Following Gulfstream Aerospace’s purchase of Grumman’s American light aircraft division in 1977 the company embarked on a policy of aircraft model development. During this time the other aircraft in the line, including the AA-1B Trainer and the AA-5B Tiger underwent extensive redesign.
The aircraft line Gulfstream then fielded included the redesigned AA-1C Lynx two seater, the Gulfstream American AA-5A Cheetah and the Gulfstream American AA-5B Tiger single engine aircraft. The line had good market acceptance and depth. The next obvious step was to develop a twin-engined aircraft to complete the line.
Gulfstream American’s engineering team designed the new twin based on the same honeycomb and bonded metal construction that had been the hallmarks of the line since the BD-1. The result was designated the GA-7 (for Gulfstream American) and was given the name Cougar in keeping with the existing Lynx, Cheetah and Tiger aircraft in the company's line.
The Cougar was intended for the flying school twin-engined trainer market and also as a personal use aircraft. The Cougar was powered by a pair of wing-mounted Lycoming O-320-D1D engines of 160 hp. It would carry four people at 160 knots cruise speed and was certified under US FAR Part 23.
Production of the Cougar ran for just two model years, 1978 and 1979 before production was halted. Just 115 Cougars were delivered.
Today the Cougars that are still flying are prized for their combination of speed, range, simplicity of construction and ease of operation as well as their aesthetic appeal.
Aircraft Type Club
The GA-7 Cougar, along with the other American Aviation, Grumman American and Gulfstream American single engined aircraft are supported by an active aircraft type club, The American Yankee Association.
Specifications (Gulfstream American GA-7 Cougar)
Published - July 2009
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