F9F Panther

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Grumman F9F Panther
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Grumman F9F Panther

Grumman F9F-2 Panther
RoleCarrier-based naval fighter
ManufacturerGrumman Aircraft Corporation
Length37 ft 5 in11.3 m
Wingspan38 ft 0 in11.6 m
Height11 ft 4 in3.8 m
Wing area250 ft²23.2 m²
Empty9,303 lb4,220 kg
Loaded14,235 lb6,456 kg
Maximum takeoff16,450 lb7,462 kg
Engines1 × Pratt & Whitney J42-P-6/P-8 turbojet
Thrust5000 lbf dry
5950 lbf "wet"
22.2 kN "dry"
26.5 kN "wet"
Maximum speed575 mph925 km/h
Combat range1353 miles2,177 km
Ferry rangemileskm
Service ceiling44,600 ft13,594 m
Rate of climb5140 ft/min1,567 m/min
Guns4 × Hispano 20 mm cannon
Bombs2000 lb (907 kg) on 8 underwing racks

The Grumman F9F Panther was the manufacturer's first jet fighter and the US Navy's second. It first flew in 1947. Power was a Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet built under license by Pratt & Whitney as the J42. Since there was insufficient space within the wings and fuselage for fuel for the thirsty jet, permanently mounted wingtip fuel tanks were added.

Multiple versions were produced:

  • F9F-2: first production version, J42 powered.
  • F9F-2B: version fitted with underwing racks for bombs and rockets. All F9F-2's were eventually so modified, and the B designation was dropped.
  • F9F-2P: unarmed photographic reconnaissance version used in Korea
  • F9F-3: Allison J33 powered version produced as insurance against the failure of the J42, 54 built. All converted to J42 power later
  • F9F-4: longer fuselage with greater fuel load, J33 powered. Most re-engined with J42s.
  • F9F-5: As -4, but Pratt & Whitney J48 (Rolls-Royce Tay built under licence) powered. 616 built.
  • F9F-5P: unarmed photo-reconnaissance version, 36 built, longer nose.

Panthers served with distinction in the Korean War, downing five Mikoyan MiG-15s with no loss despite the MiG's superior performance. The type was the primary Navy jet fighter and ground-attack plane in the Korean conflict.

Panthers were withdrawn from front-line service in 1956, but remained in training roles and with the reserves until 1958.

The only foreign buyer of the Panther was Argentina, who bought 24 ex-USN aircraft in 1958. The catapults on the then only Argentine carrier, ARA Independencia, were considered not powerful enough to launch the F9F, so the aircraft were based on land. They saw brief combat during the 1965 border clash between Argentina and Chile, and were taken out of service in 1969 because of lack of spare parts.

A swept-wing derivative of the Panther was later built, after concerns about the Panther's inferiority to its MiG opponents in Korea; this plane was the Grumman F9F Cougar.

Related content
Related Development

F9F Cougar

Similar Aircraft

Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk

Designation Series (Pre-1962)

F6F - F7F - F8F - F9F - F10F - F11F - F12F

Designation Series (Post-1962)

F-6 - F-7 - F-8 - F-9 - F-10 - F-11 - YF-12

Related Lists List of military aircraft of the United States - List of fighter aircraft

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation


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