The Grumman XF10F Jaguar survived as only a single completed, flyable prototype and existed briefly from 1952 into 1953.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the United States Navy; Public Domain.
The Model 83 was a submission put forward by Grumman to the United States Navy (USN) as a single-seat, single-engine jet fighter. The proposal was revealed in early September of 1947 and intended for carrier-based operations - as a fighter it could carry a battery of 4 x 20mm cannon (never fitted) as well as bombs and rockets for the strike role. Unlike other early-generation jet fighters, the Model 83 was to fit the APS-19 radar. The wing mainplanes were fitted amidships and sported sweepback along the leading edges while the tail section, encompassing a single fin, mounted the horizontal planes high (forming a "T" style tail unit). The jet engine would be aspirated through wingroot intakes keeping the nose free for armament and radar. The cockpit was set ahead of midships with generally good vision for the pilot.
It was intended that the aircraft would take on the British Rolls-Royce "Nene" turbojet engine as the "XJ42-TT-2" to be produced locally by Taylor Turbine. The engine was to produce up to 5,000 lb of dry thrust output and featured an afterburning capability which would increase thrust to 8,000 lb for short periods. The prototype designation for the Model 83 became "XF10F-1" and an April 1948 USN contract followed for two machines (one flyable and other a static test article). The name "Jaguar" was eventually associated with the design.
Preliminary work provided unique insight into the proposed aircraft and issues related to handling were revealed which led engineers to rework some facets of the design. A "variable incidence" wing was introduced to compensate and a USN increase to the fighter's expected range brought about additional revisions which, inevitably, led to increased overall weight for the carrier-based fighter development. Grumman was able to produce a mockup before mid-1949 but the program was beginning to face rising obstacles which put its future in doubt. The Westinghouse afterburning XJ40 turbojet was now the engine being fitted promising thrust output up to 11,000 lb.
Instead of the variable incidence wing, Grumman managed to convince USN authorities that a variable-geometry wing would solve ongoing handling issues at low- and high-speeds and this was then installed on the finalized prototype. The product achieved its first flight in prototype on May 19th, 1952. Sufficiently impressed, the USN followed an order for 112 machines under the model designation of "F10F".
Despite the push forward, the Jaguar ended its service life as only a single prototype (the second prototype lay incomplete before the end). There proved too many issues (performance, technically and mechanically related) for the Jaguar to overcome - performance from the temperamental XJ40-WE-8 engine led to an underpowered aircraft as thrust output reached only 6,800 lb during tests. The variable-geometry wing worked as planned but proved a bit too impractical for frontline carrier-based fighter use. As a result, the Model 83 / XF10F project was ended where it stood (and the production order subsequently cancelled) during April 1953. Despite this, the exposure for Grumman engineers was priceless despite the overall "failure" of the product in question - the "swing-wing" capability was used to perfection in the Grumman F-14 "Tomcat" fleet defense fighter of the 1970s.
Grumman performance estimates for their Model 83 included a maximum speed of 686 miles per hour, a service ceiling of at least 30,000 feet and a rate-of-climb nearing 10,100 feet-per-minute. Combat radius was listed at 440 miles. The XF10F-1 prototype exhibited a maximum speed of 710 miles per hour and a range out to 1,670 miles. Both airframes were ultimately expended or scrapped.
[ 1 Units ] : Grumman Aircraft - USA
United States (cancelled)
- Navy / Maritime
- X-Plane / Developmental
55.77 ft (17 m)
50.59 ft (15.42 m)
16.24 ft (4.95 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Grumman XF10F Jaguar production model)
20,426 lb (9,265 kg)
35,450 lb (16,080 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Grumman XF10F Jaguar production model)
1 x Westinghouse XJ40-WE-8 turbojet engine developing 6,800lb of thrust.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Grumman XF10F Jaguar production model)
684 mph (1,100 kph; 594 kts)
30,184 feet (9,200 m; 5.72 miles)
1,659 miles (2,670 km; 1,442 nm)
10,100 ft/min (3,078 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Grumman XF10F Jaguar production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
4 x 20mm autocannons in the nose.
Underwing hardpoints for the carrying of conventional drop bombs and rockets to fulfill the strike role.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Grumman XF10F Jaguar production model)
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