[Sanders Aeronautics Home Page]

Hawker Sea Fury T Mk.20 "VX302"

Meier Motors GmbH/Max Alpha Aviation GmbH located in southwest Germany has recently purchased VX302 and is having it restored with state-of-the-art avionics, Centaurus Mk.18 power and plan to have it painted in the original bright red scheme it wore with the DLB service as a target tug.

One of the fastest piston engine aircraft ever built, Hawker's magnificent Sea Fury/Fury has always had the ability to inspire awe amongst everyone from airport kids to jet fighter pilots. It continues to attract fans at airshows and air races around the world and leaves most other aircraft of the era well behind.

The design that became the Hawker Sea Fury goes back to a 1943 requirement for a Fleet Air Arm fighter based on the Hawker Tempest. First flown in 1945, the new Fury design began military flight trials and entered service with No. 778 squadron. The Fury, along with
the Grumman Bearcat and P-51 Mustang, marked the epitome of piston-engine fighter design before technology focused on jets.

Hawker was designated to work on the land-based version, the Fury, and responsibility for the naval conversion was assigned to Boulton-Paul Aircraft Ltd. In April of 1944 contracts were placed for 200 aircraft for each the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm. The first Sea Fury prototype flew on February 21, 1945, but the first full naval version with folding wings did not fly until October 12, 1947.

The Fury, and navalized Sea Fury, were instant hits with the British military, as well as foreign countries such as Canada, Australia, Germany, Burma and Iraq. The design also leant itself to a modification for a second cockpit and dual controls. The two-seat "training" version of the Fury matched the high performance of the FB.11 version. The British Navy ordered 60 of the two-seaters and
designated them T Mk.20.

VX302 started life at Hawker-Siddley Aircraft Ltd, Langley as T Mk. 20S target tug in May, 1957 and was operated by the Federal Republic Of Germany, Bonn, from April 5, 1963-1974 (registered as D-CACE).

VX302 went through a many different owners, including Doug Arnold (registered as
G-BCOV), and was operated by Jerry C. Janes from August 1987-1994. Jerry registered VX302 as N51SF, rebuilt it with a Wright R3350-26WD power plant and flew it as race #20 "Cottonmouth". It was later purchased by Todd Stuart who operated it from 2004-2006 as race #103 "Conch Fury". VX302 was then purchased and operated by the Cavanaugh Flight Museum based in Galveston, Texas until being damaged in a forced landing in August 2008.

Sanders Aeronautics, known for their expertise in the field of Sea Furies and aircraft
restoration, has been contracted by Meier Motors to strip and rebuild the T.20 fuselage to its original two seat dual control configuration.

Photo Gallery

Copyright © 2016 Sanders Aeronautics, Inc.  All Rights Reserved  |  Terms of Use