Short Straw, Korean War Book Review


Short Straw
Memoirs of Korea
by Captain Bernard W. Peterson

Memoirs of Korea Page 20

Short Straw is a tremendous book written by Captain Bernard W. Peterson about aviation in the Korean War. 

The Hawker Sea Fury is one of my favorite airplanes.  The Sea Fury is 34' 8" long, 16' 1" high and has a wingspan of 38' 4".  It had an empty weight of 9,240 lbs and a gross weight of 12,500 lbs.  The Hawker Sea Fury had one Bristol Centaurus 18 engine producing 2480 hp giving it a maximum speed of 460 mph.   There is an interesting fact about the Sea Fury's engine.  The engine is a sleeve valve engine instead of a poppet valve engine.  Read more about sleeve valve engines Here.  
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Hawker Sea Fury
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Scanned by C. Jeff Dyrek

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Hawker Sea Fury FB MK 11, used by the British, Canadian and Australian Air Forces,  carried two 1000 lb bombs or twelve 60 LB rockets, and four 20 mm Hispano MK5 cannons.  Sea Furies were used throughout the Korean War, and often tangled with the much faster Russian Mig-15 jets with some success.  They operated almost exclusively off of British Commonwealth aircraft carriers.  Recently, in the 1990's, re-engined with our latest and higher horsepower radial engines, they have proven to be a popular aircraft for racing. 
Excerpt from "Short Straw," by Captain Bernard Peterson.

The Hawker Sea Fury has an engine that uses a Sleeve Valve.  Instead of using the standard poppet valve like in the engines that we see today, the Sea Fury used a sleeve valve to regulate the intake and exhaust flow. 

The advantage of the sleeve valve is that  when the valve is open their is no restriction of the intake gasses.  Where in a poppet valve engine the components of the valve stem, valve guide and valve head are all in the intake air flow creating drag and reducing the efficiency and power of the engine. 

To illustrate the efficiency difference of the engines, a Sea Fury flying at cruise flight ( about 245 Knots) will burn about 60 GPH.  A Sea Fury using the R3350 Poppet Valve engine will burn about 80 - 85 GPH.

If anyone can send me a picture of how this sleeve valve engine works please let me know at the bottom of this page. 

C. Jeff Dyrek, webmaster

More About Sleeve Valve Engines


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Why is it important to look at airplanes?  Airplanes, especially planes like the B-25 Mitchell show the rapid growth of technology in the world and in the United States that provided us with the great freedom that we enjoy today.  With this freedom comes responsibility.  The responsibility to learn all we can not only about airplanes or history, but about technology.  Technology is the most important product of the United States has today.  To keep our country on top of the worlds technology requires us to have the most trained workforce anywhere.  Aviation is important because aviation and aerospace both exhibit the limits of our technology. If our students learn about aviation they will be able to understand any field of work.  We must ensure that aviation, airplanes, aircraft and aerospace are words on all of our children's lips.
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