This 1976 Grumman American AA-5A Cheetah Is a Pioneering ‘AircraftForSale’ Top Pick

Tracing its heritage to the 1960s BD-1 kit concept, the Cheetah is an efficient, economical mount.

The Cheetah’s bonded win skins and aluminum honeycomb fuselage set it apart form conventional piston singles. [Courtesy: Scott MacDonald]

Each day, the team at Aircraft For Sale picks an airplane that catches our attention because it is unique, represents a good deal, or has other interesting qualities. You can read Aircraft For Sale: Today’s Top Pick at daily.

The innovative Grumman American series of piston singles are appealing for their history alone, with aviation pioneers Jim Bede and Roy LoPresti involved in their development. In the early 1960s Bede designed the BD-1, a kitbuilt two-seater that later developed into the AA-1 Yankee and the rest of the AA line that included the Cheetah. The aircraft featured bonded wing skins and other aerodynamic aides that helped them eke out higher cruising speeds than one might expect.

The Cheetah and other Grumman derivatives have a following among pilots who love their responsive handling, economical operation and, of course, sliding canopy. These airplanes are the winged equivalent of compact sports cars that are known more for fun than horsepower.

This Grumman American Cheetah has 3,236 hours on the airframe and 1,847 hours on its engine since overhaul. The panel features a Garmin GNC 250XL GPS, Narco CP 125 audio panel, King KY 197 Com, dual Narco Navs, Garmin Aera GPS, Narco AT 50 transponder, and  four-place intercom.

Pilots intrigued by the notion of enjoying sporty styling and performance from the same economical, reliable engine used in the Cessna 172 should consider this 1976 Grumman American AA-5A Cheetah, which is available for $60,000 on AircraftForSale.

You can arrange financing of the aircraft through FLYING Finance. For more information, email

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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