North American FJ-1 Fury


FJ-1 Fury
FJ-1 (modified).jpg
An FJ-1 Fury of the US Navy
Role Fighter aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 11 September 1946
Introduction October 1947
Status Retired
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 33 (including prototypes)
Developed into North American F-86 Sabre

The North American FJ-1 Fury was the first operational jet aircraft in United States Navy service, and was developed by North American Aviation as the NA-135.[1] The FJ-1 was an early transitional jet of limited success which carried over similar tail surfaces, wing, and canopy derived from the piston-engined P-51D Mustang. The evolution of the design to incorporate swept wings would become the basis for the land-based XP-86 prototype - itself originally designed with a very similar straight-wing planform to the FJ-1 airframe - of the United States Air Force's enormously influential F-86 Sabre, which in turn formed the basis for the Navy's carrier-based North American FJ-2/-3 Fury.

Design and development

Ordered in late 1944 as the XFJ-1 in competition with proposals from Douglas and Vought, the Fury began as a straight-wing, tricycle gear fighter with a single turbojet passing through the fuselage. The wing, empennage, and canopy strongly resembled that of the piston-engined P-51D Mustang, North American Aviation's highly successful World War II fighter, enclosing a relocated cockpit accommodation further forward in relation to the Mustang's design, to ensure good forward pilot visibility for carrier operations.

Operational history

An FJ-1 of VF-51 aboard USS Boxer in March 1948
An Oakland Naval Air Reserve FJ-1 over Oakland, California, in 1950
FJ-1 and FJ-2 in 1952
FJ-1 Fury at Yanks Air Museum

The first flight of the prototype XFJ-1 took place on 11 September 1946, with the first of 30 deliveries beginning in October 1947. Flown by Navy squadron VF-5A, the FJ-1 made the USN's first operational aircraft carrier landing with a jet fighter at sea[N 1] on 10 March 1948 aboard USS Boxer, pioneering US jet-powered carrier operations and underscoring the need for catapult-equipped carriers. The Fury was capable of launching without catapult assistance, but on a crowded flight deck the capability was of limited use. Taking off without a catapult launch limited the FJ-1 to a perilous, slow climb that was considered too risky for normal operations.

As German research into swept wing aerodynamics was not yet available when the design was finalized, the FJ-1 used a straight wing. No provision for wing-folding had been made as dive brakes mounted in the wings made that option unfeasible. In order to conserve carrier deck space, a unique "kneeling" nose undercarriage along with a swivelling "jockey wheel" allowed the FJ-1 to be stacked tail-high, close to another FJ-1.[2]

Although ordered into production, the initial order for 100 units was trimmed to only 30 aircraft which were mainly used in testing at NAS North Island, California. VF-5A, soon redesignated as VF-51, operated the type in service beginning in August 1948. Although VF-51 went to sea on Boxer by May 1949, the FJ-1s were phased out in favor of the new F9F-2 Panther.[3]

Ending its service career in U.S. Naval Reserve units, the FJ-1 eventually was retired in 1953. The one highlight in its short service life was VF-51's win in the Bendix Trophy Race for jets in September 1948. The unit entered seven FJ-1s, flying from Long Beach, California to Cleveland, Ohio, with VF-51 aircraft taking the first four places, ahead of two California Air National Guard Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars.[1]


Prototype aircraft, powered by a 3,820 lbf (17 kN) General Electric J35-GE-2 turbojet engine, three built.[4]
FJ-1 Fury
Single-seat fighter aircraft, powered by a 4,000 lbf (17.8 kN) Allison J35-A-2 turbojet engine, armed with six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, 30 built a further 70 were cancelled.[4]


 United States

Aircraft on display


Specifications (FJ-1)

Line drawings for the FJ-1 Fury

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 34 ft 5 in (10.48 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 2 in (11.63 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 10 in (4.52 m)
  • Wing area: 221 sq ft (20.5 m2)
  • Empty weight: 8,843 lb (4,010 kg)
  • Gross weight: 15,118 lb (6,854 kg)
  • Fuel provisions Internal fuel load: 465 gal (1,743 L), Wing Tip Tanks: 2 × 170 gal (644 L)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Allison J35-A-2 turbojet, 4,000 lbf (18 kN) thrust


  • Maximum speed: 547 mph (880 km/h, 475 kn) at 9,000 ft (880 km/h at 2,743 m)
  • Range: 1,496 mi (2,407 km, 1,300 nmi) with external tanks
  • Service ceiling: 32,000 ft (9,753 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,300 ft/min (17 m/s) at sea level
  • Thrust/weight: 0.38
  • Stalling speed (power off): 121 mph (106 kn, 194 km/h)


See also

Family tree of Sabre & Fury variants

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ The first all-jet aircraft to take off and land from an American carrier was a McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom on 21 July 1946 from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, but the tests were not conducted under operational conditions.


  1. ^ a b "The FJ-1 Fury." Archived 2002-10-16 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 29 April 2008.
  2. ^ "FJ Fury." Archived 2003-02-07 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 29 April 2008.
  3. ^ "FJ Fury." Retrieved: 29 April 2008.
  4. ^ a b Andrade 1979, p. 190
  5. ^ "FJ Fury/120349". Yanks Air Museum. Retrieved: 23 January 2020.
  6. ^ "FJ-1 Fury/120351". NASM. Retrieved: 17 January 2011.


  • Andrade, John M., U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Leicester, England: Midland Counties Publishing, 1979 ISBN 0-904597-22-9
  • Bedford, Alan (July–August 1999). "Early American Carrier Jets: Evolving Jet Operations with the US Fleet, Part Two". Air Enthusiast (82): 18–23. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Taylor, John, W.R., ed. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1965-1966. London: Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1967. ISBN 0-7106-1377-6.
  • Wagner, Ray. The North American Sabre. London: Macdonald, 1963. No ISBN.
  • Winchester, Jim, ed. Military Aircraft of the Cold War (The Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books plc, 2006. ISBN 1-84013-929-3.

External links

Media related to North American FJ-1 Fury at Wikimedia Commons