Hawker Sea Fury
|Hawker Sea Fury FB 11 369 in flight.|
|First flight||21 February 1945|
|Introduction||October 1945 (FAA)
1966 Burmese Air Force 
|Primary users||Royal Navy
Royal Australian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
Pakistan Air Force
|Developed from||Hawker Tempest|
The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft developed for the Royal Navy by Hawker during the Second World War. The last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, it was also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built.
Design and development 
The Hawker Fury was an evolutionary successor to the successful Hawker Typhoon and Tempest fighters and fighter-bombers of World War II. The Fury was designed in 1942 by Sydney Camm, the famous Hawker designer, to meet the Royal Air Force’s requirement for a lightweight Tempest Mk.II replacement. Developed as the "Tempest Light Fighter", the semi-elliptical wing of the Tempest was incorporated, shortened in span, at the root, by one frame bay on each side. The fuselage itself was similar to the Tempest, but fully monocoque with a higher cockpit for better visibility. The Air Ministry was sufficiently impressed by the design to write Specification F.2/43 around the concept.
Six prototypes were ordered; two were to be powered by Rolls-Royce Griffon engines, two with Centaurus XXIIs, one with a Centaurus XII and one as a test structure. The first Fury to fly, on 1 September 1944, was NX798 with a Centaurus XII with rigid engine mounts, powering a Rotol four-blade propeller. Second on 27 November 1944 was LA610, which had a Griffon 85 and Rotol six-blade contra-rotating propeller. By now development of the Fury and Sea Fury was closely interlinked so that the next prototype to fly was a Sea Fury, SR661, described under "Naval Conversion." NX802 (25 July 1945) was the last Fury prototype, powered by a Centaurus XV. With the ending of the Second World War in Europe, the RAF Fury contract was cancelled and development centred on the Sea Fury. LA610 was eventually fitted with a Napier Sabre VII, which was capable of developing 3,400-4,000 hp (2,535-2,983 kW). As a result it became the fastest piston-engined Hawker aircraft, reaching a speed of around 485 mph (780 km/h). (although a de-militarised Sea Fury holds the unofficial speed-record for a piston-engined aircraft in level flight at 547 mph).
In 1943, the design was modified to meet a Royal Navy request (N.7/43) for a carrier-based fighter. Boulton-Paul Aircraft were to make the conversion while Hawker continued work on the Air Force design. The first Sea Fury prototype, SR661, first flew at Langley, Berkshire, on 21 February 1945, powered by a Centaurus XII engine. This prototype had a "stinger"-type tailhook for arrested carrier landings, but lacked folding wings for storage. SR666, the second prototype, which flew on 12 October 1945, was powered by a Centaurus XV turning a new, five-bladed Rotol propeller and was built with folding wings. Specification N.7/43 was modified to N.22/43, now representing an order for 200 aircraft. Of these, 100 were to be built at Boulton-Paul.
Both prototypes were undergoing carrier landing trials when the Japanese surrendered in 1945, ending development of the land-based Fury; work on the navalized Sea Fury continued. The original order to specification N.22/43 was reduced to 100 aircraft, and the Boulton-Paul agreement was cancelled. At the same time construction of what was intended to be a Boulton-Paul built Sea Fury prototype, VB857 was transferred to the Hawker factory at Kingston. This aircraft, built to the same standard as SR666, first flew on 31 January 1946. The first production model, the Sea Fury F Mk X (Fighter, Mk 10), flew in September 1946. Problems arose with damaged tailhooks during carrier landings; after modifications, the aircraft were approved for carrier landings in spring 1947.
The Sea Fury F 50 export variant proved popular, being purchased by Australia, Germany, Iraq, Egypt, Burma, Pakistan and Cuba.
The Royal Netherlands Navy bought 10 F 50 aircraft that were diverted from an FAA order and delivered directly from Hawkers in 1948. Nine of these aircraft were upgraded to fighter bomber standard in 1951 (one had crashed by then). An additional 12 F.B. 51's were ordered in 1948 and were delivered in 1950. The Dutch additionally acquired a licence for production of 25 more FB 51s at Fokker Aircraft. These aircraft were delivered from 1951 onwards. [N 1]
The final production figures for all marks reached around 860 aircraft.
Operational history 
The Royal Navy’s earlier Supermarine Seafire had never been completely suitable for carrier use, having a poor view for landing and a narrow-track undercarriage that made landings and takeoffs "tricky". Consequently, the Sea Fury F X (later F 10) replaced it on most carriers. Sea Furies were issued to Nos. 736, 738, 759 and 778 Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
The F 10 was followed by the Sea Fury FB 11 fighter-bomber variant, which eventually reached a production total of 650 aircraft. The Sea Fury remained the Fleet Air Arm’s primary fighter-bomber until 1953 and the introduction of the Hawker Sea Hawk and Supermarine Attacker.
A total of 74 Sea Furies FB 11 (and one FB 10) served with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) between 1948 and 1956. All flew from the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent in 871 squadron.
The last flights of the Canadian Sea Furies were made by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout, who ferried WG565 to Calgary, Alberta to serve as an instructional airframe at the local Provincial Institute of Technology, and F/O Lynn Garrison who flew WG565 on 1 April 1958.
Following their retirement, approximately 46 Sea Furies were stored in a wooden Second World War hangar in Canada. Some had less than four hours total time - little more than factory test flights. As they were about to be sold to Lynn Garrison, and his associates, by Crown Assets Disposal Corporation, a fire destroyed the hangar and its contents. The aircraft were being offered to Ramfis Trujillo, son of the Dominican president, who was studying at the U S Army Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
Korean War 
The FB.11 served with British Commonwealth Forces Korea throughout the Korean War, primarily as a ground-attack aircraft. Sea Furies flew from the Royal Navy light fleet carriers HMS Glory, HMS Ocean, HMS Theseus, and the Australian carrier HMAS Sydney.
On 8 August 1952, Lieutenant Peter "Hoagy" Carmichael, of 802 Squadron (HMS Ocean), flying Sea Fury WJ232, downed a MiG-15 jet fighter in air-to-air combat, making him one of only a few pilots of propeller aircraft to shoot down a jet.[N 2] The engagement occurred when a formation of Sea Furies and Fireflies was engaged by eight MiG-15s, during which one Firefly was badly damaged while the Sea Furies escaped unharmed. This is often cited as the only successful engagement by a British pilot in a British aircraft in the entire Korean War, although a few sources claim a second MiG was downed in the same action. It should also be noted that Sub-Lieutenant Brian "Schmoo" Ellis, the youngest member of the flight, sparked a debate over who actually downed the MiG. His memory of the action over North Korea and its aftermath suggests that the official version of events might not be the whole truth.
A similar encounter the next day led to the Sea Fury fighters using their superior manoeuvrability to escape another MiG-15 "bounce", although one Sea Fury was damaged and had to limp back to Ocean.
To reduce the risk of UN ground forces mistaking them for Soviet-designed aircraft operated by the North Korean and Chinese air forces, which were similar in appearance – such as the Yakovlev Yak-11 and Lavochkin La-11 – Sea Furies were painted with striped wing markings (similar to those used by Allied aircraft in Europe during D-Day, in 1944).
The Sea Fury FB 11 entered service with the fighter squadrons of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) in August 1951. The RNVR units also operated the Sea Fury T.20 two-seat trainer version from late 1950 to give reserve pilots experience on the type before relinquishing their Supermarine Seafire aircraft.
RNVR units which were equipped with the Sea Fury were No. 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834, 1835 and 1836 squadrons. No. 1832, based at RAF Benson was the last RNVR squadron to relinquish the type in August 1955 for the jet-powered Supermarine Attacker.
On 17 April 1961, Cuban Hawker Sea Fury pilots Enrique Carreras Rojas and Gustavo Bourzac attacked and sank the Houston, one of the ships that was landing troops and supplies at the Bahia de Cochinos, Cuba, the operation known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion. After returning to base, Carreras rearmed and refuelled his Sea Fury and came back to sink a second ship, the Rio Escondido. He then shot down a CIA Douglas B-26C Invader while another Sea Fury, with Douglas Rudd Mole at the controls, shot down another B-26. The Cuban Sea Furies and Lockheed T-33s were responsible for shooting down seven of the invaders' light bomber aircraft thereby depriving the invaders of any possibility of air cover once President John F. Kennedy decided not to involve US Navy aircraft from carriers standing by offshore.
On 15 February 1961, a Republic of China Air Force Consolidated PB4Y Privateer (423) was shot down by Burmese Hawker Sea Fury fighter aircraft, near the Thai-Burmese border, killing the crew of five. Two other crew members were taken prisoner. This aircraft was carrying supplies for Chinese Kuomintang forces fighting in northern Burma.
- Sea Fury F 10
- Single-seat fighter version for the Royal Navy, 50 built.
- Sea Fury FB 11
- Single-seat fighter-bomber for the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy, 615 built including 31 for the RAN and 53 for the RCN.
- Sea Fury T 20
- Two-seat training version for the Royal Navy, 60 built, 10 of which were later converted to target tugs for West Germany.
- Sea Fury F 50
- Single-seat fighter version for the Royal Netherlands Navy.
- Sea Fury FB 51
- Single-seat fighter-bomber version for the Royal Netherlands Navy.
- Fury FB 60
- Single-seat fighter-bomber version for the Pakistan Air Force, 93 built.
- Fury T 61
- Two-seat training version for the Pakistan Air Force, five built.
- Fury I
- Single-seat land-based fighter version for the Iraqi Air Force. Unofficially known as the Baghdad Fury, 55 built.
- Fury Trainer
- Two-seat training version for the Iraqi Air Force, five built.
Because production continued until well after the end of the Second World War and aircraft remained in Royal Navy service until 1955, dozens of airframes have survived in varying levels of condition. A number of Sea Furies were overhauled by Hawker Aircraft at their factory at Blackpool during 1959 and supplied to civil companies in Germany, equipped with target-towing gear for Luftwaffe contract flying. Some of these aircraft survive today. A number of the Furies sold to Iraq were purchased by restorers in the late 1970s and are now also owned and operated by civilians.
Around a dozen heavily modified Sea Furies are raced regularly at the Reno Air Races as of 2009[update]. Most of these replace the original sleeve-valve Centaurus radial with the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major or the Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone radial engine. These include Dreadnought and Furias, which have had Wasp Major engines installed.
WJ232, the aircraft 'Hoagy' Carmichael flew during the 9 August 1952 action which resulted in him being credited with the destruction of a MiG-15 jet fighter, remains in operation in Australia in its original Royal Navy markings, with civil registration VH-SHF.
Many additional airframes remain as static displays in museums worldwide. One of these ex- RCN WG565 is on display in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was ferried to Alberta for instructional use in the Alberta Provincial Institute of Technology by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout. On the 1 April 1958, Flying Officer Lynn Garrison, of the 403 City of Calgary Squadron, RCAF, made the final Canadian military flight for this aircraft type.
Specifications (FB 11) 
Data from The Flightline
- Crew: One
- Length: 34 ft 8 in (10.6 m)
- Wingspan: 38 ft 4¾ in (11.7 m)
- Height: 16 ft 1 in (4.9 m)
- Wing area: 280 ft² (26 m²)
- Empty weight: 9,240 lb (4,190 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 12,500 lb (5,670 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Centaurus XVIIC 18-cylinder twin-row radial engine, 2,480 hp (1,850 kW)
- Maximum speed: 460 mph (740 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
- Cruise speed: 390 mph (625 km/h)
- Range: 700 mi (1,127 km) with internal fuel; 1,040 mi (1,675 km) with two drop tanks
- Service ceiling: 35,800 ft (10,900 m)
- Rate of climb: 30,000 ft (9,200 m) in 10.8 minutes
- Wing loading: 44.6 lb/ft² (161.2 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.198 hp/lb (441 W/kg)
- Guns: 4 × 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk V cannon
- Rockets: 12× 3 in (76.2 mm) rockets or
- Bombs: 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs
See also 
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- CAC Kangaroo
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190
- Grumman F8F Bearcat
- Lavochkin La-9
- Martin-Baker MB 5
- North American P-51 Mustang
- Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
- Supermarine Seafang
- Vought F4U Corsair
- Related lists
- Note on the Dutch serials: 10 stood for "J", short for "Jager" (English: hunter) as a fighter aircraft is referred to in Dutch. In the early 1950s, all serials were changed to 6 or "F" for "Fighter". The actual numbers remained unchanged.
- The last time this occurred was 20 June 1965, when the pilot of a prop-driven Douglas A-1 Skyraider shot down MiG-17, in Vietnam. However, the Skyraider is classified as an attack aircraft, making this feat even more remarkable.
- "Burmese Air Force." aeroflight.co.uk. Retrieved: 14 October 2010.
- Wheeler 1992, p. 87.
- "Hawker's Tempestuous Finale". Air International, Vol. 20, No. 2, February 1981, pp. 91–99.
- Brown, Captain Eric. "Finale Furioso... The Era-Ending Sea Fury". Air International, Vol. 18, No. 2, February 1980, pp. 82–86, pp. 94–98.
- Jane 1946, p. 127.
- Goebel, Greg. "Hawker Typhoon, Tempest, & Sea Fury." Air Vectors. Retrieved: 7 April 2006.
- Mason 1991, pp. 342–347.
- Wilson 1993
- "Hawker Sea Fury aircraft profile." Aircraft Database of the Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945. Retrieved: 23 March 2006.
- "Sea Fury History". Unlimited Air Racing. Retrieved: 9 March 2007.
- "UN Air-to-Air Victories during the Korean War, 1950–1953". Air Combat Information Group Journal. Retrieved: 9 March 2007.
- "Sea Fury - A New Perspective on a Famous Dogfight". KOREA 1950 - 1953. Retrieved: 24 February 2013.
- "Intrusions, Overflights, Shootdowns and Defections During the Cold War and Thereafter." myplace.frontier.com. Retrieved: 24 September 2011.
- "Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, March 1960–April 1961." Central Intelligence Agency, 25 July 2011. Retrieved: 21 October 2012.
- Ferrer, Edward B. Operation Puma: The Air Battle of the Bay of Pigs. Atlanta: Georgia: International Aviation Consultants, 1982 (English edition), First edition 1975 (Spanish). ISBN 0-9609000-0-4.
- "Hawker Sea Fury/Fury Registry." warbirdregistry.org. Retrieved: 24 September 2011.
- Take Off magazine, Part 84, pp. 2338–2339.
- "Hawker Sea Fury photo." www.airliners.net. Retrieved: 7 February 2010.
- "Hawker Sea Fury." The Flightline - Military Aviation Archives. Retrieved: 23 March 2006.
- Darling, Kev. Hawker Sea Fury (Warbird Tech Vol. 37). North Branch, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 2002. ISBN 1-58007-063-9.
- Geldhof, Nico and Luuk Boerman. Hawker Sea Fury: History, Camouflage and Markings - Hawker Sea Fury F.(B)Mk.50/60/51 Koninklijke Marine Luchtvaartdienst/Royal Netherlands Naval Air Services (Dutch Profile 3) (bilingual Dutch/English). Zwammerdam, the Netherlands: Dutch Decal, 2005. No ISBN.
- Jane, Fred T., ed. "The Hawker Fury and Sea Fury." Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1-85170-493-0.
- Mackay, Ron. Hawker Sea Fury in action. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1991. ISBN 0-89747-267-5.
- Mason, Francis K. Hawker Aircraft Since 1920 (3rd revised edition). London, UK: Putnam, 1991. ISBN 0-85177-839-9.
- Sea Fury at War DVD (IWM Footage) Retrieved: 3 April 2008.
- Sturtivant, Ray and Theo Ballance. The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians), 1994. ISBN 0-85130-223-8.
- Thetford, Owen. British Naval Aircraft since 1912. London: Putnam, 1977. ISBN 0-370-30021-1.
- Thomas, Graham. Furies and Fireflies over Korea: The Story of the Men and Machines of the Fleet Air Arm, RAF and Commonwealth Who Defended South Korea 1950-1953. London: Grub Street, 2004. ISBN 1-904010-04-0.
- Wheeler, Barry C. The Hamlyn Guide to Military Aircraft Markings. London: Chancellor Press, 1992. ISBN 1-85152-582-3.
- Wilson, Stewart. Sea Fury, Firefly and Sea Venom in Australian Service. Weston Creek, ACT, Australia: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd., 1993, pp. 23–36. ISBN 1-875671-05-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Hawker Sea Fury|
- Manual: (1950) A.P. 4018A&B-P.N. Pilot's Notes for Sea Fury 10 & 11
- Two photographs of the Griffon-engined Hawker Fury I, LA610 - for the second picture click on the Another view link
- Photographs of the same Hawker Fury I, LA610, re-engined with Centaurus & Sabre
- Sound of the Hawker Sea Fury
- Fleet Air Arm Archive - Hawker Sea Fury
- Hawker Sea Fury profile, walkaround video, technical details and photos
- Warbird Alley - Sea Fury