American Electric Piranha

The American Electric Piranha (also named Blair-American USA[1] or American USA[2]) was a prototype American counter-insurgency aircraft. Designed by Milt Blair and Dick Ennis in the early 1960s, it was built by the American Electric Corporation.

American Electric Piranha.jpg
Role Counter-insurgency aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer American Electric Corporation
Designer Milt Blair
First flight 1966
Developed from LeVier Cosmic Wind

Developed for use by the United States Air Force under Project Little Brother, initial flight testing of the Piranha took place at Mojave Airport in California; following delivery for evaluation, it was tested at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The design armament of the Piranha was two pods each carrying four Zuni unguided rockets, mounted on the aircraft's wingtips, and a single 500-pound (230 kg) bomb on a belly hardpoint.[3]

Evaluation of the Piranha ceased following the death of Milt Blair in an unrelated aircraft accident.[3] The prototype, N1518, is flown by a private owner in Kansas.[4]


Data from Sport Aviation[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Wing area: 70 sq ft (6.5 m2)
  • Gross weight: 3,200 lb (1,451 kg)


  • Hardpoints: 1 with a capacity of 500 pounds (230 kg),
  • Rockets: 2 4-round 5.0-inch (127 mm) Zuni rocket pods

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "FAA Registry - Aircraft - N-Number Inquiry". 2004-01-20. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  3. ^ a b c Sport Aviation. Oshkosh, WI: Experimental Aircraft Association. July 1976, page 40.
  4. ^ "Orphan jet: one unique aircraft coming to Airfest". September 2012. Great Bend, Kansas: Great Bend Tribune. Accessed 2013-04-06.