Grumman Cats Review

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Last Cat Standing, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat

Grumman Aircraft Engineering began its run as an aviation powerhouse at the end of the Great Depression, in 1929. Sixty-five years later, it was merged into the Northrop Corporation in 1994.  Known for designs that primarily served the U.S. Navy and its’ aircraft carriers during its six and a half decades of design, development and manufacturing, it is the company’s well known Grumman “Cat” series of fighters that capture many people’s attention.


General Motors-built FM-2 version of the Grumman F4F Wildcat

The carrier-borne fighter designs designs that began with the F4F Wildcat and ended with the F-14 Tomcat were chiefly fighters; their names were taken from different feline species or, during the World War II years, a derivative of the “cat” name with an adjective in front of it.

World War II in the Pacific… the carrier borne F6F Hellcat that dominated the skies during the latter half of the conflict

A inter-war years heavy fighter, the F7F Tigercat served as a night fighter in Korea

The F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, F7F Tigercat, F8F Bearcat, F-9F Panther and Cougar, F11F Tiger, and the F-14 Tomcat are easily recognizable, but some obscure types, such as the XF10F Jaguar and even a non-“cat” XF5F Skyrocket were also fighters.

Plus, Grumman built other airframes that were primarily bomber and anti-submarine specialists, like the TBF Avenger, AF Guardian series, the S-2F Tracker, plus the C-1 and C-2 Greyhound COD designs, and the E-1 Tracer and E-2 Hawkeye AWACS series. Don’t forget the A-6 Intruder and the recently-retired EA-6B Prowler too. Other manufacturers built Grumman Designs, like the General Motors FM-2 derivative of the F4F Wildcat and the TBM version of the TBF Avenger.

Too late to see combat in World War II, the Grumman F8F Bearcat was a shipborne interceptor designed to counter Kamikazes

Here is a gaggle of Grumman “Cat” photos, including others not mentioned in the body of this article… like the F9F Panther.

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