|Year/Model:||1956 F-9/F-8P Cougar|
|Power Plant:||One Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8A turbojet w/water injection|
|Wingspan:||34 feet 6 inches|
|Length:||42 feet 1.5 inches|
|Height:||12 feet 3 inches|
|Maximum Speed:||647 mph @2,000 feet|
|Maximum Range:||170 mph @ 5,000 feet|
|Status:||Restored as static display|
|Owner:||Estrella Warbirds Museum|
Initial production (646 airframes) was the F9F-6, delivered from mid 1952 through July 1954. Armament was four 20 mm (.79 in) M2 cannons in the nose and provision for two 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs or 150 US gal (570 l) drop tanks under the wings. Most were fitted with a UHF homing antenna under the nose, and some were fitted with probes for inflight refuelling. Later redesignated F-9F in 1962. Sixty were built as F9F-6P reconnaissance aircraft with cameras instead of the nose cannon.
After withdrawal from active service, many F9F-6s were used as unmanned drones for combat training, designated F9F-6K, or as drone directors, designated F9F-6D. The F9F-6K and the F9F-6D were redesignated the QF-9F and DF-9F, respectively.
The F9F-8 was the final fighter version. It featured an 8 in (20 cm) stretch in the fuselage and modified wings with greater chord and wing area, to improve low-speed, high angle of attack flying and to give more room for fuel tanks. 601 aircraft were delivered between April 1954 and March 1957; most were given inflight refuelling probes, and late production were given the ability to carry four AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles under the wings. Most earlier aircraft were modified to this configuration. A number were given nuclear bombing equipment. These were redesignated F-9J in 1962.
A total of 110 F9F-8Ps were produced with an extensively modified nose carrying cameras, as shown on arrival pictures at Estrella Warbirds Musem. They were withdrawn after 1960 to reserve squadrons. In 1962, surviving F9F-6P and F9F-8P aircraft were re-designated RF-9F and RF-9J respectively.
Modifications of F9F-8 to convert to F9F-8P: