F9F Grumman Cougar jet monument

The posted photo is of a Grumman Couger F9F Jet on display in the town of Woodridge, N.Y.

It is hard to find information about how this plane got to Woodridge but it appears to have been brought here by former mayor R Elliot in the early 1960's.

The Blue Angels insignia on the side of the jet refers to an elite team that does acrobatic maneuvers at public airshows around the world. Only the best of the best US Navy pilots get to be "Blue Angels".

Unique Flight control system,
At one point I was going to model this plane for the x-plane® flight simulator so I learned about its unique flight control system, which is similar to the Boeing 707 or Boeing B-52 in that it uses spoilers to control roll control, however in the F9F the ailerons have been completely deleted, the plane has absolutely no ailerons. The purpose of this aerodynamic control system is that it reduces drag by a small amount. Normally, when ailerons are deployed they create a small amount of drag as they are forced into the wind. This method of utilizing spoilers to dump the lift on one wing thereby causing the plane to rotate around the roll axis gives the same effect as ailerons but causes less drag. The effect on performance is not necessarily very large but it is a sensible and viable alternate method to conventional ailerons. The B-52 for example uses both spoilers and ailerons to control roll control, where as the F9F uses only spoilers for roll control, it has absolutely no ailerons.

The link below is a youtube video showing, at 3:00, what I believe to be the actual plane as it was in the 1950s. The pilots name on the side of the plane "Bruce Bagwell", in the video, is the same name as the one on the jet in Woodridge.


According to this article, In August 1954, Blue Angel leader LCDR Ray Hawkins became the first person to survive an ejection at supersonic speeds when his F9F-6 became uncontrollable on a cross-country flight.


There is a discrepancy in Wikipedia claiming that in February 26 1955 George F. Smith became the first person to survive a supersonic ejection, from a North American F-100 Super Sabre travelling at Mach 1.05.

My understanding is that Hawkins was the first and Smith was the fastest. Ejecting at a much lower altitude where air is thicker Smith was terribly injured, unconscious for 6 days and hospitalized for 7 months.


The predecessor of the F9F Grumman Cougar, the F9F Grumman Panther, was used in the famous 1950s movie Bridges at Toko Ri, based on the novel by James Michener, it is about a mission during the Korean war. The only difference between the F9F Cougar and F9F Panther is that the Panther has straight wings with fuel tanks on the wing tips and the F9F has swept back wings. As side from this, the fuselage is exactly the same.

According to my research there are only 9 examples of twin seater F9F's left in the world:

Surviving twin seaters:

Tail number 142442 in Woodridge NY

147397 at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona

146417 at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon

142985 at Moton Field, Tuskegee, AL

147287 in Kissimmee Florida

147276 on the USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas

.66475 on the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point in South Carolina

142463 - Naval Aviation Museum of Argentina, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

147283 - Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Article by Michael Wilson April 5th 2014.

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