F-9F GRUMMAN PANTHER
The appearance of the Messerschmitt Me 262 during the closing months of the war and its phenomenal success against allied bombers heralded a new era in aviation.
Britain quickly responded with the Gloster Meteor powered by its ground-breaking Whittle turbojet engine - the only allied jet aircraft to enter combat operations in the Second World War.
In the new jet age - the race was on.
One of the first and most successful US jet fighters was the Grumman F-9F USN fighter/bomber.
Powered by the UK Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet engine built under licence by Pratty & Whitney, the turbojet delivered over 5,000lb of thrust with an airspeed in excess of 925 km/h but it was a large and thirsty beast and Grumman engineers struggled to find enough airframe space to house suitable fuel tanks.
Their solution was to install two permanently mounted 150 gal, wingtip tanks which incidentally, also improved the aircrafts rate of roll giving the carrier-based aircraft its iconic wing-boom shape.
Cleared for carrier flight operations in late 1949, the F-9F became the US Navy and Marine Corp’s primary fighter and ground attack aircraft of the Korean War.
With its all-metal construction, tricycle landing gear and folding wings, the rugged F-9F was armed with four nose-mounted 20 mm Hispano cannons aimed by its Mk 8 computing optical gunsight. Four pylons under each wing could each carry up to a 125 kg bomb or 12.5 cm high velocity air rocket (HVAR). The larger pylons could also carry a 450 kg bomb or an additional 150 gal drop tank.
Over the course of the Korean War, the F-9F flew over 7,800 sorties, scoring the first US Navy air-to-air kill downing a North Korean Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter.
Despite it's relatively low airspeed, Panthers managed to shoot down two Yak-9s and seven MiG 15’s with one F-9F destroying four MiGs in just 35 minutes of combat.
In 1949, the Panther was also considered by the RAAF as a replacement for it's ageing fleet of locally built Mustang Mk 23s and De Havilland Vampires. The RAAF Mustangs were extremely vulnerable to the Mig 15 and were immediately replaced by a new generation of Gloster Meteors as a stop-gap measure. In 1954 the Meteor was replaced by the faster and more heavily armed and manoeuvrable CAC Sabre jet.
Three future US astronauts flew the F-9F extensively during the Korean war with one of them going on to become the first man on the moon - Neil Armstrong.
Withdrawn from front-line combat in 1956, the F-9F remained in service in a training role with the US Naval and Marine Corp Air Reserves and went on to become the first jet flown by the US Navy’s Blue Angel acrobatics team.
All Grumman F-9F Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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F-9F GRUMMAN PANTHER ARTIFICIAL HORIZON
1950's Sperry 1544 Gyro Horizon Indicator installed in the US...