The Grumman F9F Panther was manufactured by Grumman as a single-engine straight-wing carrier-based jet fighter loaded with four 20 mm cannons and could be equipped with an extensive variety of air-to-ground munitions. It is one of the first successful carrier-based jet fighters of the United States Navy. It was also the first jet fighter built by Grumman.
The Grumman F9F Panther was the main jet fighter aircraft of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. It was used extensively as a navy jet fighter during the war and flew 78,000 sorties. On November 21, 1947, the aircraft prototype operated by Corky Meyer took to the air for the first time.
Several versions of the Panther were built; the first production variant designated as F9F-2 was a rugged-attack aircraft fitted with a J42 engine. 567 of this version were built. The F9F-3 is powered by an Allison J33 engine and was later redesignated as F-9B. 54 of this version were built. The F9F-4 has a lengthened fuselage and an increased fuel load.
The single-crew F9F-5 Panther has an external length of 11.84 meters, an external height of 2.9 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1.5 meters. It has a tail height of3.7 meters and a wheelbase of 3.5 meters. The wingspan is 11.58 meters and the wing area is 23 square meters. The aircraft has an empty weight of 4,603 kg, a gross weight of 8,492 kg, and a maximum payload of 1,100 kg. The maximum takeoff and landing weights are 8,500 kg and 7,000 kg, respectively. It has a fuel tanks capacity of 923 US gal.
The F9F Panther is powered by a single Pratt and Whitney J48-P-6A engine. It is a turbofan engine with water injection, a single-stage double-sided centrifugal compressor, nine interconnected can combustion chambers, a single-stage axial turbine, and pressure spray oil system. The engine produces a maximum thrust of 6,250 lbf. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 503 knots at 5,000 feet. The cruise speed is 418 knots and the travel range is 1,100 nautical miles. It can fly up to 42,800 feet and can climb at a rate of 5,090 feet per minute. It could also be loaded with four 20 mm cannons.