Grumman AA5B Tiger

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by LJS1993, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. LJS1993

    LJS1993 Line Up and Wait

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    Guys call me nuts (since I'm not even a pilot) but for some reason the looks of this plane really appeals to me. Also the prices of this aircraft type seem very reasonable thus making actually owning a plane someday a possible reality. Not to be the type of guy who falls in love with the looks of a plane before even being in it but man it just speaks "cool" to me. How do these aircraft handle? Dependable? Good for new pilots? Any Grumman guys out there?
     
  2. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Ron Levy is big in the Grumman world so I'm sure he will chime in. I have a good number of hours in Grummans both trainers and Tigers.

    They both have fantastic visibility. Tigers are fast for fixed gear fixed pitch prop aircraft and burn about an economic 10 gph for some super speed. They are a heck of a lot of fun to fly are very nimble and responsive more like a sports car than an SUV. The free castoring nose wheel gives them a tight taxi turn radius. All around fun planes to fly. A lot of bang for the buck.
     
  3. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    Yeah, I'll let you know when I fly one.

    Ron and Anthony are the Grumman nutz around this board.
     
  4. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    If you're nuts, I'm nuts, too. I've owned a string of them since 1977, currently a Tiger.

    You're not alone in that, either.

    Light, quick, well-balanced, and well-harmonized. Best story I can tell of that is when I was instructing part-time about 15 years ago at a flight school running 172's. I'd just flown a hop with a PP student with about 15 hours in the 172, and I had to make a run somewhere in my Cheetah. I invited the student along, and let him sit left seat and fly it. He made the takeoff, and about the time we passed the departure end of the runway, he turned to me and said, "why would anyone want to fly a Cessna when they can fly this?" I grinned and said, "I have no idea."

    Absoulutely. Classically reliable Lycoming engines, dirt-simple systems, and robust construction.

    Again, absolutely. Very easy to fly well, although not as forgiving of sloppy technique as some other types. I consider that an advantage, as it makes transition to bigger/faster types easier if you don't have sloppy habits.

    Several here on PoA, and you can find a lot more at these sites:
    http://www.aya.org
    http://www.grumman.net
     
  5. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    They're ok, they handle well and go fast for the HP by saving weight and being clean by using techniques like glue to bond together the Aluminum parts. There is also a strong tubular steel spar doubling as fuel tank that is a quite solid set up. I understand that there is enough support to keep these machines flying, not personally sure though.
     
  6. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    The bonding technique goes beyond just "glue," but the result is smooth seams and reduced weight.

    True of the 2-seat AA-1-series, but not the 4-seat AA-5-series, where the spar is empty and the tanks are contained by the wing skin and ribs.

    The other big strength-giving feature is the honey-comb sandwich box construction of the cabin area -- highly crashworthy, if it ever comes to that.

    That's correct. Between the PMA's held by Fletchair and the manufacturer status of True Flight, there isn't much you can't find in the way of spare airframe parts. Obviously, the Lycoming engines are well supported by the factory.
     
  7. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Honeycomb is hard to beat for absorbing energy. Personally I like it better than carbon.
     
  8. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I do know a little about the Tiger as I've owned one for 11 years, and have about 700 hours in type. Nothing like Ron, who checked me out in mine many years ago, so if you're anywhere near the Mid-Atlantic he's a good one to do so.

    Operational and Ownership costs are similar to other 180 HP fixed gear, fixed prop airplanes. They are faster, handle more crisply, have a nice sliding canopy, and are a bit more unusual than offerings from other aircraft in their class from Cessna, Piper and Beech .

    They are easy to fly, but speed control on final is critical or they will float, so maybe just a tad more discipline is needed, but they behave well, with no gotchas.

    Parts are readily available from Fletchair and there is a good owners group in the AYA, so that is a good place to start for info. They have weekend fly-ins all the time, so that is a great place to get a ride in one and talk to owners.
     
  9. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    More than that, honeycomb sandwiches are extremely stiff, preventing crushing of the cabin area.
     
  10. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As evidenced by the recent Lincoln Park, NJ crash.
     
  11. N5922S

    N5922S Line Up and Wait

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    Hard to beat for the money -- strong, nimble, and more fun than a room full of nymphomaniacs.
     
  12. PeteJE

    PeteJE Filing Flight Plan

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    Could those familiar compare the size / comfort vs. the Mooney M20 series?
     
  13. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which M20 series? It makes a difference in rear leg room. The M20C or M20E, the Tiger has much better rear seat leg room. The M20E or M20J/201 are stretched and I believe pretty similar to the Tiger in the rear.

    Cabin width has the Mooney at 43.5 inches, but the Tiger/Cheetah "feels" wider than its 41 inches due to higher seat position, and a bubble canopy that bulges slightly at the shoulders.
     
  14. Turboz1r

    Turboz1r Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I agree with Ron and Anthony, I am on my third Grumman. The first two were and AA1B and an AA1C Lynx. These are both two seaters. I now have a Tiger, and am very happy with it in all respects. They are very fun to fly, and don't break the bank on maint. I will keep my Tiger until I can figure out a way to buy a Columbia 400 to replace it. But since that won't happen, I will keep the Tiger.

    [​IMG]

    If you are ever in NJ, hit me up for a ride.
    Mike G
     
  15. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    BTW, you didn't post your location, but if you check the AYA site, you can find the various local Grumman fly-ins where you can look at, and probably snag a ride in, a Tiger, not to mention having your ear talked off on why you need one.
     
  16. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Spectacular paint job!

     
  17. LJS1993

    LJS1993 Line Up and Wait

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    Now that is a beautiful aircraft. If I was in your region I would definitely go for a ride in that.
     
  18. Turboz1r

    Turboz1r Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks Wayne and LJ, she is my pride and joy.

    Mike in NJ
     
  19. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey!! My future plane!! I was wondering how long it would take you to chime in.
     
  20. LJS1993

    LJS1993 Line Up and Wait

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  21. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nice looking Traveller. They are 150 HP (vs the Tiger's 180) and don't have the Tiger or Cheetahs speed mods, but they are nice flying planes.
     
  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    What's it cost to put the 180 on? And isn't there a Lo Presti cowl? Did anyone ever do a 210hp 390 Lycoming yet? I have heard tale of the great retract AA5x but that is all I have come across.
     
  23. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The most important thing is that honeycomb Al will tell me the pilot on preflight, it's been over stressed before it fails.
     
  24. Turboz1r

    Turboz1r Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Henning,

    I have a Lo Presti cowl on my plane. I think it cleans up the lines of the front of the plane, and it has given me good cylinder head temps and helped with cooling.

    Mike in NJ
     
  25. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If LoPresti makes a mod for your plane, it's pretty much worth having.;)
     
  26. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    i'm guessing that was done by either Jim Russell or Ken Reese.
     
  27. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    More than trading up to a Tiger. Only reason to do that conversion is if you have an engine-less airframe (as I did) or you've done so much in avionics, paint, etc, that you'd lose too much investment on the sale of the Cheetah/Traveler. You're talking $25-30K less whatever you can get for the original engine and prop.

    Yes, there is. Figure another $5k installed for that, but I think it's worth the money for the improved engine cooling.

    No.

    There was one prototype built by the factory with a retractable nose gear and a turbocharged engine. It was later converted back to stock configuration and sold. Last I heard, the special engine mount built for the TIO engine with the fittings for the retractable nose gear was hanging on the wall at Brookville Aero in Ohio, but that was years ago.
     
  28. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    Dan G. from the Purple board let me sit in his Tiger and surprisingly I was able to fit. As some of you may know, it's my pet problem with airplanes. I have to move the head sideways in order to close the canopy, but then it bubbles out just enough. Just need to have a headset that does not scratch the canopy on contact. Unfortunately, Dan's plane is of expensive variety: he bought it for $72k. That 390 SMOH AA-5 for $34k sounds like a good deal, but still a tad above my range.

    I looked at the 2-seaters a bit. Wikipedia makes it sound like they were dramatically improved over the course of numerous ownership transitions, especially in handling on stall. Basically says don't buy anything below AA-1B. Now sure how trustworthy it is.

    A week ago I saw an ad for AA-1B, 250 SMOH, for $20k. Sounds like a great deal, but the airplane is far away in Minnesota. If it were in Texas, I'd have a look at it tomorrow.

    One last note, some people say that airframe damage is practically irrepairable, unless you happen to live near Ron or in another place where Grumman enthusiasts cluster together. I don't know a single A in A&P who would glue the thing together in the whole state. So, don't prang it.
     
  29. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    It's not. The airfoil change was made by the original manufacturer (American Aviation in Cleveland) after the 1970 model year. The new airfoil was introduced with the AA-1A in the 1971 model year and is the same on all the AA-1A/B/C aircraft built from then until 2-seat production ended after the 1979 model year. There are other significant differences between the A, B, and C, so take a good look, but there is no aerodynamic reason to shun the AA-1A. In addition, because of their cleaner wing and greater speed, AA-1's are sought after; just make sure you get a proper checkout because it doesn't fly like any other 2-seater intended for the training market.
    Bonding it back together is something best left to the experts, but there are half a dozen shops around the country who can do that if you bust it up that bad. Routine airframe repairs are well within the capability of any A&P with a decent shop and the right manuals.
     
  30. Turboz1r

    Turboz1r Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So when you buy it, I can buy my house in Spruce Creek and park my golf cart in the hanger with no airplane.

    Mike
     
  31. bkspero

    bkspero Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Pete, your note inferred that Texas is convenient for you. Fletchair is near San Antonio and a leader in supplying parts, repairs, and overall stewardship for the Grumman American community. If you're just east of Texas, then Bob Steward is in Alabama (Birmingham, I think). He's another of the community's leading repair and upgrade locations. Texas and the southeast are "sweet spots" for Grumman-specific repairs.
     
  32. jkeesaman

    jkeesaman Pre-Flight

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    PM me if you're interested in a ride. I'm in San Diego but suspect that we can arrange something. I don't have the great paint job of Mike's but I do have a Team Grumman cowling.
     

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  33. flightmedic

    flightmedic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Then you'll know how I feel.:goofy:
     
  34. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There is also Gary Vogt (AuCountry Aviation) in Norcal, and Ken Blackman in Washington state.

    http://www.aucountry.com/

    And Bill and Carol Scott in Owensboro, KY.

    http://precisionengine.home.mindspring.com/

    All "Grumman Gurus" that really know the planes (in addition to Fletchair and Steward).

    Edit: Actually, here's a good list from the AYA.

    http://www.aya.org/s/358/aya.aspx?sid=358&gid=1&pgid=976
     
  35. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Don't forget John Sjaardema at ExcelAir in Indiana, Hortman Aviation in Philly, Cliff Hanson in Independence OR, and TrueFlight in Valdosta GA. Put 'em all together, and if you need major repair work done, there's someone not too far who can do it.
     
  36. LJS1993

    LJS1993 Line Up and Wait

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    Hey that's a beauty too!!!! Check your PM's. :) :D
     
  37. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Hey Ron, could you clarify all the models that potentially had the bad glue and what the remedy to that was? I recall it only affected a few planes and there was something about 'purple glue'?:dunno:

    Anyone that questions glue should check a Brantley Helicopter Main Rotor Blade; or a Hyundai.
     
  38. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That's sharp, is there any way to add winglets? :popcorn:
     
  39. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Winglets are useless on an airplane that does less than 280 knots.
     
  40. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Almost all helicopter blades are bonded or glued together, as well as tail rotor blades.