Grumman American GA-7 Cougar
Socata TB320 Tangara
Socata TB360 Tangara
Right on schedule, in December 1974, Grum-man American got its new light twin, the Cougar, into the air on its first test flight.
The Cougar had a lengthy development period – nearly three years – between the prototype’s first flight on December 20 1974 and certification in September 1877. During that time the aircraft was modified considerably in detail. First flown with a sliding canopy and two cabin windows per side. A third window had been added by the time the aircraft entered production and the sliding canopy replaced by a conventional solid cabin roof and starboard side entry door.
The cabin itself was made a little larger while a two spar wing helped form the structure for an integral wet wing fuel tank. On the prototype the main undercarriage units retracted inwards but on the production models they retracted outwards. The first production standard Cougar flew in January 1977.
Two models were offered for the 1978 model year, the basic GA-7 and the better equipped Cougar with improved fittings, a basic avionics pack and gyro system as standard.
In service, the Cougar’s single engine performance on only 160 hp / 119 kW a side proved to be not as great as early published figures indicated and the numbers were subsequently revised downwards by nearly 30%.
Gulfstream responded by proposing two new variants, one with turbocharged 160 hp / 119 kW engines and another with 180 hp / 134 kW normally aspirated engines.
Neither proposal eventuated as Gulfstream ended production of all light aircraft in 1979.
In 1995 plans were made for SOCATA to licence build the Grumman GA-7 Cougar as the TB320 Tangara.
SOCATA TB 360 Tangara
Socata acquired the design and manufacturing rights to the Cougar in 1995. Socata announced plans to produce the aircraft as the TB 320 Tangara and then as the TB 360 with 180 hp / 134 kW Lycoming O-360 engines.
Three modified Cougars were built as prototypes, the first (as a TB 320) in mid 1996 and the second (as a TB 360) in February 1997. Planned production was then delayed.
Grumman GA-7 Cougar
Engines: Lycoming O‑320‑D1D, 160 hp / 119 kW
TBO: 2,000 hrs.
Props: two‑blade, constant‑speed, 73‑inch dia.
Length: 29 ft. 10 in.
Height: 10 ft. 4 in.
Wingspan: 36 ft. 10 in.
Wing area: 184 sq.ft.
Wing loading: 20.67 lb/sq.ft.
Power loading: 11.88 lb/hp.
Empty weight: 2,569 lb (1,165 kg)
Useful load: 1,155 lbs.
Payload with full fuel: 459 lbs.
Gross weight: 3,800 lb (1,724 kg)
Usable fuel capacity: 116 USG/696 lbs.
Service ceiling: 17,400 ft (5,300 m)
Rate of climb: 1,150 ft/min (5.8 m/s)Single‑engine rate of climb: 280 fpm.
Single‑engine climb gradient at 85 knots (Vyse): 197 ft. per nm.
Single‑engine service ceiling: 4,500 ft.
Maximum speed: 117 kts.
Max cruise, 75% power (2,700 rpm) at 8,500 ft: 165 kts.
Range: 1,170 nmi (max econ no res)
Duration at maximum cruise: 6.7 hrs.
Duration at economy cruise: 9.2 hrs.
Stalling speed, clean: 68 kts.
Stalling speed, full flaps: 61 kts.
Socata TB 360 Tangara
Engines: 2 x Lycoming O-360-A1G6, 180 hp / 134 kW
Wing span: 36 ft 11 in / 11.24 m
Length: 29 ft 10 in / 9.09 m
Height; 10 ft 4 in / 3.15 m
Wing area: 184 sq.ft / 17.1 sq.m
MTOW: 3800 lb / 1724 kg
Max speed: 174 kt / 322 kph
Max cruise; 165 kt / 306 kph
Long range cruise: 120 kt / 222 kph
Initial ROC: 1400 fpm / 427 m/min
Service ceiling; 20,000 ft / 6096 m
Range at max cruise (45 min res): 800 nm / 1480 kg
Max range w/res: 1140 nm / 2110 km