Grumman American Aviation AA-1A at Langley Airport BC.
The prototype first flew on July 11, 1963 and featured folding wings for trailering and ease of storage. Bede formed a company, Bede Aviation Corporation, based in Cleveland Ohio, to produce the aircraft, but the BD-1 never entered production as a certified aircraft. At that time the FAA was hesitant to certify a light aircraft with folding wings. The certification process was complex and expensive and disagreements arose between Bede and the other shareholders. As a result Bede was ousted by his business partners and the company renamed American Aviation
In 1971 American Aviation modified the NACA 64-415 airfoil used on the AA-1's wing, creating the AA-1A Trainer. The recontoured leading edge produced softer stall characteristics and permitted lower approach speeds. While this did tame the AA-1's sharp stall, it also reduced the cruise speed compared to the original AA-1 by 10 mph. First flight was on March 25, 1970 and 470 AA-1As were built in 1971-72.
Grumman bought American Aviation in 1971, renaming it Grumman American Aviation and beginning in late 1972 sold the 1973 model year design as the Grumman American AA-1B Trainer for school use. The variant designed for the personal-use market was called the TR-2 and it featured a standard radio and trim package. The AA-1B was produced until 1976. 680 AA-1Bs were produced.
All the AA-1s, AA-1As and AA-1Bs were powered by the Lycoming O-235-C2C low-compression engine designed for 80/87 avgas and which produced 108 hp.
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