Why The Grumman Cougar Has Two Windshields
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Small But Important Feature
The TF-9J is the training variant of the Grumman F-9 Cougar. Like most trainers, the TF-9J has two seats inside the cockpit. But what’s even more interesting is the fact that it has a windshield separating the two pilots inside. Why is that?
When the Cougar first entered the Navy as a trainer, there were no ejection seats available for the pilot to use. To provide a quicker escape route, the aircrew would take off and land from carriers with the canopy fully open.
The windshields would then protect the slightly-elevated pilot sitting in the rear.
Interestingly, the only version of the Cougar to ever see combat was the TF-9J trainer during the Vietnam War. There, the Cougars were used for Forward Air Control, directing airstrikes in South Vietnam from 1966 to 1968.