INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT

 

 

Hawker Sea Fury 

 

History

The Hawker Sea Fury Carrier borne fighter-bomber was the British Fleet Air Arm's last piston-engined fighter, developed during WWII it did not see service with the Fleet Air Arm until after the war. It was arguably the fastest piston powered aircraft ever manufactured.

It was a development from the Hawker Tempest, itself a development of the Hawker Typhoon. Originally, the Hawker Fury was designed by Sidney Camm in 1942 under F.2/43 specification, to provide the RAF with a lightweight replacement for the Tempest II.

On  23 June, 1942, Luftwaffe Pilot Oberleutnant Arnim Faber erroneously landed his Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 fighter at RAF Pembrey, apparently having mistaken this airfield for a Luftwaffe channel coast airfield. The British were thereby presented with a working example of the Fw 190 fighter, which had been giving the RAF an extremely difficult time. The Hawker Fury design was a direct result of the examination of Faber's Fw 190A-3. Examination of Faber's aircraft was largely responsible for the preparation of Specification F.6/42, which called for a new, high-performance fighter.

The design was modified in 1943 to meet a Royal Navy specification (N.7/43) for a carrier-based interceptor and named the Hawker Sea Fury. Hawker was designated to work on the land-based version, and responsibility for the naval conversion was assigned to Boulton-Paul Aircraft Ltd. of Wolverhampton.

Prototype Hawker Sea Fury SR661 in 1944

Early in 1944, a revised naval specification, N.22/43, supplanted N.7/43. and in April 1944 contracts were placed for 200 F.2/43 planes for the RAF and 200 N.22/43 planes for the Fleet Air Arm. The first Sea Fury prototype, SR661, flew on 21 February, 1945. It was powered by a Centaurus XII engine driving a four-bladed propeller. This airplane had a deck arrester hook under the rudder, but retained fixed wings. The second Sea Fury prototype, SR666, was powered by a Centaurus XV driving a five-bladed propeller and was a fully navalized aircraft with folding wings. The prototype Sea Fury SR661 was subsequently tested for its suitability as a naval fighter, and in deck landing trials, at the A&AEE Boscombe Down in May 1945. Tests were still underway as the Japanese surrendered in August 1945.

With the end of the Second World War, the RAF cancelled all production contracts for the Fury, deciding to concentrate all of its future efforts on jet fighters. The Royal Navy reduced its order for Sea Furies to 100 aircraft, and canceled the Boulton-Paul contract in its entirety.

The first production aircraft - a Mark 10 which was a carrier-based version, with folding wings- did not make its initial flight until September 1946. Although originally intended to serve with both the RAF and FAA, the RAF order was cancelled at the end of the war. The first deck trials with Sea Fury TF898 began aboard HMS Victorious during the winter of 1946-47. The Mark 10 was approved for carrier operations in Spring 1947, and five Fleet Air Arm squadrons were then equipped with the Sea Fury. The Mark 10 was followed by the Mark 11 fighter-bomber - 615 of these were eventually delivered to the Navy.  It became the Fleet Air Arm's principal single-seat fighter and remained so until the introduction of the Sea Hawk jet fighter in 1953.

The Sea Fury served throughout the Korean War, replacing the Seafire, which was not really built for carrier operations, being too fragile.

The Sea Fury was used by the FAA, Canada, Holland, Australia, and other countries including the Iraq Air Force. A total of 75 Sea Furies served with the Royal Canadian Navy(R.C.N.) between 1948 and 1956. All flew from the Aircraft Carrier HMCS Magnificent in 871 squadron.


PHOTOGRAPH OF RCN SEAFURIES IN FLIGHT
DND Photos of Pre-1970 Canadian Naval Air Assets
Versions
 Mk.X
                50 built, first production variant powered by Centaurus XV
 FB.MK 11
                First widespread variant, 615 built including 31 for the RAN and 53 for the
                RCN.
 T.Mk 20
                60 trainers, 10 of which were later converted to target tugs for West
                Germany.
    Fleet Air Arm history
        Hawker Sea Fury
        Total FAA 1939-1945:        1 (a total 725 built post-war)
        First delivered to RN:         May 1945 to A&AEE only
        First squadron 1939-1945:   None 1939-1945
        Operational squadron:         None in 1939-1945. Saw trials in Oct 1945 and service from 1947
        Last served with RN           1955 - last Sea Fury squadron disbanded

Serials of the Sea Fury 11 were TF956-TF973, TF985-TF999, TG113-TG129, VR918-VR952, VW224-VW243, VW541-VW590, VW621-VW670,  VW691-VW718, VX608-VX643, VX650-VX696, VX707-VX711, VX724-VX730, VX748-VX764, WF590-WF595, WF610-WF627, WE673-WE694, WE708-WE736, WE785-WE806, WM472-WM482, WM487-WM495, WG564-WG575, WG590-WG604, WG621-WG630, WH581-WH594, WH612-WH623, WJ221-WJ248, WH276-WJ292, WJ294-WJ297, WJ299-WJ301, WN474-WN479, WN484-WN487, and WX627-WX656.

Aircraft Type:
Hawker Sea Fury
Mark:
Prototype 1939-1945, postwar Mk X
Primary Role:
Carrier borne fighter-bomber
First Flight: 
Prototypes - September 1944/February 1945
First production aircraft - a Mark 10 - did not make its initial flight until September 1946
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
Entered Service:  October 1945 for fully navalized version- 1950s
Manufacturer:
Hawker was designated to work on the land-based
version, and responsibility for the naval conversion was assigned to Boulton-Paul Aircraft Ltd. of Wolverhampton.
Engine:
One 2,480hp Bristol Centaurus 18 air-cooled radial engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan 11.7m
Wing Area 26.01 sq m
Length 10.57m
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Empty Weight: 4,191kg 
Maximum Take Off Weight 5,670kg
Speed: 
Ceiling: 
Range:
Speed:740kmh at 4,586m 
Radius 1,127km without external fuel tanks 
Service Ceiling 10,912m
Armament: 
Four 20mm cannon 
2,000lb of bombs or twelve 3-inch rocket projectiles
Crew:
1
Squadrons:
Prototype to A&AEE
Battle honours:
None in 1939-1945, postwar involvement in Korea
Additional references and notes:
-
 

Battle Honours and Operational History



 Fleet Air Arm Seafury onboard RN Aircraft Carrier postwar

Surviving aircraft and relics

Royal Naval Historic Flight (UK)
Hawker Sea Fury FBII WG655 which crashed in 1991.

Fleet Air Arm Seafury FB.II TF958 of the RNHF

Seafury VX653/G-BUCM preserved and airworthy at the Fighter Collection (UK)



Southern Cross Racing Team Hawker Sea Fury MKB11 "Southern Cross"

Southern Cross Racing Team Hawker Sea Fury MKB11 "Southern Cross" : This aircraft Finished 9th place in the Gold Unlimited division during the 1997 Reno National Championship Air Races at 378.844 mph. Unique dual wing-tip vortices smoke generators, the ultimate in aerial demonstrations! performs a convincing aerobatic routine in the Hawker Sea Fury (one of the world’s fastest propeller-driven fighter) and is powered by the 3350 Skyraider engine (the Skyraider, being the world’s largest single engine aircraft). Out of this marriage of aircraft and engine evolves the "Southern Cross," the world’s greatest fighter.

Naval Museum of Alberta Sea Fury F.B. II WG 565

War Eagles Air Museum Sea Fury (K-253) 'Magnificent Obsession"



Preserved Seafury FB Mk.II ZK-SFR (c/n37723) Serial No. 326


Sea Fury Miss Merced "87" at the Reno Air Races September 2000  photos copyright ©2000 Mark Johnston.
 


Royal Canadian Navy Sea Fury Argonaut TG114_BC-L_at the Reno Air Races September 2000  photos copyright ©2000 Mark Johnston.
 


Preserved Seafury Sea Fury T Mk.20S N924G VX300 Marked with Fleet Air Arm codes "RN 924/88".
Sanders Aircraft, Chino CA (USA)


Associations and reunions


RCN Seafury FB Mk11 VF871 HMCS Magnificent 1953


FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Moore's Aviation website on the Sea Fury Warbird Alley, an online reference source for information about privately-owned, ex-military aircraft. Includes details and specs and a summary total of airworthy aircraft including the Sea Fury.
Royal Naval Historic Flight and The Swordfish Heritage Trust The airworthy Sea Furies of the Historic Flight
Fury and Sea Fury Hawker Web Pages by Harry Website dedicated to Hawker aircraft - the Typhoon, Tempest, Fury and Seafury, including history, first experiences, location of survivors, Reno races 
Fury Reno Air Racers - Fury and Sea Furies in Hawker Web Pages by Harry Website with dedicated summary information about each of the Sea Furies taking part in the Reno races
Warbird Alley Warbird Alley, an online reference source for information about privately-owned, ex-military aircraft. Includes details and specs and a summary total of airworthy aircraft including the Sea Fury.
Hawker Sea Fury by FAASIG Hawker Sea Fury in close up - FAA Museum
Kiwi Aircraft Images by Phillip Treweek See the Kiwi Aircraft Images from New Zealand for detailed images of the Sea Fury. Hawker (Baghdad) Sea Fury details in New Zealand
Flightline and the Sea Fury Summary of the Sea Fury aviation career. Includes colour profiles of FAA Sea Fury in squadron markings.
Moore Aviation Restoration, Inc. -- Sea Fury
FlyPast Magazine - March, 2000 No.200 Flying the Sea Fury by Steve Noujaim Flying the Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 REG: N56SF. Article in the Flypast magazine [pdf] file.
Naval Museum of Manitoba DND Photos of Pre-1970 Canadian Naval Air Assets
Hawker Fury -- Fury Chapter 1
Last revised: 19 November 1995 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 by Carl Pettypiece's Hurl
Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 fighter at RAF Pembrey, apparently having mistaken this airfield for a Luftwaffe channel coast airfield. The British were thereby presented with a working example of the Fw 190 fighter, which had been giving the RAF an extremely difficult time. The Hawker Fury design was a direct result of the examination of Faber's Fw 190A-3.
Hawker Sea Fury in Action  SQUADRON/SIGNAL PUBLICATIONS, INC. No 117. ISBN 0-89747-267-5
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 085130 232 7 
 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000

 

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