Saturday, October 4, 2014
Hawker Sea Fury FB 11 In Nederland Markings
The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Hawker. It was the last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, and also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built. Developed during the Second World War, the Sea Fury entered service two years after the war ended. The Sea Fury proved to be a popular aircraft with a number of overseas militaries, and was used during the Korean War in the early 1950s.
The Sea Fury's development was formally initiated in 1943 in response to a wartime requirement of the RAF, thus the aircraft was initially named Fury. As the Second World War drew to a close, the RAF cancelled their order for the aircraft; however, the Royal Navy saw the type as a suitable carrier aircraft to replace a range of increasingly obsolete or poorly suited aircraft being operated by the Fleet Air Arm. Development of the Sea Fury proceeded, and the type began entering operational service in 1947.
The Sea Fury has many design similarities to Hawker's preceding Tempest fighter, but the Sea Fury was a considerably lighter aircraft; both the Sea Fury's wings and fuselage originate from the Tempest but were significantly modified and redesigned. Production Sea Furies were fitted with the powerful Bristol Centaurus engine, and armed with four wing-mounted Hispano V cannons. While originally developed as a pure aerial fighter aircraft, the definitive Sea Fury FB 11 was a fighter-bomber, the design having been found suitable for this mission as well.
The Sea Fury attracted a number of international orders as both a carrier and land-based aircraft; it was operated by a number of countries, including Australia, Burma, Canada, Cuba, Egypt, West Germany, Iraq, and Pakistan. The type acquitted itself well in the Korean War, fighting effectively even against the MiG-15 jet fighter. Although the Sea Fury was retired by the majority of its military operators in the late 1950s in favour of jet-propelled aircraft, a considerable number of aircraft saw subsequent use in the civil sector, and several remain airworthy in the 21st century both as heritage and racing aircraft.
The Hawker Fury was an evolutionary successor to the successful Hawker Typhoon and Tempest fighters and fighter-bombers of World War II. The Fury's design process was initiated in September 1942 by Sydney Camm, one of Hawker's foremost aircraft designers, to meet the Royal Air Force’s requirement for a lightweight Tempest Mk.II replacement; the Tempest, while a successful aircraft, had been viewed as being heavy and oversized for typical fighter duties. Developed as the "Tempest Light Fighter", the semi-elliptical wing of the Tempest was incorporated, but was shortened in span by attaching the two wings at the aircraft centreline, eliminating the centre-section. The fuselage itself was broadly similar in form to that of the Tempest, but was a fully monocoque structure, while the cockpit level was higher, affording the pilot better all round visibility.
The project was formalized in January 1943 when the Air Ministry issued Specification F.2/42 around the "Tempest Light Fighter". This was followed up by Specification F.2/43, issued in May 1943, which required a high rate of climb of not less than 4,500 ft/min (23 m/s) from ground level to 20,000 feet (6,096 m), good fighting manoeuvrability and a maximum speed of at least 450 mph (724 km/h) at 22,000 feet (6,705 m). The armament was to be four 20mm Hispano V cannon with a total capacity of 600 rounds, plus the capability of carrying two bombs each up to 1,000 pounds (454 kg). In April 1943, Hawker had also received Specification N.7/43 from the Admiralty, who sought a navalised version of the developing aircraft; in response, Sidney Camm proposed the consolidation of both service's requirements under Specification F.2/43, with the alterations required for naval operations issued on a supplemental basis. Around 1944, the aircraft project finally received its name; the Royal Air Force's version becoming known as the Fury and the Fleet Air Army's version as the Sea Fury.
A total of 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. Hawker used the internal designations P.1019 and P.1020 respectively for the Griffon and Centaurus versions, while P.1018 was also used for a Fury prototype which was to use a Napier Sabre IV. 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. LA610 was eventually fitted with a Napier Sabre VII, which was capable of developing 3,400–4,000 hp (2,535–2,983 kW); this aircraft become possibly the fastest piston-engined Hawker aircraft after reaching a speed of around 485 mph (780 km/h).
The Netherlands was the first export customer for the Sea Fury, and the Netherlands Royal Navy operated the aircraft from two of their aircraft carriers, both of which were named HNLMS Karel Doorman as they were operated at separate periods from one another. It was common for Royal Netherlands Navy vessels to operate alongside Royal Navy ships, thus Dutch Sea Furies also regularly operated from FAA land bases and RN carriers. During 1947, Dutch Sea Furies operating from HNLMS Karel Doorman were employed in a ground support capacity against insurgent fighters in the Dutch East Indies. The Dutch procured and license-built additional Sea Furies for carrier operations, although the type was ultimately replaced by the jet-powered Hawker Sea Hawk from the late 1950s onwards