|This page is about the American naval jet fighter F9F-8. For other uses, see F9F (Family).|
The F9F-8 Cougar is a rank VI American naval jet fighter with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.63 "Desert Hunters".
Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.
The F9F Cougar is a further improvement of the F9F series with the main changes that are changed wings, now being swept and a new more powerful engine, the Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8A. It increased the level speed to 1041 km/h and when the plane carries four AIM-9B missiles it is 991 km/h at sea level, which is still slower than a MiG-15 or F-86. Its speed limit is also higher: 1127 km/h IAS. The level acceleration is almost the same compared to previous versions, but since it is faster it gets better above 850 km/h. The other aspect that has been slightly improved over the F9F-5 is climb rate, now can reach 29 m/s at sea level with full fuel tanks and increases to ~38 m/s with 20 minutes of fuel, it will not be able to out climb most of jet fighters from other nations at similar battle rating. Flying at full power is limited to 30 minutes of operation until the engine overheats and can fly at 95% of power indefinitely.
The Cougar wings' shape was changed a lot, the wing area was also increased. Due to lowered wing loading its low and medium speed turn rate was improved with the exception of stall speed which is higher, 217 km/h IAS with landing flaps. The swept wings also increased the manoeuvrability at high speed, but the Cougar can lock up badly near transonic speeds, although it can use the airbrake to slow down to the speed where it retains the best turn rate, which is between 600 and 800 km/h IAS. The flaps cannot be used to improve dogfight capabilities, only one position for landing is available which use is limited to 410 km/h IAS. Its roll rate up to 600 km/h IAS is almost the same, can reach up to ~100 degrees per second, but above its new wings allow the Cougar to improve it to ~150 degrees per second at 900 km/h. One thing that did not change are very low G limits, they can be easily exceeded after reaching 9-10G above 600 km/h IAS.
With full real controls the plane can break its wings even easier than with enabled instructor, it is recommended to not install the New Boosters module. Overall the plane has very good flight characteristics, especially at higher speed where it has good turning energy retention, even during pulling 5-6G.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 610 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 950||< 790||< 510||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Empty mass||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Pratt & Whitney J48-P-8A||1||5,900 kg||286 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||17m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||45m fuel||58m fuel|
|600 kg||Axial-flow turbojet||6,796 kg||6,952 kg||7,472 kg||8,253 kg||8,929 kg||9,636 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||17m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||45m fuel||58m fuel||MTOW|
|Optimal|| 3,182 kgf
Survivability and armour
- 9.5 mm steel - in front of cockpit
- 8.5 mm steel - behind pilot
- 60 mm steel - armoured windscreen
Modifications and economy
The F9F-8 is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm M3 cannons, nose-mounted (190 rpg = 760 total)
The F9F-8 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 4 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 2 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 Fin M129 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 4 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
Usage in battles
First of your objective when you purchase this plane is to research as fast as you can the 20 mm cannons modifications. The F9F-8 default cannons get jammed in a quick burst.
This said don't expect to dogfight very well against any pure fighter jet as the turn time is quite stock but when you spade it out turning does get a better but the F9F-8 performs great defensive manoeuvres and can keep up in turns with the MiGs (beware that doesn't have the great acceleration that MiGs have).
This is not an air superiority aircraft, its main purpose is to support ground vehicles and planes.
The best tactics if you are new to this plane is to fly it like a F9F-2 or F9F-5 so stay near some allies and give them support.
- Never roll too hard over 750 km\h (466 mph) or the wings will explode
- Never execute manoeuvres over –2 G or the wings will explode
Pros and cons
- Good payload options for bombs
- Four 20 mm cannons can shred enemy aircraft and light ground targets
- Slightly better top speed than on the F9F Panther
- Can equip with AIM-9 Sidewinder guided missiles
- Good roll rate over 800 km/h (500 mph)
- Bad aerial performance in turn time, G-limits, acceleration, and energy retention
- Around 800 km/h (500 mph) and above the plane starts to compress quite badly
- Guns tend to jam quickly without New 20 mm upgrade
- Can't equip rockets
- When equipped the AIM-9 Sidewinder guided missiles the performance drops dramatically
- Not a good dogfighter among its peers
- Difficult stock grind due to aforementioned poor aerial and firepower performance
- Relatively expensive plane to purchase and train crew with, along with expensive modification costs
- Can be uptiered to encounter jets such as MiG-17s/Shenyang F-5s
It was Grumman's engineers who first thought of developing their successful F9F Panther fighter into a swept-wing variant. The resulting Cougar was a very new design in many ways bucking post-war design trends. The fuselage, fin and rudder remained the same, however, the wings were completely new with a 35-degree sweep and lacking the distinctive wingtip tanks of the Panther. The engine was also an upgrade, a Pratt and Whitney J48 with an extra 1,000 kg of thrust over the previous J42. First flight was 20 September 1951, with operational trials starting three months later. Squadron deliveries began in November 1952. 706 F9F-6s with the original engine were produced, and 168 of the F9F-7 which used the Allison J33 turbojet instead.
The F9F-8 was the final version. Its prototype's first flight was December 1953. In this model, the fuselage was lengthened 30 cm to increase the space for fuel tanks. It had the J48-P-8 engines installed that gave it a total of 3,447kg of Thrust, the wings were also modified slightly to add an in-air refuelling probe plus the capability of mounting four Aim-9 sidewinders and a nose radar was fitted. In total, 601 F9F-8s were built.
The F9F-8 was too late to see combat in Korea, however, there were four trainer versions of the F9F-8 (F9F-8T) deployed to Vietnam and was used in airstrike directing for incoming allied aircraft.
The Argentine Navy was the only other nation to operate the F9F-8 and was the first jet aircraft that they ever had capable of breaking the sound barrier (In a dive).
It is also worth noting that the F9F-8 was redesignated, as part of the United States Tri-Service Designation System, to the F-9J in 1962.
- [Devblog] F9F-8 Cougar - A Perfect Predator
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
|Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation|
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