Leroy Grumman: Legendary Aviation Designer of the F-14 Tomcat
American Greatness from small beginnings
Iconic vehicles that changed the world
Everyone knows the F-14 Tomcat. A badass fighter in movies and a deadly missile platform that amazed audiences worldwide and rightly so. But its story begins with Leroy Grumman born in 1895, to a horse carriage maker (yes horses). A shy redhead, he worked his way into Cornell University and got a degree in mechanical engineering. He joined the Navy during WW1 as a test pilot but when the war ended he started his own company by mortgaging his house for $16,000. Starting with 18 employees, he grew his company to become the Legendary Grumman Aeronautical Engineering Co. that gave us the famous “Cat” variants of WW2 fighters like the TBF Avenger, F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, and F7F Tigercat. He was losing his vision most of the war due to illness, but he still could be seen working hands on in production as much as possible. Other iconic airplanes made by Grumman include: A-6 Intruder, F-14 Tomcat, E-2 Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound, Apollo Lunar Module, and (surprise) the LLV Mail truck we all see delivering our mail. The Gulfstream jet series I-IV were all Grumman as well many others I have not mentioned. From one man’s innovation and refusal to quit even though from humble beginnings a long lasting legacy of American innovation and cool aircraft were born. From the words of Sir Francis Drake (explorer, circumnavigator, pirate)
“Greatness from small beginnings” Valor is in you. Set it free.