Thursday, April 15, 2010
GULFSTREAM AMERICAN “TIGER”
1975–79 (AA-5B), 1990–1993 (AG-5B), 2001 to present (AG-5B)
|STANDARD DATA: Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,400. Empty wt. 1,400. Fuel capacity 52. Engine 180-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 170. Cruise mph 160. Stall mph 61. Initial climb rate 850. Range 752. Ceiling 13,800. Takeoff distance (50') 1,550. Landing distance (50') 1,120.
If cats have nine lives, Tigers have at least three. For the most part, the first Tiger was a new-engine version of the four-seat Traveler. Its cruise speed, rate of climb, and 110-pound useful load put it in the class of many higher priced aircraft, including some light retractables. The Tiger features fold-down rear seats for increased baggage space and a redesigned engine cowl for easier removal. Still in use are the honeycomb box section and the extruded tubular alloy spar in the wing, the virtually rivetless resin-bonded skin, and free-castering nose wheel to facilitate steering in tight places. Airflow has been smoothed by adding new wheel fairings and a recontoured spinner cowl area. Though the year 1979 saw the company name change from Grumman American to Gulfstream American, there were no significant changes in the Tiger itself. Production was halted during 1980.
In 1990 the Tiger came to market again as the American General Tiger, designated as the AG-5B. The newest Tiger had remarkably few changes, except the price tag. Because of the rough economic conditions of the early 1990s, American General ceased production in 1993.
In late 2001 the Tiger made a third entrance into the market, this time from facilities in Martinsburg, West Virginia and backed by foreign investors. While most of the airplane remains unchanged, the newest Tigers have an advantage over legacy AA-5B and AG-5Bs simply because of avionics upgrades. New Tigers are available with an all-glass flight deck.