Hawker Fury Mk.I (G-CBZP), K5674, manufacturers serial 41H/67550. The Hawker Fury is widely regarded as the epitome of biplane fighter development and arguably the most beautiful biplane ever created. Powered by a 525hp Rolls Royce Kestrel IIS V-12 supercharged, water-cooled engine, there are no other known survivors anywhere in the world and thus the aircraft can claim to be unique. It was acquired from South Africa in 1994 after a tip-off from the RAF Museum.
The aircraft was delivered to 2 ASU on 20 November 1935 and then to 43 Sqn at RAF Tangmere on 2 June 1936. F/O FE Rosier, later to become Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Rosier GCB, CBE, DSO, recorded in his log that the aircraft was his aircraft whilst he was OC B Flight between December 1936 and January 1939. It was called ‘Queen of North and South’. He first flew it on 9 December 1936 and his last flight was on 22 February 1939 when the comment in his log was ‘Last fling in Queen of North and South. Perfect’. After periods at 5 MU and 47 MU the aircraft is recorded ‘to South Africa 5 August 1940’.
The aircraft arrived in Durban on 'Clan Mathieso' on 20 October 1940. On 15 March 1941 the aircraft, now with the serial number 215, was taken on charge by 13 Squadron (soon to be renumbered 43) based at Swartkop. On 31 March 1941 it ran out of fuel and force landed near Pitsani whilst being flown by 2/Lt Peter M. Hedley. The pilot suffered no injuries but the aircraft suffered Cat 2 damage. Records show the aircraft being stored before being delivered to No.2 Air Depot Kimberley where it was scrapped.
Restoration was started in earnest in 1992, with the first challenge being to re-manufacture the spars, which are a complex roll-formed item manufactured from high tensile steel strip. Without this extremely difficult part being successfully re-made there would have been no point in going further forward, as Retrotec (the restoration arm of Aero Vintage and Historic Aircraft Collection Ltd. (HAC) were only prepared to restore the aircraft if it could be 100% authentic down to the smallest detail. Over the next 15 years all the engineering challenges were overcome as the restoration progressed.
We were fortunate that a period photograph of the aircraft that we were lent by David Rosier (ACM Sir F Rosier's son) helped us restore the paint scheme exactly as it was in 1937.
The Fury made its first post restoration flight from Goodwood (as close as we could get to Tangmere) on the 30th July 2012.
Click here to download a PDF datasheet for this aircraft