Felixstowe Fury

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Felixstowe Fury
Felixstowe Fury (Porte Super-Baby).jpg
Fury at the Seaplane Experimental Station, Felixstowe. Wreckage of a Felixstowe F.2A in the forground.
Role Long-range flying-boat
Manufacturer Seaplane Experimental Station, Felixstowe
Designer John Cyril Porte
First flight 11 November 1918
Retired 11 August 1919
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 1
Variants Gosport G9

The Felixstowe Fury (serial N123), also known as the Porte Super-Baby, was a large British, five-engined triplane flying-boat designed by John Cyril Porte at the Seaplane Experimental Station, Felixstowe, inspired by the Wanamaker Triplane or Curtiss Model T. The Fury was the largest seaplane in the world at the time and the first aircraft to incorporate servo-assisted controls.

Although the test-flying programme demonstrated the aircraft's suitability for long-distance flight, on 11 August 1919 (the eve of a planned flight from England to South Africa) it stalled into the sea on take-off, killing one member of the crew and suffering irreparable damage. [1]


The Fury was delivered to Felixstowe on 31 October 1918,[2] its first flight taking place on 11 November.

The Fury's unstaggered wings comprised the 3-bay lower wings, mounted near to the top of the hull, and a pair of 4-bay upper wings of larger span; all were supported by pairs of vertical struts and diagonal cross-bracing. The original design specified three 600 hp (447 kW) Rolls Royce Condor engines but these were not available and five 334 hp (249 kW) Rolls-Royce Eagle VII engines were fitted instead. These were mounted on the middle wing and supported by additional struts, configured as two outboard tandem tractor/pusher (push-pull) pairs and one central pusher. In addition to its triplane configuration, the Fury had a biplane tailplane with a triple rudder, mounted on a single vertical fin. Initially it was provided with servo-motors for the main flight control surfaces, but these were later removed without compromising the pilot's ability to control this large aircraft.[3] At some point the engines were replaced with the more powerful 334 hp (249 kW) Eagle VIIIs.

By 24 April 1919, flight testing had progressed so well that the Fury was able to perform a 7-hour flight.

Operational history[edit]

In view of the intense competition in early 1919 to achieve the first transatlantic flight, it was intended to ship the Fury to the USA for it to join other teams in the race. The first Atlantic crossing by the Curtiss NC-4 (which reached Lisbon on 27 May 1919) and the first non-stop crossing by Alcock and Brown a few weeks later using a modified Vickers Vimy (Ireland, 15 June), led to the abandonment of the Fury attempt.

Plans were then made for another long-distance flight, this time for the 8,000-mile (12,875 km) flight from England to South Africa. This was due to start on 12 August 1919; final preparations were being made on 11 August when the aircraft side-slipped and crashed on take-off, killing one of the 7-person crew (wireless operator Lt S.E.S. McLeod, drowned).[1] The surviving crew members were: Colonel T.S.M. Fellowes, Major E.R. Moon, Captain C.L. Scott, Lt J.F. Armitt, W/O J.G. Cockburn and W/O H.S. Locker.[4]

The Felixstowe Fury was the last aircraft to be designed by Porte at Felixstowe; he had already left the Royal Air Force, working with the Gosport Aircraft Company on their flying boats, but two months after the Fury's destruction Porte succumbed suddenly to tuberculosis, dying on 22 October aged 35.[5]


 United Kingdom

Specifications Fury (at "Medium load")[edit]

Data from Bruce, J.M.[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 7
  • Capacity: 24-30[7]
  • Payload: 1,560 lb () "military load"
  • Length: 63 ft 2 in (19.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 123 ft (37.5 m)
  • Height: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
  • Wing area: 3,108 ft² (288.8 m²)
  • Empty weight: 18,563 lb (8,438 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 25,263 lb (11,483 kg)
  • Powerplant: 5 × Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII inline piston engine, 334 hp (249 kW) each



Four machine guns and bombs - neither fitted

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b "British Seaplane Falls.; Wireless Operator Killed on Eve of Flight for South Africa." (PDF). The New York Times. 12 August 1919. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  2. ^ The Aerodrome Forum
  3. ^ Bruce p930
  4. ^ "The 'Felixstowe Fury' Crash", Flight, 14 August 1919: 1096 
  5. ^ "Death" Flight 30 October 1919 p1427
  6. ^ Bruce, J.M. p.932.
  7. ^ "'Felixstowe Fury' Crashed Into Sea". CXLVIII (No. 192). The Montreal Gazette. 12 August 1919. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 


  • Bruce, J.M. Historic Military Aircraft No. 11, Part 3 "The Felixstowe Flying Boats". Flight, 23 December 1955. Pages 929-932.
  • S, W (July–August 2009). "Rara Avis - Felixstowe's Fury". Windsock Worldwide (Albatros Productions) 27 (4): 15–17. 

External links[edit]