One airshow moment left over from last years Advent posts is another sequence from the excellent Air Legend show at Melun. You can read plenty about the whole show in my report on this site but for this post I wanted to focus on one specific aircraft.
Ever since falling in love with the airshow folklore that was the late 80s/early 90s of the early Hanna/Grey collections the sight of a desert schemed “Sea Fury” has always held great appeal. As I investigated more I soon understood that this was an Iraqi scheme and was a Fury, rather than a Sea Fury (commonly known as “Baghdad Furys” or Fury ISS). In the years since the repaint and subsequent departure of the Old Flying Machine’s example, this scheme has not been seen at an airshow.
That all looked set to change a few years ago when it was announced that a Centaurus powered Fury was being restored to flight in Belgium and was completed in that classic striking scheme. The fact that it was going to retain the Bristol power-plant too was a bonus!
A few years of engine runs and challenges followed before the Fury eventually took to the sky in 2019 making its airshow debut later in the year. With airshow trips to France and Germany booked in September I hoped that I might catch a glimpse of this fighter, especially as its stable mates, the Boomerang, Yak-3 and Spitfire, were already lined up for Melun. Sure enough in the days approaching the show it was announced that the Belgian based Fury would be making its French airshow debut across the weekend.
There were a huge range of wonderful debuts and firsts for me at Melun but I couldn’t help but focus on seeing this one particular example fly across the weekend. The arrivals day came and went with no sign of the Fury and Saturday went ahead without an appearance too. There was hope though as talk was spreading round that the Fury would be coming back alongside the Spitfire (which departed off slot on the Saturday) on Sunday morning.
Sure enough just as I walked into the show ground on Sunday the familiar shape and sound of a Centaurus Fury joined overhead alongside the Spitfire and taxied into position. What a sight this airframe is! We’ve been lucky over the years to enjoy various different Fury/Sea Fury airframes with a wide variety of paint schemes. While noting outdoes Anglia Aircraft Restorations example, marked as the prototype, this scheme comes close.
The Fury (OO-ISS) flew alongside Shaun Patrick’s R2800 powered example before performing a graceful solo display. Though lacking the typical high energy aerobatics (which were supplied by the other example) it was all that was required to enjoy the wonderful sight and sound in the air.
Here’s hoping that later on this summer the world is approaching normality again and we can all return to Melun to see what wonders they can offer!