Home
Pilot/Owner
The Unlimited Air Crew
Media/Videos
Race Results
Risky's History
Contact Us/Email List
Sea Fury History
Bad Attitude 2006
The Healer 2006
Risky Restoration
Reno 2002 BA Gallery
Reno 2002 RB Gallery
Old Gallery
2002 News
BA Prep 03
2003 News

 

Hawker Sea Fury History

Type: Sea Fury FB Mk.II
Serial #: WM483
Registry: N42SF
Base: Jerome, ID

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.

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.

Operators

 RAAF, RCAF, RAF, Netherlands, Cuba, Germany.
 

Versions

 Mk.X
                50 built, first production variant powered by Centaurus XV (fighter-bomber)
 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.  (two seat trainer)

Mk. 50     (first foreign variant)

 

   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 two-row 18 cylinder air-cooled radial engine

 Wing Span: Length: 

Wing Area:

Length:

Height: 

Wingspan-38 ft 4 3/4 in (11.7 m)
Wing Area-26.01 sq m
Length -34 ft 8 in (10.57m)

Height-16 ft 1 in (4.9 m)

Empty Weight: Max.Weight:

Empty Weight: 9,240 lb (4,190 kg)
Maximum Take Off Weight 12,500 lb (5,670 kg)

Speed: 

Ceiling: 

Range:

 

Rate of Climb:

Speed:740kmh at 460 mph (740 km/h) 
Service Ceiling 35,800 ft (10,912 m)
Radius 700 mi (1,127 km)

without external fuel tanks

30,000 ft (9,140 m)/10 min 48 sec

Armament: 

Four 20mm cannon 
2,000lb of bombs or

twelve 3-inch rocket projectiles

Crew:

1

Squadrons:

Prototype to A&AEE

Battle honors:

None in 1939-1945, postwar involvement in Korea

Battle Honors and Operational History

None in 1939-1945, postwar it had significant involvement in the Korean war. Paired with the Fairey Firefly, it provided the "heavy attack" element for the Royal Navy carriers that served in the Korean War.

Sea Furies were used extensively throughout the Korean war, mainly in the ground attack role (with Fireflies), flying from HMS Glory, HMS Ocean, HMS Theseus and the Australian carrier HMAS Sydney. Even in the Korean war the Sea Fury was one of the best of it's type, showing itself on many  occasions to be superior to the more up-to-date enemy jets of the Korean  conflict.

Fleet Air Arm Hawker Seafury y F.B. 11 O-114 of 802 squadron (HMS Ocean) flown by Lt P "Hoagy" Carmichael on 9 August 1952  shot down a MiG-15 was the first such kill by a piston-engine fighter, and the only kill by a British pilot flying a British aircraft during the Korean War.

 

 

Original paint scheme


 

More Background

On April, 1943, Sydney Camm, the Hawker chief engineer, decided that the F.2/43 project with an up-rated Centaurus XII engine might also fit the needs of Specification N.7/43, a Royal Navy requirement for a carrier-based interceptor. Consequently, both Royal Navy and RAF requirements were pooled under Specification F.2/43. 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.
 

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. 100 of the Navy planes were to have been constructed by Boulton-Paul.
 

The first Sea Fury prototype, SR661, flew on February 21, 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 Boulton-Paul machine, VB857, was a Sea Fury and was completed to the same standard as SR666, and flew on January 31, 1946.
 

With the end of the Second World War, the RAF canceled 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 50 production Sea Furies were termed Mk. Xs and were fighters based fundamentally on the prototype SR666. The first Mk. X was TF895, which flew for the first time on September 7, 1946. Early Mk. Xs featured four-bladed propellers, but, as a result of tests with SR666 and TF895, five-bladed propellers became standard on all subsequent Sea Furies.
 

The first deck trials with Sea Fury TF898 began aboard HMS Victorious during the winter of 1946-47. Serials were TF895-TF928 and TF940-TF955. There were some initial problems with arrester hooks being damaged during landings, and several interim modifications were necessary. The Sea Fury Mk. X was finally cleared for shipboard duty in the spring of 1947. Sea Furies were issued to Nos. 778, 802, 803, 805 and 807 Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
 

The Sea Fury Mk. 11 was a fighter-bomber version capable of carrying a mixture of 1000-pound bombs, rocket projectiles, drop tanks and napalm tanks. The arrester hook was longer, and provision was made for the incorporation of rocket-assisted take-off gear. In the next seven years, no less than 615 Sea Fury Mk. 11s were delivered to the Royal Navy, these aircraft becoming the Fleet Air Arm's principal single seat fighter until the introduction of the Sea Hawk in 1953.
 

The Sea Fury Mk. 11 was powered by a 2480 hp Bristol Centaurus 18 eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. Maximum speed was 460 mph at 18,000 feet. An altitude of 30,000 feet could be reached in 10.8 minutes. Range without external tanks was 700 miles, and 1040 miles with two drop tanks. Service ceiling was 35,600 feet. Weights were 9240 lbs empty and 12,500 lbs loaded. Armament was four 20-mm Hispano cannon in the wings, plus underwing racks for bombs, drop tanks, and rockets.
 

The first unit to receive the Sea Fury F.B.11 (as the aircraft had been redesignated) was No. 802 Squadron in May 1948. Nos. 280, 804, 805, and 807 Squadrons followed, embarking aboard HM Light Fleet Carriers Ocean, Theseus and Glory during 1949-51.
 

In 1951, Sea Fury F.B.11s were introduced into service with the No. 1822 Squadron of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, replacing Supermarine Seafire Mk. 17s. They subsequently served with Nos. 1831, 1833, 1834, 1845, and 1836 Squadrons of the RNVR.
 

The Sea Fury T.Mk. 20 was a two-seat trainer version. The Sea Fury two-seater was a direct result of an order for four two-seat Fury land-based fighters for Iraq. However, owing to interest expressed by the British Admiralty, the first machine was completed to an Admiralty Standard of Preparation and serialed VX818. VX818 flew for the first time on January 15, 1948. The VX818 initially had a pair of separate cockpit canopies for pilot and student, but during one of the early test flights, the rear canopy collapsed. An interconnecting cockpit "tunnel" was added to provide additional mechanical strength. In addition, a periscopic sight was mounted on a tripod just forward of the instructor's (rear) cockpit, and the armament was reduced from four to two 20-mm cannon.
 

Sixty production Sea Fury T.Mk. 20s were built and delivered to the Fleet Air Arm, deliveries taking place between 1950 and 1952. Serials were VX280-VX292, VX297-VX310, VZ345, VX346, VZ349-VZ354, VZ363-VZ365, VZ368, VZ370-VZ372, WE820-WE826, and WG652-WG656. They were not equipped with arrester hooks and served only with shore-based establishments. They were used primarily as conversion trainers with reserve squadrons, serving alongside their single-seat counterparts. They served alongside Mk. 10s and 11s with Nos. 1830, 1831, 1832, 1934, 1835, 1836, and 1843 Squadrons of the RNVR.
 

The first foreign variant of the Sea Fury was the Sea Fury Mk. 50 for the the Royal Netherlands Navy for service on the ex-Royal Naval Escort Carrier Nairana. Twelve more were ordered in 1950, bringing the total to twenty four. A license was acquired for manufacture of Sea Furies by Fokker, and the license manufacture brought the total of Dutch Sea Furies to 48. Many of these Sea Furies served with the Royal Netherlands Navy aboard the Karel Doorman (previously HMS Venerable). Hawker-built Sea Fury Mk. 50s were initially numbered 10-1 through 10-24 but later became 6-1 through 6-24. Fokker-built aircraft were numbered 10-25 through 10-45, becoming 6-25 to 6-45 (owing to attrition). These Sea Furies were not finally replaced until 1959 by Hawker Sea Hawks.
 

Approximately 50 ex-Fleet Air Arm Sea Furies were transferred to the Royal Australian Navy during 1949 and 1950. Others were also supplied to the Royal Canadian Navy.
 

The Hawker Fury was designed as a smaller and lighter version of the Hawker Tempest. The Sea Fury was the naval version, with folding wings and tail-hook. The Sea Fury FB.11 was a fighter-bomber capable of carrying bombs and rockets under its wings. Most of the 860 Sea Furys built went to the Royal Navy, including 60 Mk.20 two-seat trainer versions. The RCN's 74 FB.11s were based on shore and on the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent. Sea Furys served with the RCN until they were retired in 1956.
 

In 1949-50, Pakistan purchased 93 single seat Sea Fury fighter-bombers plus five two-seat trainers. 87 of the single-seaters were newly-built Mk. 60s, 5 were ex-FAA Mk. 11s, and one was the prototype F.2/43 Fury NX802. All of the Mk. 61 two-seaters were new builds.
 

Twelve Sea Fury fighters were ordered by Egypt during 1949 and delivered during the following two years. A couple of these Sea Furies were still in service during the Suez operation in November 1956.
 

In 1957, large numbers of surplus FAA Sea Fury Mk. 10s, 11s, and T.20s were repurchased by Hawker. Of these, eighteen Mk. 11s and three T.Mk.20s were reconditioned and resold by Hawker to Burma and delivered in 1958.
 

Fifteen Mk. 11s and two T.Mk. 20s selected from the aircraft re-purchased by Hawker from the M.O.S. were sold to Cuba in 1958, although these were not assembled until 1959, after the Castro revolution against the Batista government. Cuban-piloted Sea Furies were in action against the CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
 

Eight Mk. 20s were selected from aircraft re-purchased from the M.O.S. were reconditioned and sold to Deutsche Luftfahrt Beratungsdienst during 1959-60. They were further modified in Germany for target-towing duties. These aircraft were given civilian registrations and served under contract to the West German Luftwaffe as target tugs.    
 

For more information click on the  below links.

http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/aircraft/Preserved/Seafury.html

FURTHER INFORMATION

 

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.

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

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.

 

 

 

                                          Home


Site maintained by Rhino Jr. of Rhino Computer Services, LLC

Risky Business and Bad Attitude are Owned By Unlimited Air, LLC.

Copyright 2002 Unlimited Air Last modified: 12-29-05