This Day in History: Pratt & Whitney Powers F9F-6 Cougars on Record Breaking Flight
Pratt & Whitney J48 jet engines broke records 60 years ago when they powered three Grumman F9F-6 Cougars from San Diego to New York. On April 1, 1954, Lt. Cmdr. Francis X. Brady flew the lead Cougar across the 2,438-mile route in three hours, 45 minutes and 30 seconds. The three Cougars bettered the old transcontinental time by more than 20 minutes.
The J48 engine started production in 1950. At that time, it was the most powerful turbojet in the United States, providing 6,250 pounds of dry static thrust and up to 8,750 pounds with afterburner and water injection. It powered the Navy's F9F-5 Panther and F9F-6 Cougar manufactured by Grumman, as well as the Air Force's Lockheed F-94C Starfire and North American F-93A. The J48 engine was active during the Korean Conflict in the early 50s, along with the company's product line of piston engines.