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General Aviation GA-43

General Aviation GA-43

The General Aviation GA-43 was an airliner produced in small numbers in the United States in the mid 1930s, also known as the Pilgrim 150, Fairchild 150, and Clark GA-43. The prototype was developed and built by Fairchild's American Pilgrim division, but the programme was taken over by General Aviation when the firm purchased American Pilgrim shortly before it had flown. Although this first flight took place in 1932, manufacture did not commence until 1934, by which time General Motors had, in turn, gained a controlling interest in North American Aviation and merged it with General Aviation that they already owned. The upshot of this was that the GA-43 became the first aircraft produced by North American. The GA-43 was a conventional low-wing cantilever monoplane of all-metal construction. The prototype had fixed tailwheel undercarriage, but the main units of this were later changed to be made retractable, and three of the four production examples also had retractable mainwheels, the fourth aircraft having twin pontoons instead. The oval-section fuselage contained a ten-seat passenger cabin, and the cockpit was located atop the fuselage under a separate canopy.

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