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Grumman F9F Panther Warpaint No.119


Julien
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Grumman F9F Panther Warpaint No.119

Guideline Publications

 

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The Panther was one of the US Navy's first successful Jet powered carrier fighters, it was also Grumman's first foray into jet aircraft.  Development for the aircraft began during WWII and so was not able to benefit from the swept wing technology. As such it was a conventional straight winged aircraft. Grumman had been working on a jet fighter the G-75 which lost out to the Douglas Skyknight, however they had been working on the G-79 as well and through some bureaucratic manoeuvring the wording of the G-75 contract was changed to include the three G-79 prototypes as well.   The first prototype flew in 1947.  The Navy had decided the aircraft would be armed with the heavier 20mm cannon and 4 were installed.  

 

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The Panther would become the USN & USMCs primary fighter and ground attack aircraft for the Korean War flying over 78000 sorties.  A notable pilot of the Panther in Korea was Neil Armstrong, as well as John Glenn. Despite the slower speed and straight wing the Panther did manage some air-2-air victories even over the MiG-15 with Lt R Williams of VF-781 downing 4 in a single engagement, however its limitations were obvious by this time. Panthers would be withdrawn by 1959 with only the US Navy Blue Angels flying them by this point.  The design would though live on with the F9F Cougar which was basically a swept wing version of the same air frame.  The only overseas user of the Panther was the Argentinian Navy which purchased 28 ex USN Aircraft in 1957. They would serve until 1969. 

 

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Conclusion

The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a dud! They are always well written and informative with a wealth of pictures and profiles, this edition also having 1/72 scale plans at the centre and a small section of detailed photos at the end. 

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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On 6/9/2019 at 12:52 PM, Julien said:

 

 

The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a dud! They are always well written and informative with a wealth of pictures and profiles, this edition also having 1/72 scale plans at the centre and a small section of detailed photos at the end. 

 

Unfortunately, this one is a dud, at least in terms of the text.

 

For example, the so-called "Panther At War" section is nothing of the sort, and instead spends 15 pages (excluding profiles) talking about the evolution of US aircraft carriers, the history of the build-up to the Korean War, and then a running commentary on the movements of the carriers during the war (and is fairly repetitive at that). Nothing wrong with this subject if it was in a different book, but this is supposed to be about the F9F Panther, and there really is scant mention of it in those 15 pages! Anyone looking for how they were used, notable missions or pilots (a certain Neil Armstrong for example), what ordnance was carried, operations of the photo-recon versions, etc, will be very disappointed (and much better off with the Osprey book on the subject, #103). This section therefore looks very much like padding as it accounts for about 1/3 of the entire book's text and does pretty much nothing to add to the reader's knowledge of the aircraft.

 

I was also hoping for more on the development of the Panther, in particular the trials with the Emerson turret, but again this area is rather underwhelming, with the Emerson turret experiment being covered by some brief captions to 3 photos and no mention at all in the main text.

 

At least the photos and profiles look good, and there are scale plans included. Unfortunately, they can't make up for the very poor text content.

 

Mike

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While I dont know this author I do know a couple of people who write these and its not always easy to be an expert on everything of a particular aircraft, so yes the odd thing may slip through as its not always easier to find someone who is an "expert" on the particular aircraft, but these guys do their own research.

 

I stand by my comments, but everyone is free to have their own opinion.

 

Julien

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