Grumman F9F-8P (RF-9J) Cougar

A picture of the Grumman F9F-8P Cougar

Even before the Panther entered service the Navy and Grumman were examining the possibility of creating a swept-wing version of the aircraft.  The appearance of the Soviet MiG-15 over Korea spurred on the process and the prototype made its first flight in September 1951.  While the Cougar retained the F9F designation of the earlier Panther it was an almost entirely new design bearing only a superficial resemblance to the Panther. 

Initially seen as an interim design, the Cougar turned out to be very adaptable and several versions and modifications were made over its lifetime.  One of the more important of these is the photo reconnaissance version, the F9F-8P.  This version incorporated a much larger nose housing several cameras and a fixed position refueling probe.  Eventually nearly 2,000 Cougars of all types were built and some remained is service as late as 1974.

Wingspan

34 ft 6 in.

Length

44 ft 9 in.

Height

12 ft 3 in.

Weight

22,697 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

637 MPH

Service Ceiling

41,500 ft

Range

1,045 miles

Engine

Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8A turbojet with 7,250 pounds of thrust

Crew

1

Manufacturer
Grumman

Markings
Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 2 (VMCJ-2), Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, 1958

Serial Number
144426

Designation
F9F-8P

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