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Grumman F9F-4 Panther

A picture of the Grumman F9F-4 Panther

Grumman was a latecomer to the U. S. Navy’s jet fighter competition since it had been focused on production of the Hellcat during World War II and on the F7F and F8F immediately following it.  The first F9F did not fly until November 1947, but after some initial problems with instability the Navy found the Panther to be well worth the wait.  The Panther and its swept-wing sibling the Cougar were by far the best of the Navy’s first-generation jet fighters.  In Korea, the Panther proved itself to be quite capable in both ground attack and air-to-air combat.  A Panther scored the Navy’s first jet-to-jet kill on November 9, 1950 shooting down a North Korean MiG-15.  A total of five MiGs were downed by F9F pilots during the war with no Panthers lost to enemy fighters.

The F9F-4 model was slightly larger than earlier models with a taller tail and a slightly lengthened fuselage.  Most of this version were assigned to Marine Corps fighter squadrons with many of them seeing combat in Korea.

Wingspan

38 ft

Length

35 ft 10 in.

Height

12 ft 3 in.

Weight

18,721 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

579 MPH

Service Ceiling

42,800 ft

Range

1,175 miles

Engines

One Allison J33-A-16 turbojet with 6,950 pounds of thrust

Crew

1

Manufacturer
Grumman

Markings
Marine Fighter Squadron 311 (VMF-311), Pusan, Korea, 1952

Designation
F9F-4

Serial Number
125183

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