Bearing the distinction of being the first RAF fighter to exceed 200mph in level flight, the Hawker Fury was one of the most capable fighters of the era until surpassed, first by the Gloster Gladiator and then by the monoplane Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire.
While beautiful and fast, the Fury was also much more expensive to produce compared to its contemporaries, such as the Bristol Bulldog, resulting in it seeing only limited frontline service. By the outbreak of World War II, the Fury only served with the South African Air Force as a front line fighter, the RAF examples, had all been retired to second line duties.
- Speed: 223mph
- Lenght: 26ft 9in (8.15m)
- Wingspan: 30ft (9.14m)
- Range: 270 miles
- Armament: 2 x .303 Machine Guns
It would be difficult to think of an aircraft design so markedly different to the sleek and elegant Spitfire, but the Supermarine Walrus amphibious biplane was from the hand of the same designer. Despite its somewhat ungainly appearance, the Walrus proved to be an incredibly effective aircraft and flexible enough to take on a number of roles in some of the most demanding operating environments.
Coming at the end of a long line of capable single-engined flying boats and amphibians, the Walrus was actually the product of a Royal Australian Air Force requirement for an updated and more robust version of their existing Supermarine amphibian, the Seagull III, which had proved so successful. The new aircraft, which would become known as the Seagull V, would need to have the capability to be catapult launched from Royal Australian Navy cruisers, so the wooden hull of the earlier version was replaced with a strong metal design, with additional stainless steel forgings for the catapult spools and mountings.