In 1930, the US Army sponsored a contest for a new generation of attack planes which were intended to replace the Douglas A-2 and Curtiss A-3 biplanes then equipping the three squadrons of the 3rd Attack Group, the Army's only group dedicated solely to the attack mission.
The General Aviation company of New Jersey, which was the US subsidiary of the Dutch-based Fokker aircraft company, submitted a two-seat, low-winged all metal monoplane as its entry in the contest. A single prototype of the General Aviation design was ordered by the US Army on January 8, 1930 under the designation XA-7.
The General Aviation (Fokker) XA-7 was a two-seat low-winged all-metal monoplane powered by a 600 hp Curtiss XV-1570-27 Conqueror V-12 liquid cooled engine. It had a thick cantilever wing with a fixed landing gear with its main wheels covered over by a set of large wheel pants, open tandem cockpits, and a tunnel radiator underneath the nose for engine cooling. The XA-7 was armed with four 0.30-inch forward-firing machine guns and one 0.30-inch gun operated by the gunner/observer sitting in the rear cockpit.
The XA-7 was completed in April of 1931. It had its nose and landing gear modified before tests at Wright Field in June of 1931. It began flight testing in September of that year. The competing Curtiss XA-8 design won the Army attack plane contest in 1931 and no further A-7s were built.
Engine: One 600 hp Curtiss V-1570-27 Conqueror V-12 liquid-cooled engine.
Performance: Maximum speed 184 mph. Langing speed 61 mph.
Weights: 3866 pounds empty, 5650 pounds gross.
Dimensions: Wingspan 46 feet 9 inches, length 31 feet, height 9 feet
5 inches, wing area 333 square feet.
Armament: Four 0.30-inch forward-firing machine guns and one
0.30-inch gun operated by the rear gunner.