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The Hawker Sea Fury was the last piston engined fighter in front line service with the Fleet Air Arm and, according to many critics, the greatest piston engined fighter in history. However, as with its contemporary – the Seafire F Mk.47 – it was a fighter out of time; it may have been one of the greatest fighters of its type but it was propeller driven in a jet age, and competition was slim as many air forces had already moved on to jet fighters. The Hawker Fury (the second Hawker fighter to be so named) was originally designed as a lighter weight replacement for the superlative Hawker Tempest, although Sydney Camm’s team also began work on a maritime version for the Fleet Air Arm. With the end of the war in sight and a smaller requirement for fighter aircraft for the RAF – coupled with a growing interest in jet aviation – the RAF cancelled its orders for the Fury before they were even in front line service. However, with a long list of complications with operating jets from aircraft carriers still to be overcome, the Fleet Air Arm continued to pursue the naval variant: the Sea Fury. Powered by a 2480 hp Bristol Centaurus, the Sea Fury was capable of some 460 mph at 18000 feet, a rate of climb of 4600 feet per minute, and possessed an agility and balance of control which made it popular with pilots. After some initial problems with deck landing trials, the Sea Fury Mk.10 entered front line service with 807 Naval Air Squadron at Eglinton in September 1947. Hydraulically folded wings and greater ground attack capabilities were incorporated into the definitive variant – the Sea Fury FB Mk.XI, of which 615 aircraft were produced. The Sea Fury operated with great success during the Korean War, flying from the carriers HMS Ocean, Theseus, Glory and Sydney. The Sea Fury was mainly employed in ground attack duties, artillery spotting and combat air patrols, but achieved immortality during the conflict when a MiG-15 was shot down by a Sea Fury of 802 Naval Air Squadron in August 1952. The kill is officially credited to the squadron’s Senior Pilot, Lieutenant Peter ‘Hoagy’ Carmichael, although controversy and counter claims exist to this day. The Sea Fury also served with the militaries of Canada, Australia, Burma, Pakistan, the Netherlands and Cuba. It was Britain’s last piston engine fighter but lives on to this day as an air racer in several guises across the globe.