Hawker Sea Fury T 20

The Hawker Sea Fury T.20 was a two-seat trainer originally developed as a private venture by Hawker, but that was adopted by the Fleet Air Arm. Hawker had first gained experience of fitting a second cockpit to a single-seat fighter when converted a Hurricane IIC for Persia. Early in 1947 the Iraqi government ordered four two-seat Sea Fury trainers as part of a larger order for Sea Furies. Before the first aircraft was completed the Admiralty intervened, purchasing the aircraft (Iraq was offered all of the flight test data).

The first T.20 made its maiden flight on 15 January 1947. At this stage it had two separate canopies over the two cockpits, with the trainee in front and the tutor behind. During early tests the windscreen on the tutor's cockpit collapsed, and so on production aircraft the tutor's windscreen and the back of the student's canopy were removed and the two cockpits were linked by a Perspex tunnel.

The T.20 retained two of the four 20mm cannons of the FB.11. The space normally occupied by the missing cannon was filled with equipment displaced by the second cockpit. The tail hook was removed and the retractable tail-wheel replaced by a fixed wheel. A periscope was fitted above the rear gun sight to allow the instructor to aim weapons. 

Sixty-one T.20s were built. Of these two went to Iraq as part of the original order, while others went to Pakistan, with the designation T.61. 

The T.20 was used by second-line squadrons to provide a third stage of pilot training, at Culdrose in Cornwall, coming after the pilot had passed through the RAF Flying Training School at Syerston and advancing instruction at Lossiemouth. It was also used by the RNVR as a conversion trainer when the FB.11 entered service with the reserves.

The T.20 was withdrawn in June 1956, and twenty were cleared for export, going to Burma, Cuba and to West Germany, where they were used at target tugs as the TT.20

Engine: Bristol Centaurus XVIII
Power: 2,550hp
Crew: 2
Wing span: 34 ft 3 3/4in
Length: 34ft 8in
Height: 15ft 10.5in
Empty Weight: 8,700lb
Maximum Weight: 11,930lb
Max Speed: 445mph
Service Ceiling: 35,600ft
Range: 1,310 miles with drop tanks
Armament: Two 20mm cannon
Bomb-load: Two 500 or 1,000lb bombs or twelve rockets

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 February 2010), Hawker Sea Fury T 20 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hawker_sea_fury_T20.html

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