Grumman F-9 Cougar

Grumman F-9 Cougar

About the Aircraft

Grumman F-9 Cougar

The Hickory Aviation Museum’s TF-9J Bureau Number 142985 is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. It came from the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. It was one of the few combat fighters of its time to be redesignated as a training aircraft.

The Grumman F9F/F-9 Cougar was an aircraft carrier-based fighter aircraft for the United States Navy. Based on Grumman's earlier F9F Panther, the Cougar replaced the Panther's straight wing with a more modern swept wing. Thrust was also increased significantly. The Navy considered the Cougar an updated version of the Panther, despite having a different official name, and thus Cougars started off from F9F-6 upward. Prototypes were quickly produced by modifying Panthers, and the first (XF9F-6) flew on 20 September 1951. The aircraft was still subsonic, but the critical Mach number was increased from 0.79 to 0.86 at sea level and to 0.895 at 35,000 ft (10,000 m), improving performance markedly over the Panther. Instead of using conventional ailerons for roll control; the F9F-6 uses spoilers on the upper surfaces of the wing. Wing fences were soon added and the spoilers extended from the fences to the tips of the wing. The rudder pedals controlled the part of the rudder below the horizontal tail surface, while the upper portion of the rudder was controlled by a yaw damper. This allowed the Cougar to fly safely and easily without the upper portion of the tail.

National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Grumman
First flight 20 September 1951
Introduction December 1952
Retired 1974 United States Navy
Status Retired
Primary users United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, Argentine Navy
Number built 1988
Propulsion 1 × Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8A turbojet
Unit cost <$2M (1955)
Developed Into Grumman F-9F Panther
Grumman TF-9J Cougar BuNo 142985

General Characteristics


Crew: 1
Length: 40 ft 11 in (12.47 m)
Wingspan: 34 ft 6 in (10.52 m)
Height: 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
Wing area: 300 ft² (27.87 m²)
Empty weight: 11,483 lb (5,209 kg)
Loaded weight: 16,244 lb (7,368 kg)
Fuel capacity: 919 US gallons (3,480 L)


Maximum speed: 654 mph (568 knots)
Cruise speed: 541 mph (470 knots, 870.4 km/h)
Range: 932 mi (810 nmi,) without added tanks


  • Guns: 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) M3 cannon, 190 rounds per gun
  • Rockets: 6 × 5 in rockets
  • Missiles: 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder
  • Bombs: 2 × 1,000 lb bombs