Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
Template:Infobox Defunct Company The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, later Grumman Aerospace Corporation, was a leading producer of military and civilian aircraft of the 20th century. Founded on December 6, 1929, by Leroy Grumman with Jake Swirbul and William Schwendler, its independent existence ended in 1994 when it was acquired by Northrop Corporation to form Northrop Grumman.
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 Pennsylvania, Grumman and his partners (Edmund Ward Poor, William Schwendler, Jake Swirbul, and Clint Towl) started their own company in an old Cox-Klemin Aircraft Co. factory in Baldwin on Long Island, NY.
The company filed as a business on 5 December 1929, and opened its doors 2 January 1930. Keeping busy by welding aluminum tubing for truck frames, the company eagerly pursued contracts with the US Navy. Grumman designed the first practical floats with a retractable landing gear for the Navy, and this launched Grumman into the aviation market. The first Grumman aircraft was also for the Navy, the Grumman FF-1, a biplane with retractable landing gear. This was followed by a number of other successful designs.
During World War II, Grumman became famous for its Navy fighter aircraft, F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat, and for its torpedo bomber TBF Avenger. Grumman's first jet plane, the F9F Panther, became operational in 1949, but the company's big postwar successes came in the 1960s with the A-6 Intruder and in the 1970s with the F-14 Tomcat.
Apollo Lunar Module
Grumman was also the chief contractor on the Apollo Lunar Module that landed men on the moon. They received the contract on 7 November, 1962, and ultimately built 13 lunar modules (LMs). As the Apollo program neared its end, Grumman was one of the chief competitors for the contract to design and build the Space Shuttle, but lost to Rockwell International.
Meanwhile, in 1969, the company changed its name to Grumman Aerospace Corporation, and in 1978 it sold the Grumman-American Division to Gulfstream Aerospace. Grumman 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.
Long Island Employer
For much of the Cold War period Grumman was the largest single corporate employer on Long Island. Grumman's products were considered so reliable and ruggedly built that the company was often referred to as the "Grumman Iron Works."
As the company grew, it moved to Valley Stream, New York, then Farmingdale, New York, finally ending up at Bethpage, New York, with the testing and final assembly at the Template:Convert Naval Weapons Station in Calverton, New York, all located on Long Island as well. At its peak in 1986 it employed 23,000 people on Long Island and occupied Template:Convert in structures on Template:Convert it leased from the U.S. Navy in Bethpage.
The end of the Cold War at the beginning of the 1990s and the ensuing reduced need for defense spending led to a wave of mergers as aerospace companies shrank; in 1994 Northrop bought Grumman for $2.1 billion to form Northrop Grumman, after Northrop topped a $1.9 billion offer from Martin Marietta.
The new company closed almost all of its facilities on Long Island with the Bethpage plant being converted to a residential and office complex (with its headquarters at 1111 Stewart Avenue becoming the corporate headquarters for Cablevision) and the Calverton plant being turned into an airport that is being developed by Riverhead (town), New York. A portion of the airport property has been used for the Grumman Memorial Park. The company still occupies several buildings within the Bethpage campus and employs approximately 2,000 people.
Grumman aircraft by type and relative date
- The Cats
- Fighter aircraft
- Grumman Olson used to build aluminum truck bodies, known as a stepvan. Grumman also manufactured fire engines under the name Firecat for a time.
- "Long Islanders Shocked by Grumman's Merger", New York Times, March 8, 1994.
- "Commercial Property/Selling Off Northrop Grumman's Surplus; Cablevision Takes Last of the Grumman Buildings", New York Times, December 28, 1997.
- Northrop Bests Martin Marietta to Buy Grumman", New York Times, April 5, 1994.
- International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 11. St. James Press, 1995 (via fundinguniverse.com)
- Grumman profile on Aerofiles.com
- Grumman Memorial Park History Center
- WW2DB: Grumman Aircraft of WW2
- Grumman at Wikimapia
- 1994 Aerial Photograph of Bethpage Headquarters, including intact runways
- Grumman Firecat on Multimedia Gallery
Lists relating to aviation
|General||Timeline of aviation · Aircraft · Aircraft manufacturers · Aircraft engines · Aircraft engine manufacturers · Airports · Airlines|
|Military||Air forces · Aircraft weapons · Missiles · Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) · Experimental aircraft|
|Notable incidents |
|Military aviation · Airliners · General aviation · Famous aviation-related deaths|
|Records||Flight airspeed record · Flight distance record · Flight altitude record · Flight endurance record · Most produced aircraft|
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