The Great Depression and the post-World War II glut of aircraft on the market are not the only factors that led to so-called “orphaned” designs.
Poor timing led to the demise of the Anderson Greenwood AG-14, according to David Powell of Rogers, Ark., who owns AG-14 Serial No. 5, the last of the twin-boom, two-place aircraft to roll off the assembly line.
“It was built in 1953,” he said. “The Korean War was going on and the company could not get raw materials to build the airplane, so the design was shelved and the company did other work for the government.”
Powell learned about the airplane from his father.
“He worked at Anderson Greenwood for 35 years,” he said. “I knew Mr. Anderson and Mr. Greenwood. They decided to build something that they thought everyone could get into and fly, so it had some car-like features, because you drive it on the ground like a car.”
The AG-14 has a yoke and the steering is connected to the front wheel, Powell continued. “You have one brake pedal like a car and one heel pedal to start it like some cars of the 1950s,” he said.
The airplane is powered by a 90-hp Continental engine mounted in a pusher configuration. Typical cruise is 115 mph, according to Powell.
Although the AG-14 may look like something out of science fiction, Powell said it performs traditionally in terms of takeoff and level flight, but noted that landing requires a delicate touch.
“It has so much visibility that you don’t have anything to look at to judge approach angle — it’s just a wide view,” he said. “It also is a little limited on the rudder authority. It takes a little bit of energy management to do it right.”
It took Powell eight years to restore the aircraft. He made a few refinements along the way.
“I went with an alternator instead of a generator and added Cleveland brakes to improve the braking,” he said. “The only item that is not authentic is a cylinder head temperature gauge that I added to ensure that the engine was running cool.”
The aircraft was an oddity from the day it rolled off the assembly line, according to Powell.
“There were a lot of articles written about it in the 1950s and 1960s,” he said.