Gulfstream American GA-7 Cougar

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GA-7 Cougar & TB 320 Tangara
Role Personal and trainer aircraft
Manufacturer Gulfstream American Aviation
First flight December 20, 1974[1]
Introduction February 1978
Produced 1978-1979
Number built 115
A GA-7 Cougar on the ramp at Les Cedres Quebec, May 2005

The Gulfstream American GA-7 Cougar is an American all-metal, 4-seat, twin-engined light aircraft. The Cougar was a twin-engine development of the Gulfstream American AA-5B Tiger and traces its lineage to the AA-1 Yankee Clipper and the Bede BD-1.


As a development of the company's single-engined designs, Grumman American developed a twin-engined version, designated the GA-7 which it named the Cougar, in keeping with the existing Lynx, Cheetah and Tiger names for aircraft in the company's line. The prototype Cougar with two 160 hp (119 kW) Lycoming O-320 engines first flew on the 29 December 1974. The prototype had a sliding canopy but this was soon changed to a starboard side door on the production aircraft. With other rework required the production prototype did not fly until 14 January 1977.[2]

Before production started the company was taken over on 1 September 1978 by American Jet Industries, who changed the company name to Gulfstream American.[1] Production of the Cougar ran for only two model years, 1978 and 1979, before production was halted. Just 115 Cougars were delivered.[3][4]

In 1995 the type certificate for the GA-7 was sold to SOCATA of France who intended to produce the aircraft as the TB 320 Tangara for the training market.[5] It was also to develop a variant with two Lycoming O-360-A1G6 engines of 180 hp (134 kW) each and a re-designed cockpit, it was designated the TB 360. The first Tangara was a modified Cougar, had 160 hp (119 kW) engines and first flew in mid-1996. The complete Tangara prototype was also a converted Cougar and had the 180 hp (134 kW) engines. It first flew in February 1997. After delays in getting the type certified SOCATA announced at the end of 1999 that it had delayed indefinitely plans to certify the type.[6]

On 23 May 2019 the type certificate was transferred by SOCATA to the Cougar Aircraft Corporation in the United States.[7]


The Cougar is a twin-engined low-wing cantilever monoplane using a honeycomb and bonded metal construction that is the hallmark of the line since the BD-1. The prototype's single spar wing was upgraded to a double-spar configuration and this allowed a wet wing.

The Cougar is powered by a pair of wing-mounted Lycoming O-320-D1D engines of 160 hp (119 kW). It carries four people at maximum cruise speed of 160 kn (296 km/h) and a typical cruise speed of 140 kn (259 km/h). It was certified under US FAR Part 23 on 22 September 1977.[3]


GA7 Cougar
160 hp (119 kW) version designed by Grumman American and produced by Gulfstream American 1978-79. 115 built.[1]
TB 320 Tangara
Restarted production of the 160 hp (119 kW) version by SOCATA, two modified Cougars were converted to Tangara prototypes 1996-97, production was never started.
TB 360 Tangara
Re-designed variant from SOCATA with 180 hp (134 kW) O-360 engines, one prototype, a modified Cougar, was first flown in 1997, never entered production.

Specifications (Gulfstream American GA-7 Cougar)[edit]

Data from FAA Type Certificate,[3] The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage,[8] Pilot's Operating Handbook[9] and Pilot Friend[10]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: three passengers
  • Length: 28 ft 8 in (8.74 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
  • Wing area: 184 sq ft (17.1 m2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 63A415
  • Empty weight: 2,569 lb (1,165 kg)
  • Gross weight: 3,800 lb (1,724 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lycoming O-320-D1D four cylinder, horizontally-opposed aircraft engines, 160 hp (120 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 168 kn (193 mph, 311 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 160 kn (180 mph, 300 km/h) true airspeed
  • Stall speed: 63 kn (72 mph, 117 km/h) calibrated airspeed, flaps down
  • Never exceed speed: 188 kn (216 mph, 348 km/h) indicated airspeed
  • Minimum control speed: 61 kn (70 mph, 113 km/h) indicated airspeed
  • Range: 1,170 nmi (1,350 mi, 2,170 km) maximum economy with no reserves
  • Service ceiling: 17,400 ft (5,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,150 ft/min (5.8 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 20.65 lb/sq ft (100.8 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 11.9 lb/hp (7.19 kg/kW)

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


  1. ^ a b c Simpson 1991, p. 25
  2. ^ Wood, Derek: Jane's World Aircraft Recognition Handbook, page 233. Jane's Publishing Company, 1982. ISBN 0-7106-0202-2
  3. ^ a b c Federal Aviation Administration (March 2007). "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A17SO". Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  4. ^ Marsh, Alton K (August 1, 1996). "Return of the Night Fighter?: From predator to exotic bird". Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
  5. ^ "Socata to manufacture Cougars". Flight International: 24. June 27, 1995.
  6. ^ Legros, Francois (January 3, 2000). "Tangara delayed 'indefinitely'". Flight International.
  7. ^ European Aviation Safety Agency Type Certificate Cougar Aircraft Corporation GA7 EASA.IM.A.381 dated 15 August 2019
  8. ^ Lednicer, David (October 2007). "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  9. ^ Gulfstream Aerospace (October 1978). "Pilot's Operating Handbook" (PDF). Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  10. ^ Pilot Friend (n.d.). "Grumman GA-7 Cougar performance and specifications". Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  • Simpson, R.W. (1991). Airlife's General Aviation. England: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-194-X.

External links[edit]