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Exceptionally Plane People: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation David Lednicer December 7, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Exceptionally Plane People: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation David Lednicer December 7, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exceptionally Plane People: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation David Lednicer December 7, 2013

2 How Grumman Aircraft Was Formed 16 Former Loening employees, including: Leroy Grumman ($16,950) Bill Schwendler Jake Swirbul ($8,125) Edmund Ward Poor ($12,500) Other backers: E. Clinton Towl ($6,250) Grover Loening ($25,000) Albert Loening ($12,500) Timeline: 1917: Loening Aeronautical Engineering Co, 31 St at East River, New York NY 1928: Hayden, Stone and Company buys Loening 1928: Merged with Keystone Aircraft Corporation as Loening Aeronautical Div. 1929: Merged entity acquired by North American Aviation 1929: Keystone Manhattan factory closed and operations moved to Bristol, Pennsylvania October 1929: The stock market collapses January 2, 1930: Grumman Aircraft started in a rented garage in Baldwin (Long Island) NY An initial investment of $81,325 ($1,145,423 in 2013 dollars) Increased 7,700 fold in value by 1970

3 Grover Loening Born September 12th, 1888 Received first-ever aero engineering degree in the US, from Columbia University in 1910 Queen Aeroplane Company in NYC, building Bleriots Managed the Wright Company factory in Dayton, Ohio Designed the Wright Model G "Aeroboat“ flying boat Left after conflict with Orville concerning the Model C Chief engineer for the US Army Aviation Section in San Diego in 1914 VP and GM of the Sturtevant Aeroplane Company, In 1917 formed the Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corp. Won the Collier Trophy in 1921 for work on the Air Yacht Sold company in 1928 and started consulting practice Died February 29th, 1976

4 Leroy Grumman Born January 4th 1895 in Huntington, Long Island NY Received engineering degree from Cornell University in 1916 Became US Naval Aviator #1216, despite poor eyesight Stationed at the Loening factory in 1919 to oversee construction of the Loening M-8 Hired by Loening in 1920 Test pilot Designer General Manager Designed the Loening retractable landing gear Didn’t want to leave Long Island

5 Leroy Grumman Left Loening in 1929 Mortgaged his house to start Grumman Aviation, as the President Wanted to keep the company small, like a family Designed the STO-Wing fold mechanism used on the F4F Wildcat Personally led attempts to develop a general aviation aircraft after World War II Flew until 1944 Lost most of his eyesight due to a reaction to a penicillin injection Retired as President in 1946, Chairman in 1966, retired from the board in 1972 Died October 4th 1982

6 First Grumman Product Amphib floats for US Navy, based on Loening patents

7 Amphib Landing Gear Design Loening XS2L-1 (1931) Landing gear designed by Leroy Grumman when he worked at Loening Hand cranked on all Grumman designs

8 Grumman Landing Gear Design G-15 Duck (1936) G-111 Albatross (1949) G-73 Mallard (1946) G-44 Widgeon (1941) G-21 Goose (1937) FF-1 (1931)F2F (1933) F3F (1936) F4F (1937)

9 Grumman Wing Folding F4F-4, FM-1 and FM-2 wings fold aft F4F-3 wings do not fold F6F wings fold aft F7F outer wings fold up (XF5F was similar) F8F outer wings fold up TBF wings fold aft

10 Grumman Sto-Wing Fold Still in Use E-2C Hawkeye Leroy Grumman showing his development model C-2C Greyhound

11 Bill Schwendler Born April 1 st, 1904 in Farmingdale, Long Island NY Received aero engineering degree from NYU in 1924 Worked for Loening Co-founded Grumman (employee #10) and served as: Chief engineer Executive vice-president Chairman of the Board Officially retired in 1950 Led or participated in the design of every Grumman aircraft through the F-14 Tomcat His philosophy of using a safety factor of 2 created the “Iron Works” reputation Died January 15th, 1978

12 Leon "Jake" Swirbul Born March 18th, 1898 in Manhattan NY Attended Cornell, but left during WWI to join the USMC Worked for Loening as shop superintendent Borrowed $6,000 from his mother to help co-found Grumman (employee #2) Served as: Vice-president General Manager President (1946) Died June 28 th, 1960

13 Robert Hall Born August 22 nd, 1905 in Taunton, Massachusetts Engineering degree from University of Michigan in 1927 Initially worked at Fairchild Aircraft in Farmingdale NY Joined Granville Brothers Aircraft in 1929 Designed the Gee Bee Z in 1931 Flew the Gee Bee Z to victory in the General Tire and Rubber Trophy race Founded Hall Aircraft in 1932 Designed the Bulldog and Cicada, which raced in 1932 Hired by Stinson in 1933 as experimental test pilot Helped design and test Stinson SR Reliant Continued to race a Gee Bee Y

14 Robert Hall Hired by Grumman in 1936 as engineering test pilot Made first flights of F4F Wildcat, G-21 Goose, XP-50, F6F Hellcat, F7F Tigercat and F8F Bearcat Became Chief Engineer in 1950 and Vice President in 1954 Instrumental in design of the F9F Panther, F9F Cougar, F10F Jaguar, F11F Tiger and the Gulfstream I Retired from Grumman in 1970 Died February 25, 1991

15 Corwin “Corky” Meyer Born April 14 th, 1920 in Springfield, Illinois Joined Grumman as an experimental test pilot in November 1942 At the time, he didn’t have a college degree and hadn’t served in the military Participated in flight testing of the F4F, TBF, F5F, F6F, F7F, F8F, F9F, XF10F and F11F Made first flights of the F9F Panther, XF10F Jaguar and F11F Tiger Later, served as: Director of Aircraft Development and Director of Program Development (1960) Director of Flight Test (1965) Vice President (1967) Director of Manufacturing (1968) Senior Vice President (1972) President and CEO of Grumman American (1974) Died June 1 st, 2011

16 Julius Holpit Worked at Loening, Keystone and LWF Aircraft Joined Grumman on the first day of business as the 5 th employee Led experimental manufacturing shop After the XF3F-1 crashed, during a dive test, he led the building of another prototype in six weeks After this airframe crashed, in a spin test, they built another in 21 days One of Grumman’s first field reps

17 Dick Hutton Started as a mechanic at Loening in 1928 Joined Grumman as the 21 st employee Studied evenings to get his engineering degree from the Pratt Institute in 1935 Led the preliminary design of the F4F Wildcat, TBF Avenger, F5F, XP-50, F6F Hellcat, F7F Tigercat, F8F Bearcat, F9F Panther, F9F Cougar, F11F Tiger, Gulfstream I and Gulfstream II Active in the design of the F-14 Tomcat Retired in 1973 F8F First Sketch

18 Genesis of the F4F Wildcat Original design (G-16, XF4F-1) was a biplane Lost to Brewster F2A Buffalo in 1936 US Navy competition Redesigned as a monoplane (G- 18, XF4F-2) XF4F-2 built in 1937 for US Navy as a backup for the F2A After one more redesign (1939), the XF4F-3 (G-36) was ordered by the Armée de l'Air and the US Navy More built by GM than Grumman

19 Development of the F6F Hellcat Started life as an improved F4F Wildcat The XF6F-1 prototype (G-50), powered by a two-speed, single-stage supercharged Wright R Cyclone 14, first flew on June 26, 1942 The XF6F-2 second prototype, powered by a turbocharged Wright R Cyclone 14 flew soon thereafter The XF6F-3 third prototype, powered by a P&W two-speed two-stage supercharged P&W R Double Wasp flew on July 30, 1942 Production versions were the F6F-3 and F6F-5 XF6F-1

20 Development of the TBF Avenger Torpedo and level bomber First flown on August 7, 1941 First prototype lost after just 25 hours of flight Crew of Hobart Cook and Gordon Israel bailed out First public roll-out on December 7, 1941 First saw combat on June 4, 1942 at the Battle of Midway Adapted for AEW and ASW In military service until 1960 More were built by GM than Grumman

21 Gordon Israel Born January 31st, 1911 Only had a high school education in St. Louis Worked with Benny Howard, from 1929, to design the DGA-3 Pete, DGA-4 Mike, DGA-5 Ike, DGA-6 Mister Mulligan (copilot in 1935 Bendix race), DGA-8 and DGA-18K At Curtiss Robinson designed the Kingbird In 1932 he designed, built and raced the Redhead At Stinson, redesigned the Reliant, resulting in the SR-9

22 Gordon Israel To Grumman in April 1941 to 1953 Worked in flight test Helped design XP-50, XTBF-1, F7F, F8F, F9F Panther and F9F Cougar Project engineer on the G-73 Mallard and XF10F-1 Jaguar Joined Bill Lear in 1953 Designed modifications to Lockheed Lodestar, creating, the Learstar Helped design the Lear Jet 23 Working with Alan Paulson, designed the AJI Hustler Died December 1 st, 1982

23 Grumman XF5F-1 Skyrocket One prototype (G-34) flown in April 1940 Powered by two Wright R /42 “handed” engines The design was superseded by the larger F7F Tigercat

24 Grumman XP-50 Prototype (G-45), built for US Army Air Force, flown in February 1941 Powered by two Wright R /69 “handed” engines Pioneered nose landing gear configuration later used on the F7F Tigercat Bob Hall bailed out after a supercharger explosion on May 14 th 1941 and the airplane was destroyed

25 Grumman F7F Tigercat XF7F-1 (G-51) first flown on November 2 nd 1943 Powered by two P&W R , production F7Fs powered by later model R-2800s Unlike the XF5F-1 the engines were not “handed” The aircraft was found to be deficient in directional stability, so the vertical tail was increased in size Design adapted as a land-based two- seat night fighter (F7F-2N and F7F-3N)

26 F7F Carrier Qualifications F7F-1 failed carrier suitability tests due to poor single-engine characteristics (V MC was 160 kt, 35 kt above spec) F7F-3 developed to address these problems, but also failed carrier suitability tests due to a structural failure F7F-4 finally passed carrier qualifications

27 Carrier Qualifications Vought F4U Corsair failed carrier qualification trials in September 1942 and March 1943 due to numerous shortcomings including poor stall characteristics, landing gear bounce, insufficient directional control at low-speed, high-power conditions and poor cockpit visibility on approach After further development the F4U Corsair passed carrier qualification trials in April 1944 P-51D was carrier qualified, but the US Navy did not like the liquid-cooled engine

28 Grumman F8F Bearcat Designed to be a light-weight highly maneuverable fighter similar in concept to the Fw 190A, which Bob Hall flew in 1943 First prototype XF8F-1 (G-58) flown in August 1944 Horizontal stabilizer span increased after first flight due to insufficient longitudinal stability Powered by a P&W R W Inlets for oil coolers and engine induction air located in the wing roots Plans existed for GM to produce Bearcats under license as the F3M-1 Two built by Grumman for civil use, including one as Gulfhawk IV for Al Williams

29 Bearcat Wing Tips Designed to break off under high loading conditions (8.6g) The goal was to reduce root bending moments 20% at extreme conditions and save 230 lb of structural weight Proof of concept tests conducted on a modified F4F-4 In service, the wing tips proved to be impractical

30 Final Grumman Cats F9F Panther F9F Cougar F10F Jaguar F11F Tiger and F12F Super Tiger F-111B F-14 Tomcat

31 Final Grumman Fighters Shenyang J-8II Peace Pearl X-29A

32 What They Accomplished World War II Korean War Purchase of American Aviation Sale of Grumman American

33 What They Accomplished In 1965 employment surpassed WWII level In 1953 gross sales surpassed WWII level

34 Grumman Diversification

35 The End Grumman American Sold to American Jet Industries in 1978 AJI became Gulfstream American and then Gulfstream Aerospace Grumman boat and canoe division was sold to OMC in 1990 In 1996, Marathon Boat Group purchasee the canoe and boat operation from OMC, and resumed production Grumman was purchased by Northrop in 1994 for $2.1 billion to become part of Northrop Grumman

36 Where to See Them Locally The Museum of Flight has a FM-2 Wildcat in the Restoration Center at Paine Field The Historic Flight Foundation has a F7F-3 Tigercat and a F8F-2 Bearcat at Paine Field The Flying Heritage Collection has a F6F-5 Hellcat at Paine Field A cut-away Wright R-1820 and P&W R-2800 are on display in the Personal Courage Wing at the Museum of Flight

37 Conclusions Grumman was founded by a group of native Long Islanders who didn’t want to leave Founders took a great financial risk One goal was to create a family company Hard work and innovation paid off Most of the initial leadership stayed with the company for up to 50 years Diversification into business jets, truck bodies and electronics persists to this day


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