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. 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. 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.
“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”