|Fate||Merged with Northrop|
|Headquarters||Bethpage, New York|
|Industry||Aircraft; aircraft parts and equipment; data processing and preparation; search and navigation equipment; truck and bus bodies; electrical equipment and supplies|
|Products||F4F Wildcat; F6F Hellcat; TBF Avenger; A-6 Intruder; F-14 Tomcat; Apollo Lunar Module|
|Subsidiaries||Grumman 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 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, New York.
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. 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 known 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 E-2 Hawkeye and in the 1970s with the F-14 Tomcat. Grumman products were prominent in the movie Top Gun and numerous WW-II naval and Marine Corps aviation movies.
Apollo Lunar ModuleEdit
Grumman was the chief contractor on the Apollo Lunar Module that landed men on the moon. They 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.
In 1969 the company changed its name to Grumman Aerospace Corporation, and in 1978 it sold the Grumman-American Division to Gulfstream Aerospace. 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.
Long Island locationEdit
For much of the Cold War period Grumman was the largest 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 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 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.
The end of the Cold War, at the beginning of the 1990s, the reduced need for defense spending 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, 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, 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 around 2,000 people.
- The Cats
- Other aircraft
- 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 also manufactured fire engines under the name Firecat.
- 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. The Grumman canoes with its logo are used in the movie Deliverance
- Grumman Kabmaster
- Grumman sport boat
- Grumman 870 transit buses (1978–1983)
- Ben Franklin (PX-15), a science submarine
- ↑ Inside the Ironworks:How Grumman's Glory Faded Amazon Books
- ↑ "Long Islanders Shocked by Grumman's Merger", New York Times, March 8, 1994.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "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.
- ↑ Paddling a Canoe to Success - Newsday - Retrieved May 15, 2009
- ↑ - About Us - marathonboat.com - Retrieved May 15, 2009
- 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
- 1994 Aerial photograph of Bethpage Headquarters, including intact runways
- Grumman Firecat on multimedia gallery
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