Model Airplane News
June, 1953

Model Airplane News Cover for June, 1953 by Jo Kotula Grumman F9F Cougar

Grumman F9F "Cougar"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for June, 1953
by Jo Kotula
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The Grumman F9F Cougar was an aircraft carrier-based fighter aircraft for the United States Navy. The Cougar was "basically" a Grumman Panther with swept wings. The Navy considered the Cougar an updated version of the Panther, despite having a different official name, and thus Cougars started off from F9F-6 upwards.

 The Grumman F9F Cougar    The Grumman F9F Cougar      The Grumman F9F Cougar

Grumman F9F "Cougar"
The Cougar is a Panther with swept wings
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646 of these aircraft were delivered to the Navy from mid 1952 through July 1954. Armament was four 20 mm M2 cannons in the nose and provision for two 1,000 lb bombs or two 150 US gal drop tanks under the wings. Sixty more were built as F9F-6P reconnaissance aircraft with cameras instead of the nose cannon. Others were built for use as trainers.

After withdrawal from active service, many F9F-6s were used as unmanned drones for combat training, designated F9F-6K, or as drone directors, designated F9F-6D. The F9F-6K and the F9F-6D were redesignated the QF-9F and DF-9F, respectively. The Navy acquired 377 two-seat F9F-8T trainers based on this airframe between 1956 and 1960. They were used for advanced training, weapons training and carrier training, and served until 1974. They were armed with twin 20 mm cannon and could carry a full bombs or missiles load. A few of these trainers were the only version of the Cougar to see combat was the trainer. They were used to directing airstrikes against enemy positions in South Vietnam during 1966 and 1967. After withdrawal from active service, many F9F-6s were used as unmanned drones for combat training or as drone directors. The F9F was withdrawn from front-line service in 1958-59, replaced by Grumman F11F Tigers and Vought F8U Crusaders. Reserve units used them until the mid-1960s, but none of the single-seat versions saw Vietnam War service.

Here is a video telling the story behind a F9F "Cougar" on static display in a children's park:

In addition to the cover of Model Airplane News, this airplane was also featured in the WINGS "Friend or Foe" trading card series of the early 1950s

 Card 122 of the Wings Friend or Foe series The Grumman F9F Cougar

Trading card representation of the Grumman F9F "Cougar"
Click Here to see all 200 cards in the series
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Click Here for more information about the Grumman F9F "Cougar".

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