F9F Cougar

The USS Lexington Museum has unveiled a very special painted F9F-8 Cougar

By Dario Leone
Oct 21 2016
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The F9F-8 paint job is not permanent thanks to the dishwashing liquid applied to latex paint

On Oct. 17, 2016 the USS Lexington Museum, in Corpus Christi, Texas, unveiled the very first F9F-8 Cougar painted in pink.

The aircraft will be on display on the flight deck of the World War II vintage Essex Class aircraft carrier for the whole month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

The F9F-8 paint job, a vivid shade of pink named “Heliconia” conceived by the Director of Operations & Exhibits Rusty Reustle, is not permanent thanks to the dishwashing liquid applied to latex paint. Noteworthy this technique is similar to that used by Disney for painting the aircraft which took part in the blockbuster movie Pearl Harbor.

The Cougar was based on the F9F-5, but replaced the Panther‘s straight wing with a new swept wing and horizontal stabilizer. Furthermore the Cougar featured a more powerful engine and the aircraft was able to carry more fuel than the previous Panther. The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, flew the Cougar (both the F9F-6 and F9F-8 variants) from 1953 to 1957.

Pink Cougar

Top photo credit: U.S. Navy. Bottom photo credit: USS Lexington Museum Facebook page


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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