And here's my favourite what if !
I made a profile of a French Naval Aviation F-9J (F9F-8) and its fictitious operational history.
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I am open to any suggestions for improving both the profile and the story !!!During the 1956 Egyptian campaign, two MiG-15s managed to slightly damage the French aircraft carrier Arromanches (R95), despite being intercepted by F4U-7s, which were unable to repel them.
In the aftermath of the crisis, the "Royale" decided to acquire a swept-wing fighter designed to carry out daytime fighter and interception missions.
After evaluating different types of aircraft (F9F Panther/Cougar, FJ-3 Fury, Sea Hawk, A-4, etc.) and requesting proposals from various French manufacturers, the F9F Cougar was chosen.
This solution was considered to be the best and most economical way of carrying out fighter missions before the arrival of the Dassault Étendards.
An order for 24 second-hand F9F-8s and 4 F9F-8Ts was placed in 1957. An option was taken for a further 8 F9F-8s and 4 F9F-8Ts which was used in 1960.
A few right-wing F9F Panthers were offered by the US Navy to help with pilot training and carrier testing, and were used until 1959.
The order was honoured in 1958 and the aircraft entered service with Flotille 14F. They were given a blue livery similar to that of the Corsairs.
They were mainly used on the Arromanches (R95) until 1968, but also on the Foch and the Clémenceau, although occasionally.
Between 1959 and 1962, they were sometimes used for ground attack missions in Algeria.
With the arrival of the Etendards, they became pure fighters, and from 1964 were used to complement the F-8E(FN) Crusaders.
In 1965 they received a new grey livery similar to that of the Crouzes.
In 1971, the 16 surviving F9F-8s and 6 F9F-8Ts were relegated to training and in 1974 were definitively withdrawn from service.
In 1975, a project was considered to convert 10 Cougars into two-seaters for training F-8 pilots, with a similar cockpit, but the project was finally abandoned after the modification of a prototype, unofficially named TF-9E(FN).
In 1957/58, the Arromanches was rebuilt. At that stage, it could have been fitted with a sufficiently powerful catapult for the Cougar.That was by accident.
Our F9F can't operate on Independencia, because the catapult don not have enough power.
But in your What if scenario, it´s fix.