Hobby Master HA7203 | Grumman F9F-2 Panther ATU-206 (Advanced Training Unit) NAS Pensacola, Florida, 1956

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Grumman F9F-2 Panther
ATU-206 (Advanced Training Unit)
NAS Pensacola, Florida, 1956
LIMITED EDITION with certificate


Scale 1:48 / Diecast model 


General Background:


The F9F Panther entered service in 1949. It was the first Grumman jet fighter, first Carrier-
Borne Navy jet fighter in combat, first USN jet to shoot down an enemy airplane, first jet
aircraft used by the Blue Angels. A total of 1,382 F9Fs were made. VF-781 was the first
squadron to volunteer for combat in Korea and were 100% volunteers earning them the
name “Pacemakers”.
Ironically the USSR was  making the same engine under license from Rolls-Royce for
their Mig-15 that would be one of the F9F’s main Korean adversaries. The F9F flew
78,000 sorties with VF-781 flying 2,721 of them without a single loss of life. The US
Marines flew the Panther until 1957 with some Reserve Units continuing to fly them a few
years longer. Some aircraft were used for advanced pilot training and some became

The Aircraft:


In 1825 the US Government realized the importance of Pensacola’s location and the vast timber supply available in the region. The President ordered a Navy yard be built on the
spot where NAS Pensacola is located today. Over the years the base was destroyed and rebuilt only to be destroyed again or abandoned. These things came about during the American Civil War, a hurricane and tidal wave and an outbreak of yellow fever. In 1911 with the first successful landing of an airplane on a ship and the later development of a mechanism to catapult launch an airplane the US Navy realized the potential of the airplane and in 1914 ordered the creation of the first Naval Air Station at Pensacola. Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, known as the "Cradle of Naval Aviation" has been responsible for training thousands of aviators for WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.It was through these training units located at Pensacola and elsewhere that pilots learned more about aircraft and the weapons available to them. The Gulf of Mexico provided a
large area for weapons testing. Most of the aircraft used here were outdated as far as front line service was concerned but still provided valuable training.

Specification for the Grumman F9F-2 Panther

1 X Pratt & Whitney J42-P-6/P-8 turbojet
Rated at – 5,000 lb.s.t. for takeoff dry
5,950 lb.s.t. for takeoff with water injection

Maximum speed – 575 mph at sea level, 545 mph at 22,000 feet, 529 mph at 3,500 feet
Cruising speed – 487 mph
Landing speed - 105 mph
Initial climb rate – 5,140 feet per minute
Service ceiling – 44,600 feet
Normal range – 1,353 miles

Wingspan - 38 feet 0 inches
Length - 37 feet 5 3/8 inches
Height - 11 feet 4 inches
Wing area - 250 square feet.

Empty – 9,303 pounds
Combat - 14,235 pounds
Gross - 16,450 pounds
Take-off - 19,494 pounds maximum

Internal fuel capacity:
923 US gallons

4 X 20-mm cannon.
Under-wing loads of up to 2,000 pounds of bombs
and rockets could be carried on eight under-wing racks.

Pensacola Has A Haunting History

An aura of mystery and splendor pervades "Admiral's Row."  Significant on Johnson
Street is Quarters "A," a stately home where the air station's most senior officer, the Chief
of Naval Education and Training, and family reside. When this area was built in 1874, the
Commandant of the old Navy Yard lived here.
Now, for a haunting good yarn to spellbind you, and former Quarters "A," residents say it
is true!

As the story goes, Commodore Melanchton B. Woolsey was the first commandant to live
here. He was terrified of contracting yellow fever, since an epidemic had already claimed
thousands of lives and he didn't want to be the disease's next victim.
He erroneously believed as others did also, that disease-carrying mosquitoes could only
fly a few feet high. So, Woolsey moved into the third story cupola. He got his meals, rum
(which he claimed was a "tonic" against the fever), and tobacco for his pipe by lowering a
basket on a rope from one of the cupola's windows.
One day his servant forgot the rum! Woolsey died soon thereafter. Yet, as residents
know, his spirit stayed on in the house. Perhaps to stay with a lovely lady, transparent
and clad in white, who also resides in Quarters "A", forever.

Building 16

Building 16 is another certified haunted place. This octagonal-shaped building was the
Officers' Quarters during the 1920s, and today, some say the building is haunted by a
patron of that decade.
In 1924, Marine Captain Guy Hall, a flight instructor, enjoyed playing poker when he
wasn't flying. While playing, he had a habit of picking up his poker chips, then letting them
fall to the table.
Hall died during a training mission in the 1920s, and on more than one occasion since
that fateful day, people in building 16 have heard what sounds like poker chips hitting the
table. How about a friendly game of poker in building 16?