The F9F-8B "Cougar" that you see here was graciously donated and transported to this museum by the city of Richmond, Virginia. It had been displayed at their visitors center for many years and had fallen into disrepair. As noted, thanks to a team from the U.S. Naval Test Pilots School, it has been refurbished and placed here for all to enjoy. Although this particular "Cougar" was never assigned to any activity here at Patuxent River, it is representative of the many "Panthers" and "Cougars" that where tested and flown here in the earlier days of the navy's transition to jet aircraft operating from straight deck aircraft carriers.
The first flight of the XF9F-2 (Panther) was in November of 1947 and the aircraft was powered by the British Rolls-Royce "Nene" engine. Straight wing "Panthers" were used extensively in the Korean conflict and the first Mig 15 to be shot down by a navy aircraft was destroyed by LCDR W.T. Amen, C.O. of VF-111.
The last of the F9F single seat variants, such as this swept wing F9F-8 Cougar, first flew in 1954 and continued in fleet service into the early 1960's.
Wing span 34 ft 6 in
Folded 15 ft 8 in
Length 41 ft
Height 12 ft 3 in
Wing Area 337 sq ft
Maximum level speed 647 MPH (at sea level)
One Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8 nonafterburner turbojet engine, capable of 7,250 lbs of thrust.
Empty 11,866 lbs
Maximum take-off weight 19,738 lbs
-Provisions to accommodate various underwing ordnance loads up to 3,000 lbs.
-Four 20MM guns mounted internally in the forward fuselage