The Cougar was a well liked aircraft, rugged and reliable, with excellent handling.
Aircraft design was moving rapidly in the 1950’s and changes were prevalent. This carrier-based subsonic aircraft was considered an improved version of the F9F Panther, thus all versions F9F-6 forward are 35 degree swept-wing and tail “Cougar” variants.

A number of F9F-8s were modified as “F9F-8B” tactical nuclear bombers, fitted with a “Low Altitude Bombing System (LABS)”.

Even the Blue Angels loved the Cougar, trading up from F9F-5 Panther (1949-54) for the new, improved F9F-8 Cougars from 1954-56.

In the Photo Cougar many changes were made to the fuselage structure and equipment, including the longer “duck’s bill” camera nose added to accommodate the K-17 and trimetrogon cameras (three cameras shooting simultaneously for use in topographic mapping). All the armament systems were removed, many were fitted with a nose refueling probe and the compressor ducting was re-routed to provide heat to defrost the camera windows.

DISPLAY STATUS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN CURRENT LOCATION
Own United States Boneyard
PURPOSE & TYPE MATERIALS ERA & DATE RANGE
Bomber Steel Early Jets
1945 – 1975
PRODUCTION &
ACQUISITION
SPECIFICATIONS SERVICE HISTORY
MFG: Grumman
First Produced: 1954
Number Built: 3,312 F-9s, 110 RF-9Js
Armament: None
Acquired by Yanks in
Wingspan: 34 ft 6 in
Wing Area: 337 sq ft
Length: 42 ft 2 in
Height: 12 ft 3 in
Empty Weight: 11,866 lbs
Gross Weight: 20,089 lbs
Powerplant: P&W J48-P-8A
Thrust: 7,250 lbs
Cruise Speed: 508 mph
Maximum Speed: 714 mph
Range: 1,000 miles
Delivered:Jan 31, 1956
Feb 14, 1956 – VC-61 (later VFP-61) NAS Miramar, CA
Aug 21, 1958 – Litchfield Park, AZ
May 1960 – Stricken from inventory