by Tommy H. Thomason

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Photo Panthers: F9F-2P vs. F9F-5P

To start with, the F9F-2 and F9F-5 were similar but different in detail. The -5 had an eight-inch plug in the forward fuselage ahead of the engine inlet, a somewhat larger vertical tail, and other more subtle changes. See

However, although the -2P and -5P have very different noses, most published pictures and illustrations that are identified as being of -2Ps are actually -5Ps.

The -2P was a depot-level kludge to convert a fighter for the photo-reconnaissance mission. (The F2H-2P was a few months away from operational use and a jet photo-reconnaissance capability was needed in Korea.) The existing nose cone was modified by blocking off the gun ports and adding a flush clear panel in its upper left side. The armament was removed and replaced with a platform for an oblique camera. The nose cone slid forward for access to this camera.

The gun sight was removed and replaced with a camera control panel.

On at least some F9F-2Ps, a camera window was also added on the underside of the nose cone for a downward facing camera,

The nose cone had to be removed for access to this camera.

The F9F-5P, on the other hand, was a bespoke photo-reconnaissance jet procured from Grumman. It had a 12-inch longer nose. Only the front part slid forward. The aft section was accessed by a sideward-hinged door.

The F9F-5P had a flat-panel windows on each side of the nose and two downward-facing windows under the nose. There were various combinations of cameras that could be installed.
The pilot was provided with a large viewfinder in lieu of the gun sight to be able to accurately position the airplane for pictures of the terrain and objects of interest directly below it. There was a small clear panel for the periscope aft of the downward facing windows. There was also one just forward of them in the sliding section for a small movie camera.

No comments:

Post a Comment