|Gregors Geldings . . .
FDB-1 & GR-1
Island was fortunate in having some Russian
émigrés who escaped from the Bolshevik
revolution. They were Igor Sikorsky,
Alexander deSeversky, Alexander Kartvelli, and
Mikhail Greegorashvili was born in Russian
Georgia in 1888. He was trained in the
Russian Imperial technical schools. This
training provided him with the aviation
engineering skills that he used later in
life. These schools also educated the
talented Kartvelli, deSeversky, and
With the fall of the Czarist rule and the Soviet
takeover, these men immigrated to United
States. To Americanize his name, Mikhail
Greegorashvili changed it to Michael
Gregor. As a recognized professional
engineer, he was hired by the Brenner-Winkle
Aircraft Company, Glendale, Queens, who built the
popular Bird airplanes. He was
chief engineer of that firm at the time
Lindbergh was teaching his wife to fly a Bird
biplane at the Aviation Country Club, Long
In 1931 he was recruited by deSeversky, of the
new Seversky Aircraft Corporation, Farmingdale,
Long Island. Severky had a propensity to
hire Russian immigrant engineers like Alexander
Kartvelli. From this start evolved the
The Canadian Car and Foundry Company, upon
finishing a contract with the Grumman Aircraft
Company to build 57 of their two seat FF-1
biplanes, 15 of which were used by the RCAF as
the Goblin Mk.1s and 40 that were used by
the Spanish Republican Airforce. After
finishing this contract, CCFC decided to
manufacture their own design and hired Gregor to
be chief engineer.
In the following photographs, you will see two of
his airplane designs; the GR-1 and FDB-1.
The GR-1 was a two-place open cockpit training
biplane. The FDB-1 was a single-place
prototype FDB-1 is shown with its test pilot
George Adye (l) and Michael Gregor (r)
pauses at Roosevelt Field, New York, during a
lengthy cross country flight. Gulf fuel
truck is seen refueling the airplane.
view of the GR-1
A ¾ front view of the GR-1
View of the cockpits and wing supports.
Notice the stout interplane strut.
at Roosevelt Field, next to Hangar B.
Gregor rented the facility at the time,as the
Gregor Aircraft Company.
¾ view. Here you can see the upper Gull
wing and the struts replacing landing
this photograph you can see the enclosed cockpit,
which provides high visibility.
the placement of the wheel when retracted.
fuselage and tail surfaces awaiting the
installation of the wings. Here you can see
landing gear extended and the indented well for
the retracted wheel. Also, the Gull
for the upper wing and the lower wing attachment
is the operation of the landing and its
mechanism, which is operated pneumatically.
The gear is retracted in a very compact
configuration that looked like the gear on the
Grumman F2F and F3F, but the only similarity was
that they both folded into the space in the
Although this was a fine aircraft, its time was
wrong. The age of the biplane had given way
to the dominance of the monoplane fighters.
Because of this, only one of these beautiful
airplanes was built.
2009 The Long Island Early Fliers Club, P.O. Box
221, Bethpage, NY 11714-0221 firstname.lastname@example.org