Den Grumman F9F Panterwas the manufacturer’s first jet fighter and one of the United States Navy’s first successful carrier-based jet fighters. A single-engined, straight-winged day fighter, it was armed with four 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon and could carry a wide assortment of air-to-ground munitions.
The Panther was used extensively by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the Korean War. It was also the first jet aircraft used by the Blue Angels flight team, used by them from 1949 through late 1954. The aircraft was exported to Argentina and was the first jet used by the Argentine Naval Aviation.
Total F9F production was 1,382. The design evolved into the swept wing Grumman F-9 Cougar.
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The Grumman F9F Panther was the first jet fighter used by the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Korean War. It was designed in the late 1940s as a carrier-based fighter that could operate from the new angled-deck aircraft carriers. The Panther had a straight wing design and a single Pratt & Whitney J48 turbojet engine that gave it a top speed of 575 mph. The Panther was armed with four 20 mm cannons and could carry up to 2,000 pounds of bombs or rockets. The Panther was also the first jet aircraft to be fitted with an ejection seat. The Panther entered service in 1949 and saw combat in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. It was used for air-to-air combat, ground attack, and reconnaissance missions. The Panther scored the first jet-versus-jet kill in history when Lieutenant Commander William T. Amen shot down a North Korean MiG-15 on November 9, 1950. The Panther also flew the first jet combat mission over China on February 21, 1952. The Panther proved to be reliable and effective, but was soon outclassed by the faster and more maneuverable MiG-15. The Panther was replaced by the swept-wing Grumman F9F Cougar in 1954. The Panther was also exported to Argentina and Uruguay, where it served until the late 1960s. A total of 1,382 Panthers were built, of which 78 were lost in combat. The Panther is considered to be one of the most successful jet fighters of its era and a milestone in naval aviation history.