Grumman F9F Cougar
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Grumman F9F Cougar

The Cougar was a swept-wing development of the earlier G-79 Panther. The fuselage was similar but the wings and tailplane were swept at 35. First flown in prototype form on 20 September 1951, the initial production version was the F9F-6 armed with four 20 mm cannon and powered by a 32.25kN Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8 turbojet engine. The F9F-6P was an unarmed photographic-reconnaissance version with a longer nose to accommodate K-17 and tri-metrogon cameras. Next came the F9F-7, similar to the previous version except that it was powered by a 28.25kN Allison J33-A-16A engine.

F9F-8 Cougar

The first production F9F-8 flew on 18 January 1954. Powered by J48-P-8 engine, it was a development of the F9F-6 with increased speed and range. Movable leading-edge slats were replaced by fixed cambered leading-edge extensions outboard of the wing fences. Total internal fuel capacity was increased by 530 litres. A photographic-reconnaissance version (the F9F-8P) flew for the first time on 21 August 1955 and had an extended nose for the cameras. The F9F-8 went out of production in 1957.

The final version of the Cougar was the F9F-8T two-seat fighter-trainer, first flown on 4 April 1956. Production of this version ended on the last day of 1959 after 399 had been built. Total production of the Cougar was 1,985 aircraft. Many F9F-8Ts were flown operationally in Vietnam.

F9F-8 CougarA three-view drawing of F9F-8 Cougar (1278 x 926)

 ENGINE1 x Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8A turbo-jet, 32.0kN
    Take-off weight9344 kg20600 lb
    Wingspan10.52 m35 ft 6 in
    Length13.54 m44 ft 5 in
    Height3.73 m12 ft 3 in
    Ceiling15240 m50000 ft
    Range966 km600 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 20mm cannon, 907kg of weapons on external hardpoints

Grumman F9F Cougar

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
David Graham, 29.04.2012

Flew the TF-9J at Beeville in 1971. 6 carrier landings on the Lex.Never wanted to get "low and slow" landing on the carrier. Throttle response was an eternity.

Vincent R. Lombardo, 23.04.2012

TF-9J was the plane that VA127 out of Lemoore, Calif. flew when I joined the squadron in mid 60's until we rec'd F4 Phantoms under the command of CMR. Duck. I'm now 66 & look back at those years as some of my best times. We were a 20 plane attack training squadron.

Vincent R. Lombardo, 23.04.2012

TF-9J was the plane that VA127 out of Lemoore, Calif. flew when I joined the squadron in mid 60's until we rec'd F4 Phantoms under the command of CMR. Duck. I'm now 66 & look back at those years as some of my best times. We were a 20 plane attack training squadron.

Jack Rivers, 11.03.2012

I was an AE-2 with VA-76 based in Oceana, VA in '58-'59. We had F9F-8's when I joined, A4D's sometime later. The Cougar had a start relay problem that could be fixed by crawling up the left intake and banging on the relay with a hammer. A little windy and noisy while backing out.

Iliff v. Gray, 30.01.2012

I was a proud member of VF-121 pacemakers.Was a plane Captain for our overseas trip to japan,Our skipper was Commander Rhodes,a former Blue angel,our exec was LT . Commander Sedaker who took over as Skipper. Both were Great Skippers. I made third class on the cruise and was promoted to the Metal shop.I ended my career in Kingsville texas as am2..i.v. Gray

Dennis M McCabe, 29.12.2011

I was a plane captain with VT-25 in Beeville,Texas 1967-1970 was able to take many a hop on training missions with gun and bomb runs in thr F-9. Lots of memories.

greg beach, 04.12.2011

spent a couple years with vt-21 at kingsville. fueler,plane captain,then the powerplant shop.pretended to hate the airplane because everyone else pretended to as well-but like many others secretly loved the work and the airplane.wish i had a nicle for each time i was down that intake,engine at 80%,bleeding the fuel filters to eliminate surge.

Ron Kolstad, 15.11.2011

I reported to VT-21 at Kingsville, TX in Dec of 1966 straight out of boot camp. Worked as a plane captain, tire changer and then AE shop. Saw the first snow in Kingsville in 26 years in 1967. Only us Minnesotan's dared to drive! Also went through hurricane Beulah which took out every car window in the parking lot when the gravel blew off the roof. Left VT-21 in Dec of 1968 for VF-103 NAS Oceana, Va. Beach, Va. F-9's to F-4J's

Dick Burke, 30.10.2011

VF 32 was 1st sqdn to get the Cougar We deployed on a 'round the world cruise Sept. '53 to Sept.'54 Mayport, Fla. USS Tarawa CVA 40, straight deck.Very exiting! Shortly after returning we received the new F9F8.A beauty!

Ray Altmann, 13.10.2011

Does anyone know who supplied brake systems for F9F in the early 50s? We need info to help a Vet.

Jim Ostergren, 01.10.2011

I too am a lover of the F9F-8T. I originally flew the -8T as an instructor in FAWTUPAC at North Island refreshing returning deployed pilots the latest in the FAA, vertical gyro usage doing the loft maneuver and spacial disorientation recovery. School was transferred to VF-121 as part of the new RAG training concept at Miramar. Flew as CAG Dale's driver. Later flew as instructor in VT-25, Chase Fld. Great memories in a great airplane.

Dick Cook, 29.09.2011

I was in the Navy during the Korean War and we started out with F4U Corsairs then F9F Panthers and finally F9F Cougars. In my opinion they were all great Aircraft and helped us immensly to win the war, so to speak. Was sationed at Miramar Naval Base in San Diego Cal when ashore and on Carriers for half the year when at Sea.I'll say it again we did have great Aircraft.

Tom Riddel, 30.07.2011

I waqs the "pool" reporter for the Radio-TV area around Barksdale AFB, when I rode the rear seat. My pilot, learning I was a private pilot, allowed me to fly for a few minutes. I did a chandelle and then went inverted and pulled back on the stick, and the energy when I pulled out absolutelly scared me. I did not black out, but the hour I spent with the Blue Angels is still an exerience I live over and over now in my "golden years". Thank you, U.S. Navy for the chance to fly in 1968, at the 50th Anniversary of Barksdale AFB. May God bless our current force!

Jeff Schirle, 26.05.2011

I, too, was at NAS Kingsville with Holden from 1968-70 at VT-23. I worked in ground support, driving tow tractors, NC-5 jet starters, and the "Stud Mobile" van that took instructors and student pilots out to the line. I was able to fly back seat through the OMIAS program whenever there was an open seat and a willing instructor. What a ride! Got to ride along on gunnery & bomb training runs, tactgical dog-fights, navigation hops, and formation flying training. I learned early on to not eat much before going out with Lt. Alvarez...he loved hearing me groaning back there, and that I never asked him to back off.

Steve Holden, 24.05.2011

I was at NAS Kingsville Feb. 68- Oct. 70 in VT-23.
Can't remember the exact date, but somewhere toward the end of this time we went to the TA-4J, but the old F-9s were always my favorites. Tear 'em down, fix 'em and put 'em back together in a heartbeat. Probably couldn't crawl down the intake with the engine running like I used to do, but I'll never forget it. Whole lot more stories than I can tell here, but I'll bet all of you do, too.

Hank Davis, 11.05.2011

I was the flight surgeon for VF-126 at Miramar 1966-67, when we were still flying the TF-9J. I taught Spatial disorientation Avoidance and was fortunate enough to be augmented to the Front seat and logged quite a few flights. Cdr Russ Mc Junkin was the Skipper and monitored my first cross country to Beale AFB in CA and we sent pheasant hunting with my relatives. We used to make 'Crab runs to Whidbey IS to load the nose with 10# boxes of King Crab, then costing $5 per box. Life was good. Handle " Quack".

Darrell Oberlies, 15.03.2011

I graduated from Avionics school in 1962 and was assigned to VMT-2 at MCAF El Toro. We had 12 to 18 TF9J's. Very basic avionics systems, UHF radio, Tacan, IFF/SIF, compass and gyro.
Deployed to Yuma, and Litchfield Park for war games.

Carl Newman, 07.03.2011

I flew the TF-9J at NAS Chase in 1970. I remember when it got above about 95 degrees, we stopped flying because the "Lead Sled" was too under-powered to fly in hot humid weather. The article above doesn't mention this trainer version or the engine, but it definitely had a Westinghouse centrifugal flow engine which could take an eagle in the intake and not have much effect on the 6900 pound thrust engine. It wasn't the safest plane to fly. In the 6 months I flew it, the base lost at least 4 planes that I remember, three were fatal - one my classmate and one a friend I had dinner with the night before.

Donald Allen, 05.03.2011

We had Cougars......VF-144 Miramar

uncle-mac, 11.02.2011

Chase Field and the supersonic F-9 Great fun and a v good instructou ? Forgot his name. No ship to land on so-Shame on me, I went from USMC to USNR. Last one ever to do this and the corps was not happy! Off to GMGRU-1 at Barbers Pt. Hawaii. F9-5 and FJ-3/4s. More fun.

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