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Hawker Sea Fury

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The Sea Fury would be the Royal Navy's last propeller engined fighter and was one of the fastest propeller aircraft produced. The Hawker Sea Fury would see action during the Korean War and a Mk FB.11 was credited with shooting down a MiG-15 jet fighter.

Quick Facts
Hawker Sea Fury side profile image
First flight
21st February 1945
Entered service
August 1947
Total built

Front view
Sea Fury front view photo
Side view
Sea Fury side view photo
Rear view
Sea Fury rear view photo

With the success of the Hawker Tempest thoughts turned to an improved aircraft meeting the Specification F.6/42 requirements which would make the aircraft lighter and smaller than the Tempest. However the aircraft impressed the Air Ministry so much that a dedicated specification of F.2/43 was written around the design and with the Royal Navy also interested in the aircraft the design was modified to meet Royal Navy Specification N.7/43. Hawker would work on the Royal Air Force design named the Fury and Boulton Paul would undertake the conversion of the aircraft to naval standards, named the Sea Fury.

Six prototypes had been ordered by the end of 1943 and one was kept back to be used as a test airframe, two would be powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffon with another two powered by the Bristol Centaurus XXII and the final prototype would have the Bristol Centaurus XII engine. It was the Hawker Fury prototype that would be the first to fly when on the 1st September 1944 it took to the skies, this was followed a couple of months later by the Griffon powered prototype which flew on the 27th November 1944, although the Napier Sabre VII engine would replace the Rolls-Royce Griffon later on.

During April 1944 production contracts were placed for 200 Hawker Furys for the RAF and 200 Hawker Sea Furys for the Fleet Air Arm, of which 100 would be built by Boulton Paul. As the Second World War (1939 – 1945) ended the Royal Air Force cancelled their order but development of the Sea Fury would continue. The first Sea Fury prototype flew on the 21st February 1945 powered by the Bristol Centaurus XII and featured non-folding wings and an arrester hook and it wouldn't be for another eight months until the first fully navalised Hawker Sea Fury prototype flew when a Bristol Centaurus XV engined aircraft flew on the 12th October 1945.

During January 1945 the Boulton Paul contract for 100 Sea Furys had been cancelled which left 100 on order. Half of these were completed as Mk X fighters and the first one flew on the 7th September 1946 and the third was sent to HMS Victorious (R38) during late 1946 early 1947 for trials. After these trials were concluded the Sea Fury entered service in August 1947 with No. 803 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Canadian Navy with No. 778 and 787 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm receiving theirs the next month.

To late to see service in the Second World War the Hawker Sea Fury, along with the Fairey Firefly, would provide the 'heavy attack' element for the Royal Navy and would prove itself to be just as good if not superior as the enemy jets it faced. In fact a Sea Fury shot down a MiG-15 on the 9th August 1952 during the Korean War (1950 - 1953), one of the few propeller aircraft to shoot down a jet aircraft.

By the time production ended 864 Hawker Sea Furys had been built and it was the last propeller fighter to serve with the Royal Navy and would stay in service with the Fleet Air Arm until 1953 when the Hawker Sea Hawk started to replace it. A number of Sea Furys were also converted to T.20 two-seat trainers during the latter part of 1950 to help reserve pilots get experience on the type as it replaced their Supermarine Seafire aircraft.

Technical Details

Click on the aircraft image to view a larger version.

Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Sea Fury Mk X 465 mph 710 miles 36,000 ft four 20mm cannons
Sea Fury F.10 465 mph 710 miles 36,000 ft four 20mm cannons
Sea Fury FB.11 450 mph 700 miles 37,800 ft four 20mm cannons
and either 2,500lb bombs or
twelve 3-in rocket projectiles or
four 180lb rocket projectiles
Sea Fury FB.11 side profile image
Sea Fury T.20 Two-seat trainer version.
Sea Fury F.50 Designation given to fighter version exported to the Netherlands.
Sea Fury FB.51 Designation given to fighter-bomber version exported to the Netherlands.
Sea Fury FB.60 Designation given to fighter-bomber version exported to Pakistan.
Sea Fury T.61 Two seater trainer version.


Click on a photo to view a larger version.
Sea Fury FB.11
Sea Fury T.20

See This Aircraft

(C) = Cockpit only exhibit. (F) = Fuselage only exhibit. (R) = Remains of an aircraft.

Sea Fury FB.11 Fleet Air Arm Museum
Sea Fury FB.11 Imperial War Museum, Duxford
Sea Fury T.20

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