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Grumman Corporation
IndustryAircraft; aircraft parts and equipment; data processing and preparation; search and navigation equipment; truck and bus bodies; electrical equipment and supplies
FateMerged with Northrop
SuccessorNorthrop Grumman
Founded1929; 91 years ago (1929)
FoundersLeroy Grumman
Defunct1994; 26 years ago (1994)
United States of America
ProductsGrumman F4F Wildcat; Grumman F6F Hellcat; Grumman TBF Avenger; Grumman A-6 Intruder; Grumman F-14 Tomcat; Apollo Lunar Module
Grumman LLV
Number of employees
23,000 (1986)
SubsidiariesGrumman Aerospace Corp.; Grumman Allied Industries, Inc.; Grumman Data Systems Corp.

The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, later Grumman Aerospace Corporation, was a leading 20th century U.S. producer of military and civilian aircraft. Founded on December 6, 1929, by Leroy Grumman and partners, it merged in 1994 with Northrop Corporation to form Northrop Grumman.


Grumman Historical Marker

Leroy Grumman and others worked for the Loening Aircraft Engineering Corporation in the 1920s, but when it was bought by Keystone Aircraft Corporation and the operations moved from New York City to Bristol, Pennsylvania, Grumman and his partners (Edmund Ward Poor,[1] William Schwendler, Jake Swirbul, and Clint Towl) started their own company in an old Cox-Klemin Aircraft Co. factory in Baldwin on Long Island, New York. All of the early Grumman employees were former Loening employees.[2] The company was named after Grumman because he was its largest investor.[]

The company filed as a business on December 5, 1929, and opened its doors on January 2, 1930. Keeping busy by welding aluminum tubing for truck frames, the company eagerly pursued contracts with the US Navy.[2] Grumman designed the first practical floats with a retractable landing gear for the Navy, and this launched Grumman into the aviation market.[2] The first Grumman aircraft was also for the Navy, the Grumman FF-1, a biplane with retractable landing gear.[2] This was followed by a number of other successful designs.[2]

Grumman Corporation logo, ca. 1976

During World War II, Grumman became known for its "Cats", Navy fighter aircraft, F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat, and the less well known Grumman F7F Tigercat and Grumman F8F Bearcat (neither of which saw combat during World War II), and for its torpedo bomber TBF Avenger. Grumman ranked 22nd among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts.[3] Grumman's first jet aircraft was the F9F Panther; it was followed by the upgraded F9F/F-9 Cougar, and the less well known F-11 Tiger in the 1950s. The company's big postwar successes came in the 1960s with the A-6 Intruder and E-2 Hawkeye and in the 1970s with the Grumman EA-6B Prowler and F-14 Tomcat. Grumman products were prominent in the films The Final Countdown, Top Gun and numerous World War II naval and Marine Corps aviation films. The U.S. Navy still employs the Hawkeye as part of Carrier Air Wings on board aircraft carriers, while the U.S. Marine Corps, the last branch of service to fly the Prowler retired it on March 8, 2019.[4]

Apollo Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Module Diagram

Grumman was the chief contractor on the Apollo Lunar Module that landed men on the moon. The firm received the contract on November 7, 1962, and built 13 lunar modules. As the Apollo program neared its end, Grumman was one of the main competitors for the contract to design and build the Space Shuttle, but lost to Rockwell International. The company ended up involved in the shuttle program nonetheless, as a subcontractor to Rockwell, providing the wings and vertical stabilizer sections.[]

In 1969 the company changed its name to Grumman Aerospace Corporation, and in 1978 it sold the Grumman-American Division to Gulfstream Aerospace. That same year, it acquired bus manufacturer Flxible. The company built the Grumman Long Life Vehicle (LLV), a light transport mail truck designed for and used by the United States Postal Service. The LLV entered service in 1986.[]

Grumman was responsible for a successful line of business aircraft including the Gulfstream I turboprop (Grumman model G-159) and Gulfstream II business jet (Grumman model G-1159) which were operated by a number of companies and private individuals as well as by government agencies including various military entities and NASA. In addition, the Gulfstream I propjet was operated by several commuter/regional airlines in scheduled passenger services and included a stretched version, being the Gulfstream I-C (Grumman model G-159C) which could transport 37 passengers. Gulfstream business jets continue to be currently manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace which is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.[]

Long Island location

F-14 Tomcat at Grumman Memorial Park, Calverton, New York
Grumman's former headquarters in Bethpage, now Altice USA (formerly Cablevision) headquarters

For much of the Cold War period, Grumman was the largest corporate employer on Long Island.[5] Grumman's products were considered so reliable and ruggedly built that the company was often referred to as the "Grumman Iron Works".[6]

As the company grew, it moved to Valley Stream, New York, then Farmingdale, New York, finally to Bethpage, New York, with the testing and final assembly at the 6,000-acre (24 km2) Naval Weapons Station in Calverton, New York, all located on Long Island. At its peak in 1986 it employed 23,000 people on Long Island[7] and occupied 6,000,000 square feet (560,000 m2) in structures on 105 acres (0.42 km2) it leased from the U.S. Navy in Bethpage.[8]

The end of the Cold War at the beginning of the 1990s reduced defense spending and led to a wave of mergers as aerospace companies shrank in number; in 1994 Northrop bought Grumman for $2.1 billion to form Northrop Grumman,[8] after Northrop topped a $1.9 billion offer from Martin Marietta.[9]

The new company closed almost all of its facilities on Long Island and converted the Bethpage plant to a residential and office complex, with its headquarters becoming the corporate headquarters for Cablevision and the Calverton plant being turned into a business/industrial complex. Former aircraft hangars have become Grumman Studios, a film and television production center. A portion of the airport property has been used for the Grumman Memorial Park. Northrop Grumman's remaining business at the Bethpage campus is the "Battle Management and Engagement Systems Division", which employs around 2,000 people.[when?][]


An F-14A Tomcat of VF-84 Jolly Rogers, in the old color scheme from the beginning of its service
An A-6E Intruder flying over Spain during Exercise Matador
Navy Grumman US-2C Tracker
E-2C Hawkeye
F4F-3 Wildcat Bu12297
F9F-7 Cougar Bu130763


Summary of aircraft built by Grumman
Model name First flight Number built Type
Grumman FF 1931 116 Single piston engine naval fighter
Grumman JF Duck 1933 48 Single piston engine floatplane observation airplane
Grumman F2F 1933 55 Single piston engine naval fighter
Grumman F3F 1935 147 Single piston engine naval fighter
Grumman XSBF 1936 1 Prototype single piston engine dive bomber
Grumman J2F Duck 1936 254 Single piston engine floatplane observation airplane
Grumman G-21 Goose 1937 345 Twin piston engine flying boat
Grumman F4F Wildcat 1937 2,605 Single piston engine naval fighter
Grumman G-44 Widgeon 1940 276? Twin piston engine flying boat
Grumman XF5F Skyrocket 1940 1 Prototype twin piston engine naval fighter
Grumman XP-50 1941 1 Prototype twin piston engine fighter
Grumman TBF Avenger 1941 2,290 Single piston engine torpedo bomber
Grumman F6F Hellcat 1942 12,275 Single piston engine naval fighter
Grumman F7F Tigercat 1943 364 Twin piston engine naval fighter
Grumman Kitten 1944 2 Prototype single piston engine airplane
Grumman F8F Bearcat 1944 1,265 Single piston engine naval fighter
Grumman G-65 Tadpole 1944 1 Prototype single piston engine flying boat
Grumman AF Guardian 1945 389 Single piston engine anti-submarine warfare airplane
Grumman G-73 Mallard 1946 59 Twin piston engine flying boat
Grumman HU-16 Albatross 1947 466 Twin piston engine flying boat
Grumman F9F Panther 1947 1,382 Single jet engine naval fighter
Grumman F9F-6 Cougar 1951 1,988 Single jet engine naval fighter
Grumman XF10F Jaguar 1952 1 Prototype single jet engine naval fighter
Grumman S-2 Tracker 1952 1184 or 1185 Twin piston engine anti-submarine warfare airplane
Grumman F11F Tiger 1954 200 Single jet engine naval fighter
Grumman C-1 Trader 1955 87 Twin piston engine cargo airplane
Grumman F11F-1F Super Tiger 1956 1 Prototype single jet engine naval fighter
Grumman E-1 Tracer 1956 88 Twin piston engine airborne early warning airplane
Grumman Ag Cat 1957 Single piston engine agricultural airplane
Grumman Gulfstream I 1958 200 Twin turboprop engine business airplane
Grumman OV-1 Mohawk 1959 380 Twin turboprop engine observation airplane
Grumman A-6 Intruder 1960 693 Twin jet engine attack airplane
Grumman E-2 Hawkeye 1960 122 Twin turboprop engine airborne early warning airplane
Grumman C-2 Greyhound 1964 56 Twin turboprop engine cargo airplane
General Dynamics-Grumman F-111B 1965 7 Prototype twin jet engine naval fighter
Grumman Gulfstream II 1966 256 Twin jet engine business airplane
Grumman EA-6B Prowler 1968 170 Twin jet engine electronic warfare airplane
Grumman F-14 Tomcat 1970 712 Twin jet engine naval fighter
Grumman American GA-7 Cougar 1974 ~1[a] Twin piston engine civil airplane
General Dynamics-Grumman EF-111A Raven 1977 42 Twin jet engine electronic warfare airplane
Grumman X-29 1984 2 Experimental single jet engine airplane
Grumman XJL N/A 0[b] Single piston engine floatplane observation airplane
Grumman American AA-1 Single piston engine civil airplane
Grumman American AA-5 Single piston engine civil airplane


  • Grumman 674 Nutcracker tilting fuselage VTOL
  • Grumman 698 VTOL
  • Grumman G-3 project only
  • Grumman G-4 project only
  • Grumman G-17 project only
  • Grumman G-25 project only
  • Grumman G-27 project only
  • Grumman G-29 project only
  • Grumman G-30 project only
  • Grumman G-35 project only
  • Grumman G-48 project only
  • Grumman G-49 project only
  • Grumman G-57 project only
  • Grumman G-62 project only
  • Grumman G-68 project only
  • Grumman G-71 project only
  • Grumman G-76 project only
  • Grumman G-77 swept-back wing research aircraft project
  • Grumman G-78 towed target glider project
  • Grumman G-84 project only
  • Grumman G-85 project only
  • Grumman G-86 project only
  • Grumman G-91 project only
  • Grumman G-92 project only
  • Grumman G-97 project only
  • Grumman G-107 project only
  • Grumman G-108 project only
  • Grumman G-110 project only
  • Grumman G-113 project only
  • Grumman G-114
  • Grumman G-115
  • Grumman G-116 project only
  • Grumman G-118 project only
  • Grumman G-119 project only
  • Grumman G-122 project only
  • Grumman G-124 jet trainer design
  • Grumman G-127
  • Grumman XTB2F
  • Grumman XTSF


Other products

  • Grumman Olson built aluminum truck bodies, known as stepvans. Under the Grumman Olson brand it made the P-600 and P-6800 step vans for UPS.
  • Grumman manufactured fire engines under the name Firecat and aerial tower trucks under the Aerialcat name. The company entered the fire apparatus business in 1976 with its purchase of Howe Fire Apparatus[10] and ended operations in 1992.
  • Grumman canoes were developed in 1944 as World War II was winding down. Company executive William Hoffman used the company's aircraft aluminum to replace the traditional wood design. The canoes had a reputation for being sturdier, lighter and stronger than their wood counterparts and had a considerable market share. Grumman moved its boat making division to Marathon, New York in 1952.
Outboard Marine Corp. bought the division in 1990 and produced the last Grumman-brand canoe in 1996. Shortly thereafter former Grumman executives formed the Marathon Boat Group to produce the canoes. In 2000 the Group worked out an agreement with Northrop Grumman to sell the canoes using Grumman name and logo.[11][12] The Grumman canoes with its logo are used in the film Deliverance.
United States Postal Service Grumman LLV
1988 Grumman Firecat, Santiago de Chile FD, 2004
Grumman Kabmaster Hostess Delivery truck



  1. ^ "Air Warfare". An International Encyclopedia, Volume Two, M-Z, Volume 1, pp. 270-271.
  2. ^ a b c d e Jordan, Corey C. "Grumman's Ascendency: Chapter One." Archived November 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Planes and Pilots Of World War 2, 2000. Retrieved: July 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p.619
  4. ^ "EA-6B Prowler, one of the saltiest warfighters in the Marine Corps, retires", "MarineTimes"
  5. ^ "Facts You Didn't Know About Long Island Businesses". Newsday. Newsday. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Skrula and Gregory 2004
  7. ^ "Long Islanders Shocked by Grumman's Merger." The New York Times, March 8, 1994.
  8. ^ a b "Commercial Property/Selling Off Northrop Grumman's Surplus; Cablevision Takes Last of the Grumman Buildings." The New York Times, December 28, 1997.
  9. ^ "Northrop Bests Martin Marietta to Buy Grumman." The New York Times, April 5, 1994.
  10. ^ Library, Beth OljaceAnderson Public. "Howe Fire Apparatus had know-Howe". Herald Bulletin. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Paddling a Canoe to Success." Newsday. Retrieved: May 15, 2009.
  12. ^ "Marathon BoatGroup: About Us." Retrieved: May 15, 2009.
  1. ^ Although a Grumman American design, most aircraft were built by Gulfstream American.
  2. ^ Although a Grumman design, all three aircraft were built by Columbia.


  • Ferguson, Robert G. "One Thousand Planes a Day: Ford, Grumman, General Motors and the Arsenal of Democracy." History and Technology, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2005.
  • Fetherston, Drew. "Pioneers on the Runway: Raising Grumman." LI, Grumman Park. Retrieved: March 18, 2009.
  • Kessler, Pamela. "Leroy Grumman, Sky King." The Washington Post (Weekend), October 11, 1985.
  • O'Leary, Michael, ed. "Leroy Grumman." Air Classics, Volume 19, no. 2, February 1983, pp. 27-29.
  • Skurla, George M. and William H. Gregory. Inside the Iron Works: How Grumman's Glory Days Faded. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2004. ISBN 978-1-55750-329-9.
  • Tillman, Barrett. Hellcat: The F6F in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001. ISBN 0-87021-265-6.
  • Thruelsen, Richard. The Grumman Story. New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1976. ISBN 0-275-54260-2.
  • Treadwell, Terry. Ironworks: Grumman's Fighting Aeroplanes. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishers, 1990. ISBN 1-85310-070-6.

External links

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