Grumman Corporation
Fate Merged with Northrop
Successor Northrop Grumman
Founded 1929
Defunct 1994
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
Employees 23,000 (1986)
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.


Early historyEdit

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.

Navy contractsEdit

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.

Grumman 1976 logo

Grumman Corporation logo, ca. 1976

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

Grumman Park

F-14 Tomcat at Grumman Memorial Park, Calverton, New York

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".[1]

Grumman Historical Marker

Grumman Historical Marker

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[2] 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.[3]

Grumman flag

A Grumman flag flying at Grumman Memorial Park

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,[3] after Northrop topped a $1.9 billion offer from Martin Marietta.[4]


The Battle Management and Engagement Systems Division is the only remaining Grumman related business left in the massive Grumman complex in Bethpage.

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.




An F-14A Tomcat of VF-84 Jolly Rogers, in the old color scheme from the beginning of its service

A-6E Intruder over Spain in Operation Matador

An A-6E Intruder flying over Spain during Exercise Matador

Grumman TBF Avenger

TBF Avenger

E-2C Landing

E-2C Hawkeye


Lunar Module diagram

Apollo Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Module Diagram

Other productsEdit

Small USPS Truck

United States Postal Service Grumman LLV

Grumman Firecat 1988

1988 Grumman Firecat, Santiago de Chile FD, 2004

UPS truck -804051

Grumman-Olson UPS truck

Grumman Kabmaster Hostess truck

Grumman Kabmaster Hostess Delivery Truck

  • 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.[5][6] 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


External linksEdit

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