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Hawker Fury

The Hawker Fury was a British biplane fighter aircraft used by the RAF in the 1930s.

It was a fast, agile aircraft, and the first interceptor in RAF service capable of speed higher than 200 mph (321 kmh).

It was the fighter counterpart to the Hawker Hart light bomber.

The Hawker Fury was a development of the earlier Hawker F.20/27 prototype fighter, replacing the radial engine of the F.20/27 with the new Rolls-Royce F.XI V-12 engine (later known as the Rolls-Royce Kestrel), which was also used by Hawker’s new light bomber, the Hawker Hart.

The new fighter prototype, known as the Hawker Hornet, first flew at Brooklands, Surrey, in March 1929.

The Hornet was a single-engined biplane, with single bay wings, initially powered by a 420 hp (313 kW) Rolls-Royce F.XIC engine enclosed by a smooth, streamlined cowling but was quickly re-engined with a 480 hp (358 kW) Kestrel IS.

The prototype was evaluated against the similarly powered Fairey Firefly II, being preferred because of its better handling and it’s all metal structure, compared with the mainly wooden construction of the Firefly.

The Hornet was purchased by the Air Ministry at the start of 1930 and was subject to more tests, with a small initial production order for 21 aircraft (to be called Hawker Fury as the Air Ministry wanted fighter names that “reflected ferocity”) placed during 1930.

The Fury I made its maiden flight at Brooklands, with chief test pilot George Bulman at the controls, on 25 March 1931.

The Fury was the first operational RAF fighter aircraft to be able to exceed 200 mph (322 km/h) in level flight.

It had highly sensitive controls which gave it superb aerobatic performance.

It was designed partly for the fast interception of bombers and to that end it had a climb rate of almost 2,400 ft/min (730 m/min, powered by a 525 hp/391 kW Kestrel engine).

An experimental prototype, the High-Speed Fury, was built to test design features for Hawker’s planned competitor for the F.7/30 fighter competition (the Hawker P.V.3) as well as for more general development.

While the P.V.3 was unsuccessful owing to the use of the unreliable evaporatively cooled Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine, many of the improvements tested on the High-Speed Fury were incorporated in an improved Fury II, with a cleaned-up airframe and reduced drag, powered by a 690 hp (515 kW) Mk4 Kestrel engine, which gave improved speed and rate of climb.

Sidney Camm designed a monoplane version of the Fury in 1933.

It was not developed until Rolls-Royce produced what became their famous Merlin engine.

The design was then revised according to Air Ministry specification F5/34 to become the prototype Hawker Hurricane.


Hawker Hornet

Single-seat fighter prototype.

Powered by a Rolls Royce F.XIA and later by a 480 hp (358 kW) F.XIS.

Only one was built.

This aircraft was slightly smaller and lighter than the Fury and considered by Hawker as a separate type.

Fury Mk I

Single-seat fighter version, powered by a 525 hp (391 kW) Rolls Royce Kestrel IIs piston engine.

Fury Series 1A

Single-seat fighter for Yugoslavia, similar to Fury Mk I and powered by Kestrel IIS piston engine.

Six built by Hawker.

One was delivered fitted with a 500 hp (373 kW) Hispano-Suiza 12 NB engine, with poorer performance, and was re-fitted with a Kestrel, while a second was later used for trials with a 720 hp (537 kW) Lorraine Petrel HFrs engine.

Intermediate Fury

Test and trials aircraft, used as a prototype; one built, British civil registration G-ABSE.

High Speed Fury

Private venture.

Single-seat high-speed trials and test aircraft, used as a prototype, which was developed into the Fury Mk II; one built.

Fury Mk II

Single-seat fighter version, powered by a 640 hp (477 kW) Rolls Royce Kestrel VI piston engine.

First flight 3 December 1936.

Total 112 built.

Yugoslav Fury

Revised single-seat fighter for Yugoslavia, powered by 745 horsepower (556 kW) Kestrel XVI piston engine, and fitted with low drag radiator and Dowty cantilever undercarriage with internally sprung wheels.

Provision for an additional two machine guns under wing.

Ten made by Hawker delivered 1936–37, with a further 40 licences built in Yugoslavia by Ikarus and Zmaj.

Persian Fury

Single-seat fighter for Iran.

16 aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet S2B1g radial piston engine, driving a three-bladed propeller, ordered in January 1933.

A further six aircraft powered by a 550 hp (410 kW) Bristol Mercury VISP radial piston engine, fitted with a two-bladed propeller, ordered in May 1934, with several Hornet powered Furys re-engined.

Norwegian Fury

One trial aircraft, fitted with a 530 hp (395 kW) Armstrong-Siddeley Panther IIIA radial piston engine; one built for Norway.

Portuguese Fury

Modified version of the Fury Mk.I, three aircraft fitted with a Rolls-Royce Kestrel II piston engine; three built for Portugal.

Spanish Fury

Improved version of the Fury Mk.I, three aircraft fitted with a 700-hp Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs engine; three built for Spain.





26 ft 9 in (8.15 m)


30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)


10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)

Wing area

252 sq ft (23.4 m2)

Empty weight

2,734 lb (1,240 kg)

Max take-off weight

3,609 lb (1,637 kg)


1 × Rolls-Royce Kestrel IV,

Liquid cooled V12 engine,

640 hp (480 kW)


Maximum speed

223 mph (359 km/h, 194 kn) at 16,500 ft (5,000 m)


270 mi (430 km, 230 nmi)

Service ceiling

29,500 ft (9,000 m)

Time to altitude

3 min 50 s to 10,000 ft (3,000 m)



2 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers Mk IV machine guns with 600 rpg.



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