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
Charlie Tannehill, 14.01.2011

I was a sim tech (TD2) attached to VF126 at NAS Miramar in 1965 to 1968 and was fortunate enough to fly back seat. The purpose of this was to train F4 crews for Viet Nam. I was even fortunate enough to get some stick time in the back seat to and from the exercise area. One time, on the way back to Miramar, I was flying back seat and noticed a lot of right wing down trim required. I found I had an F8 flying just underneath our starboard wing tip. Was a great opportunity. Can't do that now of course unless you are assigned to a flying billet.

leroy McVay, 12.01.2011

1953 First swept wing F9F came into North Island. I was posted as armed guard with loaded 45. Told only people with security card could come near the plane. Piolet left and returned shortly with an Admiral. I did n ormal challange and asked to see their cards. Seems the Admiral didn't have his so I told him he could not approch the plane. As he was getting into his car to go back to his office I realized maybe that wasn't the right way to handle it. Wrong! Got an attaboy for standin g my mpost as ordered.

Fred Kaler, 06.01.2011

Great airplane. I started at NAAS Chase field, Beeville, TX as an E3 airman in an engine check crew. I was there from 1958-1961. Finished up there as a crew leader ADJ2. I loved taking that F9 apart, inspecting, and then running it up. I will never forget crawling down the intake with a small allen wrench to set the fuel pumps to 99% in emergency with the engine at idle. I am now 75 yrs old. Anybody out there remember me?

Ed Mattocks, 28.12.2010

I was a plane captain at Kingsville '58 and later went to the P/P shop. Also worked on the "bowser" crew awhile. Washed and polished a lot of F-9's. Darned blow-in doors would get your "boys" if your weren't careful crawling over the spine.

Elmer (Al) Mingle, 22.12.2010

AE2,VA36 ATTACK, we had 14,F9F-8 and 2 trainers.great aircraft. taxied many to compus row to set the mag. compuses,back in 1957,I am now 76 years old.

Elmer Cranton, 16.12.2010

Flew this bird as a weekend warrior while attending premed on the GI bill at the University of Colorado in 1957-1959 era. Flew out of NAS Denver (old Henderson Field). On a hot summer day it took all of 10,000 feeet to get into the air and still blew dust off the prairie for a few miles before starting to climb. Noseed over straight down at 40,000 feet, full throttle and after a bit the mach needle bounced through 1.0, shaking and shuddering. We did our summer 2 week active duty at Miramar before it bacame the Top Gun school. Underpowered but fun to fly.

ROBERT G HOWARD, 03.11.2010


Howard Nickerson, 25.10.2010

Flew the 8T in Instrument training with VF-124 at Moffett in '58 & '59, and also a proficiency flying at Whidbey Island while my day job was a bombarder/Navigator in A3s.

don pearly, 13.10.2010

I was an AT3 in VF-782 at Los Alamitos, Calif. Flying F9F-Cougars. Then VF-777 Then VA something then AWS-77. Anybody I know out there?

Ron Johnson, 07.10.2010

I was an ADJ3 in VT-25 (1963 to 1966) at NAS Chase Field, Beeville, Texas. We had AF9J's & TF9J's. I started with the squardon as a Plane Captain then moved to power plant shop. I qualified for High Power engine runup's and spent alot of my time doing that. Have many fond memories of fellow shipmates and Beeville, Texas.

Tim Barzen, 19.08.2010

Fast Ed,
Was that John Major that departed at the 180? I got my wings in Aug of 1971 & John was a classmate who got plowed back to vt-24. Great airplane.

Fast Ed, 16.08.2010

Flew this airplane in the Training Command in VT-24...great jet to fly and fight. It took off at around 180kts on a hot day in Beeville, TX, and the landing speed was around 145kts. Did the hot runway trick in El Paso...was in ground effect for about 6 miles! The centrifugal flow engine was not very powerful but it never stalled. It went a long way at 40K...flew from Alameda back to Beeville non-stop! We took off heading toward the Bay Bridge and had to fly underneath it due to the hot temps...then climbed out over San Fransico and got up to 45K with great tail winds. The instructor knew how to get it "on the step" and we cruised all the way home...had to do a straight-in since the fuel was almost gone and putting G's on in the break would've probably flamed it out. We had an instructor plow-back park one in the trees at the 180 one night...they got the plane out the next morning and cleaned it up, then flew it on the flight schedule that afternoon! Grumman Iron Works at it's finest! Great dogfighting jet, and a good bomber too. I left there to go to Lemoore fying A-7s...great fun!

Cappe ITA, 04.07.2010

Hello everybody, can anyone tell me please the landing and takeoff speed of the cougar? i mean takeoff full loaded

Al Smith, 03.03.2010

I was a helocopter pilot in the Marines and retrained in jets at Cherry Point in the TF9J in 1964. I found it to be a good transition jet. Later I flew A4's in the reserves. To this day I miss the old Marine Squadron life.

R Stotts, 12.01.2010

Was assigned to VT-22 in 1962 started out as plane captain then worked in the maintenance office making enteries in aircraft log books. Was then assigned to the AME shop even though I was a AMH. Made many flights in the back seat of F9F-8T. Are there any F9Fs in salvage yards or parts available.

buzz Schmeltzer, 30.12.2009

I also was lucky enought to get checked out in the pressure chamber etc. . I was in vf 101 nas key west at the time9 (A PROUD PLANE CAPTAIN) we had 2 f9's. got to go up in a lot of hops

WHALEY, 02.12.2009

I was in VF 32 from 1952 till 1955. We were the first squadron to get the Cougar, received the first f9f-6 Nov 1952. The first models were powered by the j48-p6 6250 lbs thrust. The flying tail was not activated at that time. Later in 1953 they were activated. The cougar stall dirty was very honest. Clean it was wicked. Th -8 model cleaned that up. The major flying difference between the 6 and 8 was the 8 did not loose as much speed in turns as the 6. It would go supersonic in a vertical dive. 1.15 is the highest I ever saw. Our skipper Jack Evans led four cougars in a supersonic dive over Melbourne Australia and Wellington New Zealand summer 1954. It was the first sonic boom heard in New Zealand. Broke windows downtown.

rick polikowski, 27.10.2009

I was in vt-22 in the late 60's, as what was called an aircrew survival equipmentman. I took care of things like helmets,oxygen masks and such. Dealing with the instructors, and students at personal level I was able to get rides in the back seat of the F-9. There was a Marine Capt that was considered the top gun instuctor,so to speak, he wore a umpire's cap with the little brim and when he went to his plane, for a traing mission he would say "kick a tire and light a fire" I had never heard that before. He took me up on what was called J stage which was dog fight training. We blew the nose gear tire on take off and he just said the hell with it, and went on with the lesson.

wayne curry, 01.07.2009

This is the first Navy aircraft I worked on .The year was 1964 at NAS Kingsville Texas ,with VT-22.
I would like to find a Hat Pin for a F9F-Couger or TF9J ,Or both if possible.
Thank You
Wayne Curry

Silver, 14.07.2008

Got my wings flying the plane in Beeville, TX. Got a lot of time in photo version and the dual seat one too. One of my memorable takeoffs was in this plane. I had to wait until about 0200 to takeoff at El Paso due to the high runway temperature. I managed to get it in the air but spent the next minute or so flying down the slope of the terrian with my hand on the fuel dump switches to see in I was ever going to start climbing. Not a lot of power in that engine, but it flew well for its time. It would go a pretty long way at 40,000 feet. Never made it back from OKC or DAL, but going east with some tail wind was not a problem. My first squadron had three of the duals and about nine photo types in NKX when I got there. Flew the two seat plane a lot during my first half of my career. The plane was a brick and that's why the company got its name the Grumman Iron Works. Don't remember an over stress on the F9. Had to play it cool to get it over the number from about 40,000 feet in a good dive. Pretty reliable though. Other than shearing off start dogs at AFB's and some radio problems, it did well for itself. It was used as an instrument trained in VF-126 until replaced by the TA4 version which also made a better laser marker in VN too. Had to wrap your cross country bag over the guns in the nose on cross countries. We had one F9 photo det out when I arrived at NKX in 1959. Loved the two seat version and saw a lot of the US in it. Not many in NKX can say that for a Crusader jock. Made a good radar target for the F8 radar training since the F8 was so hard to see on fighter radar.

1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80

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