The Prop Plane That Won Against A Fighter Jet
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At the height of the Korean War, Lieutenant Peter “Hoagy” Carmichael was aboard the cockpit of the Hawker Sea Fury, a propeller-driven plane that felt almost archaic to the Soviet MiG-15s.
In a tight dogfight, Carmichael and other Sea Fury pilots went head-to-head with the MiGs. Carmichael was able to bring down one of the jets, making the Sea Fury one of those rare propeller planes to down a fighter jet in air combat.
The Rise of Fury
The Sea Fury was designed and manufactured by Hawker Aircraft Limited at the last days of WWII.
Development was traced back to 1942, and the design was aimed to create a fighter bomber with great firepower and maneuverability into a smaller, lightweight, and much faster aircraft.
However, the RAF canceled its orders as it had enough planes to fight the Luftwaffe.
The development of the Sea Fury continued with the semi-naval version, featuring a short arrester hook and non-folding wings, having its maiden flight in late February 1945.
The plane was eventually dubbed as the Sea Fury, and its first production model entered service in 1947 as a primary ground attack plane.
It had a maximum take-off weight of 5,700 kgs and was powered by a Bristol Centaurus engine with a five-bladed propeller providing 2,480 hp, allowing the plane to reach speeds up to 740 km/hr with a rate of climb of 1,300 meters and an estimated range of 1,220 km.
It’s equipped with four 20 mm Hispano MK V automatic cannons and either 12 three-inch unguided aerial rockets or two jettison-able fuel tanks.
The Royal Australian Navy also started to get more Sea Fury deliveries as tensions rose in the Pacific with the spread of communism. Sea Furies were then deployed to Korea to support the UN war effort against the North Koreans.
Jet-powered Soviet MiGs began taking to the skies to fight for air supremacy against UN troops and Sea Furies engaged new enemy aircraft without hesitation, although they were cautious.
Thus, earning the Sea Fury one of the few places among piston-engine fighters to ever destroy a jet powered aircraft in the Cold War.