The American Eagle A-1 was designed in late 1925 as a training aircraft to replace the World War I biplanes then in use by the Porterfield Flying School. The prototype A-1 first flew at Richards Field in Kansas CityMissouri on 9 April 1926. Small modifications made to the design in 1927, including ailerons on the lower wings, led to the A-101 designation. The 90 h.p. Curtiss OX-5 engine was initially fitted, but the 100 h.p. Curtiss OX-6 was fitted to later production A-101s.
A total of approximately 300 A-1/A-101 aircraft had been completed by 1929. These served successfully with flying schools and private owners for many years and several survived in flying condition and displayed in museums in 2007.