Grumman F9F-8T (TF-9J) Cougar

A picture of the Grumman F9F-8T 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.  The two-seat trainer version of the Cougar included a strengthened fuselage and landing gear, longer nose and other internal changes.  Ironically, the only version of the Cougar to see combat was the TF-9J trainer.  The Marine Corps used several in Vietnam as Forward Air Control aircraft.  Eventually nearly 2,000 Cougars of all types were built and some remained is service as late as 1974.

Service History:

Built by Grumman Aircraft, Bethpage, New York and delivered to the U.S. Navy on October 29, 1959.


34 ft 6 in.


44 ft 4 in.


12 ft 3 in.


20,574 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

630 MPH

Service Ceiling

43,000 ft


600 miles


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




Training Squadron 10 (VT-10), Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, 1973


Serial Number

November 1959          To Naval Air Station Alameda, California.

February 1960             To Utility Squadron 5 (VU-5), Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan.

July 1960                    To Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan.

May 1961                    To Reconnaissance Squadron 1, (VQ-1), Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan.

May 1962                    To Naval Air Station Alameda, California.

July 1962                    To Attack Squadron 126 (VA-126), Naval Air Station Miramar, California.

November 1962          Aircraft designation changed to TF-9J.

June 1966                    To Training Squadron 25 (VT-25), Naval Auxiliary Air Station Chase, Texas.

August 1967                To Training Squadron 26 (VT-26), Naval Auxiliary Air Station Chase, Texas.

June 1971                    To Training Squadron 10 (VT-10), Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

July 1974                    To Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona for storage.

November 1979   Loaned to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Naval Aviation Museum.

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