The Grumman F11F Tiger was an attempt to obtain the maximum possible performance from an aircraft based on the firm’s highly successful F9F Panther/Cougar series of Navy fighters. While its predecessors enjoyed great success, the F11F was a mediocre combat aircraft.
The straight-wing F9F Panther, which first flew in 1947, evolved into the swept-wing Cougar. Both fighters were highly successful. The Grumman F11F design—begun in 1953 as the F9F-8 and then F9F-9—turned out to be a totally new design with several distinct differences from its predecessors: The F11F had a thinner wing, fuselage-side intakes, low-mounted horizontal tailplane, and an afterburning engine.1 The most distinctive feature of the new fighter was its “area rule” or “Coke-bottle” fuselage for improved high-speed performance.