Thursday, April 15, 2010

GULFSTREAM AMERICAN “CHEETAH”


1972–79



STANDARD DATA: (Cheetah) Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,200. Empty wt. 1,362. Fuel capacity 38-52. Engine 150-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 157. Cruise mph 147. Stall mph 60. Initial climb rate 660. Range 589-830. Ceiling 12,650. Takeoff distance (50') 1,600. Landing distance (50') 1,100.

STANDARD DATA: (Traveler) Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,200. Empty wt. 1,180. Fuel capacity 37. Engine 150-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 150. Cruise mph 140. Stall mph 61. Initial climb rate 660. Ceiling 12,650. Range 627. Takeoff distance (50') 1,420. Landing distance (50') 1,052.

The AA-5 Traveler is essentially an enlarged version of the AA-IA Trainer. Given an increased wingspan and 32 more horsepower on an extended fuselage, the Traveler is a full four-place airplane. Production first began in late 1971 and was facilitated by the fact that the Trainer and the Traveler share nearly two thirds of their parts in common. Introduced by Grumman American, the Cheetah includes as standard equipment that which is usually optional on the Trainer. Also added were: electric flaps, increased tailplane dimensions, a baggage allowance of 120 pounds, and optional fuel
capacity of 52 gallons (as opposed to the standard 38-gallon tanks).

At 75% power at 8,500 feet, the Cheetah will true 147 mph. Drop down to a more normal 6,500 feet and a more economical 65% power setting, and it will pull a true of 133 mph. Clean surfaces and clean design are behind the Cheetah’s super speed figures. A rugged, chemical, metal-to-metal bonding process is used in place of rivets. It was a fairly new manufacturing process that other manufacturers were beginning to use on their expensive twins. Grumman American redesigned the old AA-5 Traveler’s engine cowling for reduced drag, streamlined the main gear fairings and eliminated the ventral fin, all of which were speed-helping changes. Other improvements over the old AA-5 were engine cooling baffles, a long-range fuel tank option, a better exhaust system, a redesigned nose strut, and a 30% larger tail surface. The larger tail surface allowed the aft center-of-gravity loading to be extended and markedly improved control response. The Cheetah was finally manufactured by Gulfstream American Corp.




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