gray.

Clean stalls proved docile and came at 65 mph, but with flaps down the break came at 61 mph and was predictable sharper. With the wheel held all the way back, low-wing recovery can be made without the use of ailerons.

Actually, the Grumman configuration utilizes a minimum of rudder. When attempting slips, you run out of rudder long before you hit the aileron stops. However, that’s what the flaps were installed to handle.

Our cruise-speed calculations came pretty close to matching those of Grumman’s. Straight and level at 10,500 feet, with a density altitude of 11,500, our true airspeed worked out to 155 mph, according to instrumentation of the plane. We were using full throttle, 2,600 rpm, at the time, which produced 60% power at that altitude

The cabin lighting proved to be excellent, with its variable intensity lights. The nose-mounted landing light, an option, was powerful enough so that reference to the VASI or appearance of runway lights wasn’t necessary in the final 200 feet of our 75-mph approach. Touchdown came at just under 60 mph but that big elevator held the nose wheel off long after that.

(Video) Why the Grumman American 1978 AA5A Cheetah is one of the best aircraft to fly.

The Tiger is an impressive performer, especially when you consider it lacks the constant-speed prop so common in its power class. Grumman had hoped to turn out about 200 Tigers during this, its first, year on the market. The company says that target will be met, and easily. Said one Grumman official, “Every last serial number is spoken for.”

Apparently there are a lot of people who agree that Grumman did indeed make a big deal out of an engine change.

A 180-hp Traveler is a Tiger.

The Grumman American

Don Downie, AOPA Pilot, May 1975

(Video) Step up to YOUR Grumman Tiger

FAQs

Is a Grumman Tiger a good plane? ›

It's sporty and responsive, simple to maintain, economical to operate, and faster than similar aircraft like a 172 or Cherokee. The most popular of the Grumman series that began with the two-seat Yankee in the late 1960s, the Tiger seats four, has a 180-hp engine, and burns around 10 gph.

How much does a Grumman Tiger cost? ›

Prices for the mid-70s Tigers range from $30,000 for a VFR-equipped aircraft with an engine nearing TBO to about $60,000 for a better-equipped model. The later versions produced in the 1990s and 2000s will cost a bit more with prices in the $75,000 to $100,000 range.

How many Grumman Tigers were built? ›

Documentation:
ManufacturerAmerican GeneralTiger Aircraft
Years Built1990-19932006
Number Built18151
TypeSingle engine, 4-seat, fixed gearSingle engine, 4-seat, fixed gear
Wingspan31 ft 5 ins31 ft 5 ins
23 more rows

Who won the AOPA Grumman Tiger? ›

Lured to the Petaluma, California, airport under the guise of an interview about backcountry flying, avid pilot Alex Browne found himself completely speechless when AOPA President Mark Baker delivered the news that he had won the AOPA Sweepstakes Grumman Tiger. We GAVE this guy an airplane!!

Where does Tiger Woods keep his jet? ›

Woods uses the jet's enormous range of 7,767 miles without refuelling to fly from tournaments back to his luxury £41m home in Jupiter, Florida.

Can you fly a Cessna 172 cross country? ›

As part of the commercial pilot training, there is a requirement to fly a solo cross-country flight with a landing at least 250 miles away from the starting point.

Who makes the Grumman Tiger? ›

AA-5B Tiger

The Tiger was designed by Grumman engineers and was first produced in late 1974 as the 1975 model.

How fast is a Grumman Cheetah? ›

Documentation:
ManufacturerGulfstream American
Max Speed136 kts
Cruise Speed (75% Pwr)128 kts
Cruise Altitude8,500 ft
Cruise Range (45m Reserve)657 nm
23 more rows

How fast is a Grumman Traveler? ›

This year's Traveler has a published cruise speed of 147 mph at 75% power at 9,000 ft. Not bad for a 150-hp airplane. The Tiger cruises at 160 mph, with a 170 mph top speed. Rate of climb for the Traveler is 660 fpm, versus the Tiger's 850 fpm.

How fast is a Grumman Tiger? ›

Tiger owners report cruise speeds of 125 to 133 knots at 8.5 to 10 gallons per hour, while owners with 160 hp Cheetahs fly about 10 knots slower with a slightly lower fuel burn. During climb and cruise, an AA-5 pilot would be well-advised to closely monitor cylinder-head temperatures, which can run high.

Can planes fly faster than bullets? ›

Supersonic Speed. Many believed it was impossible for an aircraft, no matter how fast it could fly, to actually outrun its own bullets. After all, the speed of the average bullet is roughly around 1,700 mph. Mach 1, which Attridge had been traveling at, was 768 mph.

What planes are used in Hot Shots? ›

The planes used were Folland Fo-145 Gnats, a British fighter/trainer used by the RAF's Red Arrows aerobatics team until 1979.

Who won the AOPA 2022 Sweepstakes? ›

Alex Browne is a patient guy. He's been waiting for more than two weeks to see his brand-new airplane—the 2022 AOPA Sweepstakes Grumman Tiger, which he found out he won during a surprise visit from AOPA President Mark Baker at his home base in Petaluma, California, in mid-July.

What kind of jet does Bill Gates have? ›

Bill Gates owns four private jets as well as a Cessna 208 Seaplane and a Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter. His private jet collection is made up of two Gulfstream G650ER's and two Bombardier Challenger 350s. The Gulfstream G650ER has a list price of $70 million and is considered the Rolls Royce of business jets.

Does Michael Jordan have a jet? ›

Jordan bought the Gulfstream 550 in 2016

Today, besides being the owner of the Charlotte Hornets in his home state of North Carolina, Jordan has multiple mansions spread around the United States and several boats.

How much did Tiger Woods jet cost? ›

Tiger Woods' private jet cost $53 million

Woods' private jet can accommodate as many as 18 passengers and travel up to 8,000 miles at a time. The interior boasts a bedroom, a walk-in closet), spacious bathrooms, and a separate dining area.

Can you fly a Cessna 172 to Hawaii? ›

“Well our brand new G1000 NXi Cessna 172 made the 18 hour and 5 minute flight from Merced, California, to Honolulu (nonstop), of course.

Can a Cessna fly over the ocean? ›

Cessna 150 and 152 pilots routinely fly their airplanes across the state, coast to coast across the country, and even across the Atlantic Ocean! We average 70 airplanes every year at the Cessna 150-152 Fly-In.

How far can you fly a Cessna 172 in a day? ›

How far can the Cessna 172 fly? The modern day 172 Skyhawk's have a 696 nautical mile range with the standard 45 minute reserve running on 55% power at 12,000 ft. This equates to a ground distance of 1,289km's.

Does Grumman still make aircraft? ›

Gulfstream business jets are currently manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

How far can a Grumman Cheetah fly? ›

Realistically, youll need to plan on still-air range with full fuel in the tanks to be about 500-plus miles. The standard-tank Cheetah, by comparison, has shorter legs. The 38 gallons you pump into it is good for a bit less than four hours, with reserves. This equals about 450 miles.

Which aircraft shot itself down? ›

The F-11 Tiger is noted for being the first jet aircraft to shoot itself down. On 21 September 1956, during a test-firing of its 20 mm (0.79 in) cannons, pilot Tom Attridge fired two bursts midway through a shallow dive.

Has an a 10 ever shot down another aircraft? ›

A-10s shot down two Iraqi helicopters with the GAU-8 cannon. The first of these was shot down by Captain Robert Swain over Kuwait on 6 February 1991 for the A-10's first air-to-air victory. Four A-10s were shot down during the war by surface-to-air missiles and eleven A-10s were hit by anti-air artillery rounds.

Is Mach 3 faster than a bullet? ›

Think about moving more than three times faster than the speed of sound, aka Mach 3. Consider this: It's more than 33 miles per minute. Somebody call Superman: Joersz and Morgan literally flew “faster than a speeding bullet.” Clearly this flying machine was special.

What aircraft do the Red Arrows use? ›

What planes are the Red Arrows? The Red Arrows themselves are distinctive Hawk fast-jets - the BAE Systems Hawk T1. It is the same jets used for for advanced pilot training and they have two seats.

When did the Red Arrows stop using the gnat? ›

The team reformed in 1965 as part of the Central Flying School as the Red Arrows which operated the Gnat until 1979 as the RAF aerobatic demonstration team.

Which Indian aircraft earned the title as Sabre Slayer? ›

But after incidents of friendly fire, they were not called again for close air support. Two days later, IAF Folland Gnat fighters shot down a PAF F-86 Sabre over Chhamb area. The Gnats were effective against the F-86 and earned the nickname Sabre Slayer.

How fast is a Grumman Tiger? ›

The Tiger cruises at 160 mph, with a 170 mph top speed. Rate of climb for the Traveler is 660 fpm, versus the Tiger's 850 fpm. The Traveler's service ceiling is given as 12,650 ft, and the Tiger territory tops out at 14,600 ft.

How fast is a Grumman Cheetah? ›

Documentation:
ManufacturerGulfstream American
Max Speed136 kts
Cruise Speed (75% Pwr)128 kts
Cruise Altitude8,500 ft
Cruise Range (45m Reserve)657 nm
23 more rows

What planes did the Flying Tigers use? ›

Pilots of the Flying Tigers run for their Curtiss P-40 fighters as an air raid warning sounds at an unknown airbase in China on Nov. 2, 1943. The AVG was integrated into the U.S. military in 1942 as part of the 23d Fighter Group, which continued to use the name Flying Tigers.

Where were the Flying Tigers based? ›

The group consisted of three fighter squadrons of around 30 aircraft each that trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II to defend the Republic of China against Japanese forces.

Who makes the Grumman Tiger? ›

AA-5B Tiger

The Tiger was designed by Grumman engineers and was first produced in late 1974 as the 1975 model.

Does Grumman still make aircraft? ›

Gulfstream business jets are currently manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

How far can a Grumman Cheetah fly? ›

Realistically, youll need to plan on still-air range with full fuel in the tanks to be about 500-plus miles. The standard-tank Cheetah, by comparison, has shorter legs. The 38 gallons you pump into it is good for a bit less than four hours, with reserves. This equals about 450 miles.

How many Flying Tigers are left? ›

Only three of those volunteers are known to be alive today, including Losonsky, armorer Charles Baisden, age 96, and the last living Flying Tiger pilot, 99-year-old Carl Brown. Between them, they're carrying the legacy of one of the most fascinating stories of World War II.

What did Flying Tiger used to be called? ›

Flying Tiger Copenhagen (formerly Tiger Copenhagen) is a Danish variety store chain. Its first shop opened in Copenhagen in 1995 and the chain now has nearly 1000 shops. Its largest markets are Denmark, the UK, Italy, and Spain.

Why are they called Flying Tigers? ›

The American Volunteer Group (AVG) was popularly known as the Flying Tigers because of their aircrafts' distinctive shark's mouth paint scheme. The Flying Tigers did not see combat until December 18, 1941. On July 4, 1942, the AVG was disbanded, and many of the pilots left to return to their original military services.

How many planes did the Flying Tigers shot down? ›

Between December 1941 and July 1942, according to AVG and Air Force records, the Flying Tigers destroyed 299 Japanese aircraft while losing only 12 of their P-40s in combat.

Does China Remember the Flying Tigers? ›

China always remembers the contribution and sacrifice made to it by the United States and the American people during the World War II, said a leading Chinese military official here Friday.

Do mercenary fighter pilots exist? ›

There have been plenty of mercenary pilots in all manner of conflicts. Robert Conner (UK Citizen) flew Hunters in combat for Iraq in the 1970s. Mercenary pilots flew for Israel in 1948. Mercenary companies were in big demand during the 80 and 90s.

Videos

1. Grumman Tiger Aircraft Introduction wit David Duvak
(David Duvak)
2. Grumman Tiger (Grumman American AA-5B)
(DXHUNTER)
3. Grumman Pilot Questioned By The FAA! - Flight & Pilot Interview
(Flying Doodles)
4. Aviation: Powerflow Exhaust System Review in a Grumman Tiger AA5B
(killerbloc)
5. 1976 Grumman AA-5B Complete Custom Interior Refurbishment!
(Aviation X Aircraft Interiors)
6. Why I Bought A Grumman Tiger Airplane
(MojoGrip)

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