Hobby Master HA7209 Grumman F9F-5 Vice Versa 125307, VF-111, USS Lake Champlain, 14 July 1953 1/48
Hobby Master HA7209 Grumman F9F-5 Vice Versa 125307, VF-111, USS Lake Champlain, 14 July 1953
Powered by a Rolls-Royce engine the first F9F flew in 1947. These new engines were fuel hungry and with no extra internal space permanent wing-tip tanks were added. These tanks also had the unexpected benefit of increasing the aircraft roll rate. In the Korean War the F9F was the primary USN aircraft for ground-attack and served with distinction. However it was realized that the Panther was inferior to the MiG aircraft so a swept-wing version was developed. The new aircraft retained the F9F designation and was called the Cougar.
In late 1950 VF-111 “The Sundowners” took their F9F-2B Panthers to Korea aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47). On November 9, 1950 VF-111 Lt. CMDR William Amen was the lead aircraft providing support to F4U Corsairs and AD-4 Skyraiders when five MiG-15s were encountered. During that encounter Amen became the first person to ever record a jet-to-jet victory. VF-111 was later upgraded to the F9F-5 Panther and completed more cruises on the USS Valley Forge, USS Boxer and USS Lake Champlain.