Grumman F9F Cougar

When work began on the F9F Panther in 1946, Grumman convinced the U.S. Navy to postpone the idea of a swept wing aircraft until the low-speed handling characteristics of such an airframe could be evaluated. Then, in 1950, the swept-wing MiG-15 appeared in the skies over Korea, dominating the Panther with airspeeds a full 100 mph faster.

Needless to say, work on a swept-wing version of the Panther began the very next month. The wings were swept back at a 35-degree angle, necessitating several additional alterations to the fuselage, fuel tankage, and wing structure. In many ways, this created an entirely new aircraft, but the Navy elected to keep the same nomenclature as the Panther, indicating that it was a derivative of that plane. The plane was designated the F9F-6, but called the Cougar to differentiate it from it straight-winged cousin.

The F9F Cougar entered service in 1952. It possessed better carrier handling characteristics than the Panther, and was faster. It entered service too late to see action in Korea. It was used by the Blue Angels demonstration team from 1954 to 1957. The aircraft was withdrawn from service in 1959.

The Panther uses 725 gallons of jet fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo (not including bombs or drop tanks) costs $456.


F9F-6 Cougar

Subassemblies: Medium Fighter-Bomber chassis with Very Good streamlining +4; folding Light Fighter-Bomber wings +3; 3 retractable wheels +1.

Powertrain: 7,250-lb. thrust turbojet with 919 gallons self-sealing fuel tanks [Body and Wings]; 4,000-kWs batteries.

Occ.: 1 CS

Cargo: 4 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Body: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3

Wings: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3

Cockpit: 0/0 0/+10 0/+20 0/+10 0/+10



4xLong Aircraft ACs/M-2 [Body:F] (200 rounds each).*

*Linked in pairs, plus additional links can fire all four at once.



Body: Arrestor hook, medium radio and transmitter and receiver, large radio direction finder, navigation instruments, autopilot, bombsight, IFF. Wings: One 1,000-lb. hardpoint each.



Size: 41'x35'x12' Payload: 3.6 tons Lwt.: 9.22 tons

Volume: 196 Maint.: 37 hours Cost: $29,369

HT: 7. HPs: 210 Body, 120 each Wing, 20 each Wheel

aSpeed: 654 aAccel: 8 aDecel: 9 aMR: 2.5 aSR: 2

Stall Speed 128. Take-Off Run: 745 yards (727 yards with catapult). Landing Run: 1,638 yards (26 yards with Arrestor Hook).

gSpeed: 449 gAccel: 22 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure Extremely High. No Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

This design takes advantage of Very Good Streamlining. Since swept wings were a "cutting edge" advance in aeronautics, meeting the "engineering challenge" is probably justifiable. Calculated aSpeed and Stall Speed were 657 and 116 mph respectively; the historical values are shown. The historical wing area (300 sf) and loaded weight was used for performance calculations. Design loaded weight was increased 1%. Design payload was 8,624 lbs.; the historical value is shown. The design purchases a 930-gallon fuel tank; the actual value is shown.

Typical load-outs for the underwing hardpoints included two 1,000-lb. bombs or two 150-gallon drop tanks.



The F9F-6 was the initial production jet. 696 were built.

The F9F-7 was similar to the -6. 118 built.

The F9F-8 featured a slightly longer fuselage, and increased fuel tankage to 1,063 gallons. It featured a refueling probe. 601 built. The F9F-8T was a two-seat trainer with only two ACs; 400 built. The -8B version was fitted to carry nuclear weapons. The -8P was a photo-reconnaissance version.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic