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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
First flight
21st February 1945
Entered service
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 plane lighter and smaller than the Tempest. However the plane impressed the Air Ministry so much that a dedicated specification of F.2/43 was written around the design and with the Royal Navy (RN) also interested in the plane the design was modified to meet RN Specification N.7/43. Hawker would work on the Royal Air Force (RAF) 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 (FAA), of which 100 would be built by Boulton Paul. As the Second World War ended the RAF cancelled their ordered 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 plane 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 during late 1946 early 1947 for trials. After these trials were concluded the Sea Fury entered service with Nos. 778, 802, 803, 805 and 807 Squadrons. The following year in May 1948 802 Squadron became the first to receive the Hawker Sea Fury Mk FB.11 out of the 615 to be built. A small number of these would serve with the Royal Australian and Royal Canadian Navies.

To late to see service in World War 2 the Hawker Sea Fury, along with the Fairey Firefly, would provide the 'heavy attack' element for the RN, 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, one of the few propeller planes to shoot down a jet aircraft.

By the time production ended 860 Hawker Sea Furys had been built and it was the last propeller fighter to serve with the RN and would stay in service until the mid 1950's. 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.


Click on the aeroplane image to view a larger version.

Max 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.11 460 mph 700 miles 35,800 ft four 20mm cannons
and either 2,500lb bombs or
twelve 3-in rocket projectiles or
four 180lb rocket projectiles
Sea Fury T.20 Two-seat trainer version.
Sea Fury F.50 Designation given to fighter version exported to Holland.
Sea Fury FB.51 Designation given to fighter-bomber version exported to Holland.
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.

On Display

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

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

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