37 ft. 3 in.
4- 20 mm
The F9F Panther, produced by Grumman, was the corporation's first jet fighter and the second pure jet to be used by the United States Navy.
The concept of the F9F Panther originated towards the end of World War Two when the United States Navy asked manufacturers to submit bids on a jet powered fighter that would be deployed from aircraft carriers. The new aircraft would be equipped with radar for day and night mission capabilities. In response, Grumman proposed a four jet engine airplane with a wingspan of 58 feet to accommodate the engines. Jet engines of the time had a minimum amount of thrust and four would have been necessary to provide adequate power.
As jet engine technology improved, Grumman resubmitted the design as the F9F Panther with a 38 foot wingspan and a single jet engine.
The prototype F9F Panther first flew in November of 1947, had its sea trials in March of 1949 and was deployed in May of 1949. Later, 120 gallon wing tip fuel tanks would be added to improve its range.
The F9F Panther became the primary attack aircraft used by the United States Navy during the Korean War. Although it was primarily used for ground attack, it was the first U.S. Navy aircraft to score an air victory in the war. F9F Panther aircraft claimed a total of seven victories over Korean aircraft during the war.
Before the Korean War ended, F9F Panther aircraft had flown some 78,000 missions. They were retired from U.S. Navy service in 1958.
A total of 1,382 F9F Panther aircraft of all types were produced.