F-9F Panther/Cougar in Action (Aircraft 51)
By J. Sullivan
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1982 52 Pages
PDF 8 MB
The xf9f-2 represented Grumman's entry Into the then-new field of Jet Aviation. Other U.S. Navy jet prototypes had already flown. I.e., the McDonnell FH-1 Phantom In early 1945, the North American Fj-1 Fury In September 1946, the Vought F6U-1 in October 1946 and the McDonnell f2h Banshee in January 1947. The Grumman-built jet was the aircraft that would be produced in the largest numbers. The Panther as It came to be Known was designed around the Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet which developed 5000ibs of thrust. Under a licensing agreement worked out with the British company, the Nene was manufactured in the U.S. by Pratt & Whitney and designated the J42. Grumman's design was engineered for ease of maintenance and Introduced a sliding drawer concept for the nose section which just forward of the cockpit extended 3te feet on rails when released by a cockpit lever and gave easy access to the four 20mm cannon armament section and other nose-mounted systems. On the aft of the XF9F-2, the entire tail section disconnected from the fuselage at the wing flap line. For comparative purposes, the 120 hour check on tha jet engine could be completed in half the time It took 'or similar work on prop-powered aircraft.
A unique feature incorporated on the Panther was a system referred to as Droop Snoop. This permitted the forward six inches of the wing leading edge to move downward In conjunction with the wing flaps changing the camber of the wings enabling operation either at high speed with the system retracted or extended for low speed as required for carrier landings. From the formal presentation of the design to the Navy in August of 1946, it took only 15 months for the Panther to take to the sky. Grumman's test pilot C.H. Meyers flew BuNo 122475 for the first time on 24 November 1947. Two airframes (122475 and 122477) carried the XF9F-2 designation.