Hawker Sea Fury FB.51 (6-43) as used by the Royal Netherlands Navy (MLD) at the Military Aviation Museum, Kamp Zeist (the Netherlands)
The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Hawker. It was the last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, and also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built. Developed during the Second World War, the Sea Fury entered service two years after the war ended. The Sea Fury proved to be a popular aircraft with a number of overseas militaries, and was used during the Korean War in the early 1950s, as well as against the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba. The Sea Fury's development was formally initiated in 1943 in response to a wartime requirement of the RAF, thus the aircraft was initially named Fury. As the Second World War drew to a close, the RAF cancelled their order for the aircraft; however, the Royal Navy saw the type as a suitable carrier aircraft to replace a range of increasingly obsolete or poorly suited aircraft being operated by the Fleet Air Arm. Development of the Sea Fury proceeded,
and the type began entering operational service in 1947.
On 21 October 1946, the Royal Netherlands Navy placed an order for 10 Sea Fury F.50 aircraft, which were basically identical to the FAA's
Sea Fury Mk X aircraft, to equip the Netherlands' first aircraft carrier, the ex-HMS Nairana, renamed HNLMS Karel Doorman (QH1). The Dutch also ordered an additional 12 Fury FB.60 in 1948 and these were delivered in 1950. A manufacturing license was also acquired for the production of a further 25 Sea Fury FB.51 by Fokker Aircraft in the Netherlands, which were delivered from 1951 onwards. Several aircraft served aboard the second HNLMS Karel Doorman (R81). Dutch Sea Furies were finally replaced in 1957 by Hawker Sea Hawks. The Netherlands Naval Aviation Service
(Marine-Luchtvaartdienst or MLD) is the naval aviation branch of the Royal Netherlands Navy.