Grumman F9F Panther
In December, 1946, Grumman received a Navy contract to produce a straight-winged carried-based, jet-powered fighter. Initial designs had four under-powered jet engines in the wings, and the decision was made to import a Rolls-Royce powerplant which was much more powerful than turbojets available in the U.S. at the time. This worked well for the craft, and production began in 1947.
The jet was used heavily by the Navy in the Korean conflict in the fighter and ground-attack roles. It proved inferior to the swept-wing MiG-15, leading the Navy to request their own swept-wing plane. This plane became known as the F9F Cougar, and although it carried the same nomenclature, it is actually a very different plane in many aspects except for the forward 1/3 of the fuselage.
The most numerous version of the Panther was the F9F-5. This version was produced between 1950-1953, with 616 craft being delivered to the Navy. They continued in service until 1958, and refurbished models saw service in the Argentine Navy until 1966. The F9F-2 was used by the Blue Angels flight demonstration team from 1951 to 1953, and the F9F-5 was used from 1953 to 1954.
The Panther uses 700 gallons of jet fuel per hour at routine usage. A full load of fuel and ammo (not including bombs) costs $553.
Subassemblies: Medium Fighter-Bomber chassis with good streamlining +4; folding Heavy Fighter wings +3; 2 Medium Weapon Pods [Wings] +1; 3 retractable wheels +1.
Powertrain: 7,000-lb. thrust turbojet with 1,003 gallons self-sealing fuel tanks [Body] and 120-gallon self-sealing tanks [Pods].
Occ.: 1 CS
Cargo: 10 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
Pods: 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-3 [Wings: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, navigation instruments, autopilot, bombsight, IFF. Wings: Two 500-lb. hardpoints each.
Size: 39'x38'x12' Payload: 5.37 tons Lwt.: 10.7 tons
Volume: 204 Maint.: 45 hours Cost: $19,750
HT: 9 HPs: 208 Body, 90 each Wing, 24 each Wheel
aSpeed: 579 aAccel: 6.5 aDecel: 6 aMR: 1.5 aSR: 2
Stall Speed 129.
gSpeed: 409 gAccel: 20 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.75 gSR: 4
Ground Pressure High. 1/6 Off-Road Speed.
Calculated aSpeed was 521; this was increased to the historical. The historical wing area of 250 sf was used for performance calculations.
Typical load-outs for the underwing hardpoints included two 1,000-lb. bombs or six 5-inch (127mm) HVAR rockets.
The F9F-2 was the initial production jet with a 5,000-lb. thrust turbojet. 564 were built.
The F9F-3 was built with an unreliable Allison J33-A-8 engine. They were ultimately converted to the F9F-2 standard.
The F9F-4 was powered by a 6,950-lb. thrust engine. 109 were built.
The F9F-5P was an unarmed photo-reconnaissance version. 36 were built.
The F9F-5KD was the designation for the aircraft after it was withdrawn from service and used as target drones.
From the Aerodrome for GURPS
© 2008 by Jim Antonicic