The Grumman F9F Panther was the manufacturer's first jet fighter and the U.S. Navy's second. The Panther was the most widely used U.S. Navy jet fighter of the Korean War. It flew 78,000 sorties and was responsible for the first air kill by the US Navy in the war - the downing of a North Korean Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter. Total F9F production was 1,382, with several variants being shipped to Argentina for export.
Development studies at the Grumman company began near the end of the World War II as the first jet engines emerged. The prototype Panther, piloted by test pilot Corky Meyer, first flew on November 24th, 1947. Propulsion was a Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet built under license by Pratt & Whitney as the J42. Since there was insufficient space within the wings and fuselage for fuel for the thirsty jet, permanently-mounted wingtip fuel tanks were added which incidentally improved the fighter's rate of roll. It was cleared for flight from aircraft carriers in September 1949. During the development phase, Grumman decided to change the Panther's engine, selecting the Pratt & Whitney J48-P-2, a license built version of the Rolls-Royce Tay. The other engine that had been tested was the Allison J33-A-16, a development of the Rolls-Royce Derwent.
From 1946, a swept-wing version was considered and after concerns about the Panther's inferiority to its MiG opponents in Korea, a conversion of the Panther (Design 93) resulted in a swept-wing derivative of the Panther, the Grumman F9F Cougar, which retained the Panther's designation number.
Pictured here is a limited edition 1:48 scale replica of a US Navy Grumman F9F-2 Panther Fighter that was flown by Lt. Lawrence Cauble of VF-61 "Jolly Rogers", then embarked upon the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt during 1951. Only 1,000 pieces produced. Sold Out!
Release Date: February 2009