Ellsworth acquired his Sea Fury “N260X” in 1975 ten years after it was imported to the United States from the Royal Australian Navy. Ellsworth returned 260X to flight status after four years of assembly and inspection. He consulted regularly with the premier Sea Fury experts of the day, Lloyd Hamilton and Frank Sanders, whom he befriended and idolized. For more information the history of N260X, visit Aerial Visuals Airframe Dossier.
Ellsworth campaigned 260X at airshows throughout North America, becoming a regular and favorite attendee at events and with people that interested him. All the while, he honed his skills with this ultimate tail-dragger. He frequented events in Oshkosh, Abbotsford, Watsonville, Chino and beyond. Typically, he would arrive at the venue, secure and then meticulously detail his airplane, whipping away oil, cleaning and polishing the paint and flame shields. All the while, he would engage with interested people who would inquire about his airplane.
Ellsworth was an entertaining and intense advocate of the Sea Fury and his in particular, sharing detailed information about the power plant and systems from his vantage as an aeronautical engineer. In short order he was surrounded by people who were interested in learning about his wonderful and remarkable machine.
Often at these events, Ellsworth would participate in formation flybys or demonstrations. The power and engine note of the Bristol Centaurus engine are most impressive. Back on the ground after these displays, he would return to the details of cleaning his prize for display and conversation.
Hawker Sea Fury Specs:
|Wing Span||38 ft|
|Weight, Empty||9,148 lbs|
|Weight, Gross||16,000 lbs|
|Stall Speed||88 mph|
|Max Speed||464 mph|
|Cruise Speed||230 mph – 290 mph|
|Service Ceiling||35,800 ft|
|Power Plant||Bristol Centaurus 2,600 hp, two-row 18 cylinder sleeve valve radial engine|
N260X Through the Years
Thank you to Mike Henniger of https://www.aerialvisuals.ca for scanning many of the photos on this page.