contenders for the title of the most beautiful of biplane fighters, the
family of Furies stemmed from an Air Ministry requirement far a new type
of faster-climbing, shorter-range, speedier ser- vice fighter-the interceptor.
Hawkers' intended entrant for this specification was the Interceptor Fighter,
first flown in 1929 with a Jupiter IV. The Interceptor was originally designed
to meet naval specification F.21/26, but eventually was completed to specification
N .20/27 . The Hornet, also to N.20/27, was basically similar to the Interceptor
but had a 480-h.p. Rolls-Royce F.XIA (and later the F.XIS and F.XIIS). Evaluation
of the Interceptor and Hornet prompted Hawkers finally to tender the Hornet
to meet R.A.F. fighter specification F .20/27.
Successful tests of the Hornet were followed by a production contract far
the R.A.F. to specification 13/30, the machine being renamed Fury. Three
prototypes and ninety production models were built by Hawkers and a goodly
number by Gloster Aircraft, the machines entering service with Nos. l, 25
and 43 Squadrons during the period 1931-36, and at Cranwell and No.3 F.T.S.
Attempts were made during the following years to improve Fury performance,
mainly by raising the power output. To specification F.14/32 was built the
High-Speed Fury (K3586), powered initially with the 600-h.p. Kestrel S and
later re-engined with the 695-h.p. Goshawk 111. But the new R.A.F. version
finally ordered into production as the Fury II-under production specification
6/35-was a straightforward adaptation of the Mk. I. A new engine was fitted,
the Kestrel VI, with a composite cooling system incorporating a steam condenser
in the top wing centre-section leading edge, as well as a bigger belly radiator.
Comparative A. & A.E.E. test figures far the Fury I KI927 (in brackets)
and Fury II KI935 (reworked Mk. I) were: maximum level speed 220 m.p.h.
at 20,000 ft. (200); time to 20,000 ft. 8.6 min. (10.6); service ceiling
32.000 ft. (29,200); loaded weight 3,620 Ib. (3,317). Other differences
were the fitting of wheel spats, fuel system modifications to eliminate
engine cutting out in power dives, and cleaned-up interplane struts.
The Fury II flown by the leader of No. 25(F) Squadron is featured in the
G.A. drawing apposite. Squadron markings were twin black bars on the fuselage
sides and along the top wing, with the unit badge (a hawk on a mailed fist,
motto: Feriens Tego) contained in the spearhead device on the fin. Fury
K7270 had the tailplane upper surface and fin painted black, and carried
the rank badge of a squadron leader on the decking aft of the cockpit.
Fury IIs were issued from Hawkers to Nos. 1,25 and 43 fighter squadrons
during the period autumn 1936 to March 1937, replacing Mk. Iso Other batches
were built by Glosters.
Meanwhile there followed thick and fast a whole series of Fury variants-mainly
far export to foreign governments - the chief of which are illustrated overleaf.
Data and photographs are reproduced with acknowledgements to Hawker Aircraft