Sunday, June 6, 2021

Grumman F9F-8P Photoflash Cartridge Ejector Pylon

ReccePhreak asked about the F9F-8P's photoflash pod needed for night aerial photography. The answer turned out to be hidden in plain sight and it wasn't a pod but more of a pylon. It isn't identified on the F9F-8P SAC three-view but it's there at Wing Station 96, 25 inches outboard of the pylon used for external tanks and just outboard of the wing fence:

I also found two pictures of it on the wing in Steve Ginter's Naval Fighters Number Sixty-Seven, Grumman F9F-6P/8P Photo-Cougar:


And another, not mounted, in my files:

Note that it's about twice the width and depth of the inboard pylon. Jerry Wells then provided me with technical manual information for the F9F-8P and F2H-2P that included a description of the two different flash-cartridge holders and this isometric cutaway illustration of the F9F-8P Mk 51 Mod 14 pylon.

That allowed me to create this notional drawing of the pylon (Butt Line is the same as Wing Station):

Note that the Ejector Type A-6 contains 52 flash cartridges and the B-4, 20 somewhat larger ones.

The F2H-2P did utilize a pod that incorporated the A-6 and B-4 cartridge holders for night photography.

This is my notional illustration of that pod.

One point of confusion is that the F2H technical manual was explicit about a pod with the B-4 ejector being loaded on station 7 only but the 20-cartridge pod in the picture above my drawing is mounted on Station 2 (the eight pylons are numbered from left to right).

Note that the pod in both pictures appears to be mounted on the outboard F2H pylon (station 1/8) that was located farther forward than the next one inboard but that's because a fairing was added on the front of the AERO 14 pylon at station 2/7 to cover the wiring added to control the flash cartridge deployment.

For more on the F2H pylon installation, see


  1. GREAT information Tommy!!
    A LOT of hard work & research on your part.
    Now I can start to scratch build the photoflash pylons for my Kitty Hawk F9F-8P kit, and eventually build the pods for my Airfix Banshee kit.
    Larry Engesath

  2. you happen to have any information on the RA-5C Vigilante flasher pods
    Rainer Ehrhardt