Sky Guardians WTY720250B Royal Navy Supermarine Seafire Mk. IB Fighter - Operation Torch, CV Furious, 1942 (1:48 Scale)
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, commenting on the British airmen in the Battle of Britain
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.
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 February 21st, 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 October 12th, 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 January 31st, 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 24 aircraft and then acquired a license for production of 24 more F 50s at Fokker Aircraft. The final production figures for all marks reached around 860 aircraft.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a Royal Navy Hawker Sea Fury T.20 fighter participated in the Royal Navy Historic Flight of 2012. Now in stock!
Wing Span: 9.1-inches
Release Date: October 2012
Historical Account: "RNHF" - The Royal Navy Historic Flight (RNHF) maintains and flies a small number of aircraft that are important to British Naval aviation. The organisation is not part of the military establishment; it has charitable status and it is staffed by civilians. It is based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton and provides aircraft for air displays; the base is not open to the public.
The RNHF was established at RNAS Yeovilton in 1972 and became the home for a number of aircraft that had been donated to the Royal Navy over more than a decade. The first aircraft was Fairey Swordfish II LS326, presented in 1960 by Westland Aircraft. In 1971, Hawker Siddeley Aviation presented a Sea Fury FB.11 and in 1972 a Fairey Firefly AS.5 WB271 was donated. The separate units caring for the three aircraft were merged in 1972, forming the Historic Flight.
Over the following years, the RNHF benefitted further from gifts of aircraft from the German Government, Royal Navy and British Aerospace. Technical assistance was also obtained to rebuild and refurbish aircraft. Sadly, three aircraft have been lost in accidents, with two fatalities.
In 1995, the ground staff service personnel were replaced by civilian employees but aircrew remain as serving navy pilots who volunteer to spend free time with the RNHF. Air training uses the Flight's DHC Chipmunk. The Fly Navy Heritage Trust, formerly the Swordfish Heritage Trust, a charitable institution to oversee fund raising, makes grants to fund the RNHF's staff. The Flight's other sources of income are fees from flying displays and donations and sponsorship from the aerospace industry and the general public.