Hobby Master 1/48 Jets
HA7209 Grumman F9F-5 "Vice Versa" 125307, VF-111, USS Lake Champlain,
14 July 1953

Powered by a Rolls-Royce engine the first F9F flew in 1947. These new engines were fuel hungry and with no extra internal space permanent wing-tip tanks were added. These tanks also had the unexpected benefit of increasing the aircraft roll rate. In the Korean War the F9F was the primary USN aircraft for ground-attack and served with distinction. However it was realized that the Panther was inferior to the MiG aircraft so a swept-wing version was developed. The new aircraft retained the F9F designation and was called the Cougar.

In late 1950 VF-111 “The Sundowners” took their F9F-2B Panthers to Korea aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47). On November 9, 1950 VF-111 Lt. CMDR William Amen was the lead aircraft providing support to F4U Corsairs and AD-4 Skyraiders when five MiG-15s were encountered. During that encounter Amen became the first person to ever record a jet-to-jet victory. VF-111 was later upgraded to the F9F-5 Panther and completed more cruises on the USS Valley Forge, USS Boxer and USS Lake Champlain.

Specifications for the Grumman F9F-5 Panther
Crew – (1) pilot
Performance
Engine – (1) Pratt & Whitney J48-P-4/P-6A turbojet @ 6,250 lb.s.t. Internal fuel capacity - 1,003 US gallons Maximum speed - 604 mph @ sea level, 579 mph @ 5,000 ft, 543 mph @ 3,500 ft Cruising speed - 481 mph Stalling speed - 132 mph Initial climb rate - 5,090 fpm Service ceiling - 42,800 ft. Range - 1,300 miles.
Dimensions
Wingspan - 38 ft 0 in Length - 38 ft 10 1/2 in Height - 12 ft 4 in Wing area - 250 sq ft
Weights
Empty - 10,147 lbs Gross - 17,766 lbs Maximum takeoff - 18,721 lbs
Armament
(4) 20-mm cannon in the nose (8) Under wing hard points could accommodate up to 3,465 lbs. of bombs and rockets