Grumman F9F-8P Cougar (US Navy)
SCALE & KIT
1/48 Kitty Hawk
The Grumman F9F/F-9 Cougar is a carrier-based fighter aircraft for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Based on Grumman’s earlier F9F Panther, the Cougar replaced the Panther’s straight wing with a more modern swept wing. Thrust was also increased. The Navy considered the Cougar an updated version of the Panther, despite having a different official name, and thus Cougars started off from F9F-6.
Work on the F9F-8 began in April, 1953 with three goals: lower the airplane’s stall speed, improve aircraft control at high angles of attack, and increase range. It featured an 8 in (20 cm) stretch in the fuselage and modified wings with a greater chord, an increased area (from 300 to 337 square feet) and a dogtooth. The airframe changes improved low-speed, high angle of attack flying and gave more room for fuel tanks. The top speed was 704 mph and minimum catapult speed was lowered to 127 knots (146 mph). It also was now capable of breaking the sound barrier in a steep dive. All four ammunition boxes were mounted above the guns, in contrast to the split location of most previous F9Fs including the Panther. Visibility, which was already very good was improved with the F9F-8. 601 aircraft were delivered between April 1954 and March 1957. Late production F9F-8 aircraft were given the ability to carry four AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles under the wings (the first Navy aircraft to deploy with the missiles). Most earlier aircraft were later modified to carry Sidewinders. A number were given also nuclear bombing equipment. The F9F-9 was redesignated F-9J in 1962. The F9F-8B aircraft were F9F-8s converted into single-seat attack-fighters, later redesignated AF-9J. The Navy acquired 377 two-seat F9F-8T trainers between 1956 and 1960. They were used for advanced training, weapons training and carrier training, and served until 1974. They were armed with twin 20 mm (.79 in) cannon and could carry a full bombs or missiles load. In the 1962 redesignation, these were later called TF-9J.