Aviation Historian 06
E.Brown - Big Cat Diary
The wings of F9F-2 BuNo 127174 of VF-111 fold following its return to USS Valley Forge after a bombing mission over Korea during the carrier’s third of four cruises in South-east Asian waters during the conflict.
Deck crew members aboard USS Boxer work on a pair of F9F-2s of VF-721 to prepare them for an afternoon bombing mission over North Korea in the autumn of 1951. The Panther was Grumman’s first jet-powered aircraft, and earned the distinction of being the first US Navy aircraft to shoot down a MiG-15.
Continuing the Grumman tradition, the F9F Panther was a brawny design which somehow retained rather elegant lines. The prototype XF9F-2 made its maiden flight on November 27, 1947, the type going on to be produced in several variants. This example is an F9F-2 painted in a special test colour scheme that was not adopted as standard for US Navy service. Note the distinctive split perforated airbrake forward of the wing.
В общей сложности построили 616 F9F-5, оснащенных ТРД P&W J48 (Rolls-Royce Tay). Аэродинамические перегородки на крыле и УКВ антенна навигационной системы монтировались в процессе доработки.
MiG Alley cat - F9F-5 BuNo 125228 displays its beefy naval pedigree. The Panther was built to be robust and, although it was outclassed by the Soviet MiG-15 as a fighter in Korea, it nevertheless acquitted itself well as a fighter-bomber during the conflict.
This is the Panther the author flew at the NATO in September 1951, F9F-5 BuNo 125082, fitted with a nose-mounted probe for trials. The F9F-5 was a re-engined and enlarged variant, with a stretched fuselage and taller fin.
The US Marines also operated the Panther, two units - VMF-115 and VMF-311 - flying the type in Korea. This pair from VMF-115 roar into the air at Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico. Note the deflected flaps and lowered leading-edge ‘‘droop snoots”.