The North American FJ Fury was one of only two fighter aircraft that began life as a straight wing design and was to see service, in later models, as a swept wing design. The Navy did not feel that this early jet would be able to slow down enough to land on an aircraft carrier with swept wings. However, the Army Air Force saw the possibilities and advantages of a swept wing and continued developing the basic FJ-1 (NA-134) design with the results being one of the best fighters of all time, the F-86 Sabre.

       The original contract for 100 FJ-1 Furies was reduced to 30 production models. Next came the FJ-2 Fury which was basically a navalized F-86E Sabre. Changes included a tail hook and lengthening of the nose landing gear. After producing 200 FJ-2s the navy wanted improved performance and re-engined it with the Wright J65 Sapphire engine (License built British Armstrong Siddeley powerplant). 538 FJ-3s were built. Versions of the Westinghouse powerplant powered subsequent models of the Fury.

       The North American Model NA-209 FJ-4 (After 1962 the F1E) Fury was significantly different than earlier models of the Fury. Among others, changes were made to the wing to increase range which was thinner and had a broader chord; a thick dorsal fin was added from the end of the redesigned canopy to the tail fin, which has thinner and taller than previous versions. The main landing gear was completely redesigned.

      The subject of the model build was an FJ-4B which was a development of the FJ-4 optimized for the ground attack mission with wings stressed to carry additional loads. The FJ-4B had six underwing pylons, two more than the FJ-4. FJ-4Bs were capable of carrying the Martin ASM-N-7(Later AGM-12B) Bullpup Air to Surface missile. The Fury could carry up to five of these missiles with a guidance pod being carried on the right inboard pylon.

       This is the third Hobby Boss kit I have completed in the last year and must say they do assemble easily with very little puttying or sanding. I enhanced the cockpit by adding my on printed seatbelt and adding a decal of an instrument panel from my spares box.

       A recurring theme with Hobby Boss Kits is that the instruction sheets don’t make it clear where some pieces go. I just couldn’t figure out where parts A6 and A7 were to go and ended up leaving them out. It also was not very clear where the two fuselage intake scoops, parts A18 and A19, were to be located. Another problem with the Fury kit instructions, that I didn’t notice until it was complete, is how the landing gear bay doors are portrayed in the hanging down position. Except for the doors that were attached to the actual landing gear struts all gear bay doors were closed on the ground, they only opened when the gear was being retracted or extended. I had already glued the doors in the open position before I noticed this problem.

       The kit comes with underwing stores that include fuel tanks, two sidewinder missiles and six Bullpup missiles. In the Detail and Scale book I have on the Fury I came across a picture that shows a Fury with three Bullpups and a guidance pod for a weapons load. I chose this load for my build but I also include the kit supplied drop tanks on the middle pylons of both wings. The guidance pod was made up from a chopped down fuel tank I had in my spares box.

       Two markings options come with the kit, BuAer #141467 of US Navy Squadron VA-241 and BuAer #139462 of US Marines VMF-323 “The Death Rattlers”. Since the FJ-4B was designed for ground attack I thought the Marine markings would be more appropriate. It is common practice on US Navy/Marine aircraft to have the aircraft type and BuAer number painted on the lower tail area; these markings were missing from the kit supplied decal sheet so I went to my spares box to piece them together.

Bibliography:

       FJ Fury in detail & scale, Detail and Scale Series Volume 68 By Bert Kinzey

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