Grumman, Leroy Randle

Grumman, Leroy Randle, 1895–1982, American aviation pioneer and aerospace executive, b. Huntington, N.Y. After graduating from Cornell (1916), he joined the U.S. navy, where he served as a flight instructor, test pilot, and project engineer; he then worked for the Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corp., becoming general manager. In 1929 he cofounded the Grumman Aeronautical Engineering Co. After designing several Navy aircraft, including the F3F biplane, he expanded the company during World War II and introduced the F4F Wildcat monoplane, with a folding wing, and the F6F Hellcat, which insured America's dominance in the Pacific. Grumman retired as company president in 1946, remaining chairman until 1966. After the war, as jet engines replaced propellers, the company became Grumman Aerospace and built the Apollo lunar lander.

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