Born and raised in Hempstead, NY, Albert H. Glenn was always interested in aviation. He studied at the Roosevelt Field Aviation School in 1938-39, earning an Aircraft and Engine License. Glenn worked for several aviation companies before joining Grumman in 1940. Assigned to flight operations, he was involved with the introduction of hydraulics into Grumman’s military aircraft.
Glenn joined the Navy in 1943 and was assigned to an Aircraft Engineering Service Unit. He traveled to Navy and Marine squadrons helping them transition to new Grumman aircraft being introduced into the fleet. He also developed training programs integrating all aircraft components (airframe, engine, hydraulics, etc) into a single, comprehensive manual… something that had never been done before by any aviation company.
Glenn returned to Grumman after WWII to find manufacturing slowing as a result of dramatic military cutbacks. To generate new sources of revenue and improve customer satisfaction, he established a repair center within Grumman to service aircraft. In so doing, Grumman became the first company to directly support the aircraft they had produced. This level of service was very popular with customers and allowed Grumman to build an excellent reputation of standing behind their products. Glenn also rectified an industry –wide deficiency by writing consolidated training/operating manuals for all Grumman commercial aircraft.
In 1946 Glenn was the first Grumman technical representative assigned to the U.S. Navy’s newly formed demonstration team – The Blue Angels- to act as liaison between the team and Grumman. He attended the company’s first schools on jet engines and pressurized aircraft, and helped develop Grumman’s first jet plane, the F9F Panther, which became operational in 1949.
In charge of Technical Operations, Glenn next helped develop the Gulfstream (G-I) in 1957 and the G-II in 1965. He also created a service center specifically for the G-I and G-II. When Grumman decided to move its commercial products out of Bethpage, NY, Glenn led the team that ultimately chose Savannah, Georgia, as the new location for the Gulfstream. For two years he oversaw the transition of every facet of Grumman’s Gulfstream operation from the Bethpage to Savannah, including the formation of the first “one stop shop” in the aviation industry-where engineering, manufacturing, interiors, paint, spares, publications, sales, service, flight testing, and flight safety simulators were combined into a single location.
In 1973 Gulfstream separated from Grumman. Over the years Gulfstream changed ownership several times, and Glenn served as President and COO on two different occasions. In 1978, Glenn convinced then owner Alan Paulsen to stop building light aircraft and focus exclusively on the development of the G-III. This was followed on by the G-IV, G-V, and enhanced versions of each. Because of Glenn’s leadership, Gulfstream became one of the World’s premier aerospace companies and has contributed immeasurably to Georgia’s economy. In addition to their outstanding product line, Gulfstream offers a family of product support programs and services pioneered by Glenn that enhance the productivity, safety, and maintainability of its aircraft and continue to set the standard in business aviation.
He retired in 1993 as Vice Chairman of the company. During over 60 years in the aviation industry, Glenn introduced many new concepts to aircraft manufacturing (e.g., interchangeable parts, warranties, pre-production maintenance reviews) that are taken for granted today. His legacy continues to live on through the Gulfstream Scholarship Program, which awards ten Goldie Glenn Scholarships each year to employee’s dependents to help defray the costs of college or training.