The Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison, Texas, USA owns the
last flyable Grumman Panther,
a 1952 model, registered N9525A, Photo by
History: Emerging from World War II as one
of the most potent fighting arms on the planet, the US Navy recognized that the day of the
piston-engine fighter was drawing to a close. Having supplied the fleet with the Tigercat and Bearcat, Grumman began design
work on a carrier-based fighter to rival the McDonnell FH-1 Phantom. A conventional design
with straight wings and excellent low speed characteristics, the first of 567 F9Fs
reached the fleet in 1949 powered by two Rolls-Royce Nene engines providing 5,000 pounds
They were none too soon. On August 6, 1950, Panthers were the
first carrier jets to see action in Korea and performed almost half of all attack missions
for the Navy and Marine Corps. Armament included four 20mm cannon plus two bombs or an
assortment of rockets. Among the major Panther variants were the F9F-2B,
a modified ground attack version with hardpoints for underwing stores; the F9F-5,
the most numerous model, of which 616 were built; and the F9F-5P,
an unarmed photo-surveillance version. A swept-wing model, the F9F-6 Cougar
with higher speeds, would enter service in late 1951.
At least two Panthers have been restored to airworthy
condition and operated as privately-owned warbirds, both in the USA, but only one remains
Engine: One 6,250-pound thrust Pratt & Whitney J48-P-6A turbojet engine
Weight: Empty 10,147 lbs., Max
Takeoff 18,721 lbs.
Wing Span: 38ft. 0in.
Length: 38ft. 10in.
Height: 12ft. 3in.
hardpoints for two 1,000-pound bombs or six 127-mm (5-inch) HVAR rockets.
Number Built: ~1300
Number Still Airworthy:
Aircraft Locator -- F9F Panther
Flight Museum F9F -- The last flyable Panther!
History (April '96) feature -- F9Fs against MiG-15s
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