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Saab J35 Draken

The Saab 35 Draken [Dragon] is a second generation supersonic interceptor with a distinctive double delta wing. The decision to develop the Saab 35 Draken supersonic fighter, which introduced what was perhaps the most daring chapter so far in the history of the Swedish aircraft industry, had been taken as far back as 1949. After much research including flight-testing of a 70 percent scale aircraft, the first prototype of the innovative double-delta Draken flew in late 1955 and Sweden´s first Mach 2 fighter was a reality, entering production in 1957.

The J35A Draken entered service in 1959 and was followed by five different versions for the Swedish Air Force, including the all-weather J35F with its then advanced radar, infra-red search and track system, and both radar and IR guided missiles.

In all, 612 Drakens were built between 1955 and 1972. Of these, 51 were exported to Denmark, Finland assembled 12 under license and later bought a number of ex-Swedish aircraft, and Austria ordered 24 modified Drakens. In 1985 Austria became the third export customer, after Denmark and Finland, to buy Saab Draken. This was the fourth time that Austria bought Saab aircraft for their air defense, having previously bought Saab 29, Saab Safir and Saab 105OE.

The single-seat combat aircraft had a single engine and was equipped with two 30mm automatic cannons and Sidewinder air-to-air guided weapons. The fuselage is round with small canopy, extending beyond the trailing edge of the tail fin, which is small and is highly swept along both leading and trailing edge. Small oval air intakes are located on either side of the fuselage. There are several versions of this aircraft and the type can operate from small airfields.

As the jet era started, Sweden foresaw the need for a jet fighter that could intercept bombers at high altitude and also successfully engage fighters. Although other interceptors such as the US Air Force's F-104 Starfighter were being conceived during the same period, Saab's "Draken" would have to undertake a combat role unique to Sweden. Other demanding requirements were the capability to operate from reinforced public roads used as part of wartime airbases and for refuelling/rearming to be carried out in no more than ten minutes, by conscripts with minimal training. In September 1949, the Swedish Defence Material Administration issued a request for a fighter/interceptor aircraft, and work began at Saab the same year. Draken's design incorporated a distinctive "double-delta" configuration, with one delta wing within another larger delta. The inner wing had an 80° angle for high speed performance, while the outer 60° wing gave good performance at low speeds. Propulsion was provided by a single Svenska Flygmotor RM6B/C turbojet (Rolls-Royce Avon 200/300). A ram turbine, under the nose, provided emergency power and the engine had a built-in emergency starter unit. The Draken could deploy a drag chute to reduce its landing distance. The double-delta shape was so revolutionary that it warranted the only sub-scale test aircraft built in Sweden: the Saab 210, unofficially nicknamed "Lilldraken" (the little dragon). The Saab 210 tested the concept of the double delta, first flying on 21 January 1952. The 210's successful testing results led to an order for three full-size Draken prototypes. The first prototype, not fitted with an afterburner, made its maiden flight on 25 October 1955. The second prototype, equipped with an afterburner, unintentionally broke the sound barrier on its first flight while climbing.


  • J35A - had a single search radar, air-to-air-missiles and automatic guns. A total of 90 aircraft were built, of which 83 pieces were delivered during 1960 -1961. The last 25 aircraft manufactured with a longer rear body to give space for a new afterburner EBK. 5 aircraft out of the short version later converted to SAk35C.
  • J35B - had better radar and aiming towards J35A for rocket and missile weapons and machine guns, it was integrated into STRIL 60 system through the digital control data transmission. A total of 73 aircraft were built, and 72 units were delivered in 1962-1963.
  • SAk35C - A total of 25 J35A aircraft were converted into a two-seat school version. The SAk35C (the SK standing for Skol, meaning Trainer and the C standing for Caesar), lacking armament, was delivered in 1962 and in 1963.
  • J35D - had the same avionics and armament as J35B but with a more powerful engine and more space for fuel. A total of 120 copies were built, of which 118 pieces were delivered between 1963 -1965. Of these 28 aircraft later converted to S35E.
  • S35E - Reconnaissance version had the camera sight and cameras to be vertically and oblique image shooting, which came on the radar, sight and armament. The aircraft could result in significantly more fuel in the external systems as well as having the radar countermeasure equipment. Total of 58 aircraft were built and deliveredduring 1965 and 1967. Of these, 28 were rebuilt J35D.
  • J35F - had a improved avionics with integrated radar and missile fire director for direct case. Other avionics, engine and fuel supply was identical J35D. Total of 230 J35F1 aircraft were built, and constituted a first minor version delivered in a total of 100 copies between 1965 and 1966. The J35F2 was a modified version of J35F1 equipped with infrared spotters as a complement to siktesradarn. Total delivered 130 J35F2 between 1967 and 1972.
  • J35J - This variant was further upgraded avionics, more mounts for missiles as well as larger fuel capacity in external tanks. Between 1987-1991 delivered 66 airplanes by modifying the previous stored J35F2.
When designing a fighter has to be well ahead of time that the equipment will not have time to become obsolete before they are put into use. Already in 1949 began to consider the successor to J 29 barrel and J 32B Lansen. Developments in aviation went at a furious pace after the Second World War. Instead of disarmament became general restoration when the "Cold War" took over six years of war. Sweden wanted to be on top of this development, it still had fresh memories of the country's abysmal defense planning before the war, and this would not be repeated. To develop new modern aircraft that could compete with the outside world's best was not challenged by the politicians. They realized the necessity of a strong air defense to argue our neutrality. To further emphasize our neutrality considered it natural to be as independent as possible from foreign suppliers. Economically SAAB J 35 less expensive than comparable foreign alternatives. Bell X1 Bell X1 1947 American rocket plane X1 passing the sound barrier in the rate and more and more planes were designed for supersonic speeds. This is achieved by improved aerodynamics but mainly by new engines with substantially increased traction relative to engine weight and the development of afterburner. EBK increases traction normally up to 35%, but in some designs increase traction considerably more. For Sweden, it was considered now that the threat would come from the bombers at supersonic speed and at very high altitudes. Head of the new project was the now legendary airplane engineer Erik Bratt at SAAB. The project was number 1200. A first draft came in December 1949, and was called 1220. It was a enkeldeltavingat plane with two engines that would operate just supersonic speeds. This plan would be too expensive and moreover are not adapted to the requirements of the Air Force set for the substitute to J 29 and J 32 barrel Lance. The requirements that the Air Force was sitting was a dagjaktplan that could quickly reach altitudes between 10,000 and 18,000 meters. It would be a supersonic aircraft, that is able to fly faster than sound (about 1200 km / h). The aircraft would have a long reach and sustainably and equipped with radar. Furthermore, the plane have short take-off and landing distance to be able to operate from the existing and planned simple scale bases. They wanted to continue on the previous experience of the barrel and the Lance, where daily service could be managed by national service mechanic under the supervision of a few superiors permanent mechanics and engineers. Maintenance costs would be minimal, refueling and reloading weapons could be done within 10 to 15 minutes so the plane could be in the battle for the shortest possible ground stop. Hunting aircraft could also be led by a combat management system. Simultaneously with Dragon developed partly computerized Stril 60. A general objective was that the new plane would have a performance exceeding 50% of all known fighter in service worldwide. Erik Bratt concluded that a double delta wing could meet all Air Force requirements. The advantage of the double delta was that the inner part of the wing, despite its relative thickness, was long and it did minimal air resistance at the envisaged supersonic speeds. The outer rear part were thin and particularly suitable for lågfartsregistret. The interior also had good space for tanks, landing gear and fixed weapon mounts. The interior also contributed to a stable construction. Double Delta was a design that no one has seen, Sweden was the first in the world construction. This aerodynamic hit would make it possible to easily achieve double the speed of sound. Stig ability was impressive at J 35th Stig ability was impressive at J 35th To test it completely unknown design was first built a small linstyrt model planes. It worked, and after a lot of wind tunnel experiments, it was decided to build a flying scale model, 70% of full scale. This model was called the SAAB 210. Later, after the first flight of the Saab 35 Draken, was 210 unofficially called the Little Dragon. SAAB 210 Little Dragon flew for the first time January 21, 1952, the pilot was Bengt Olow. In the picture above we see the air intakes completely in the nose, later built 210-ball if by moving back air vents for better airflow to the engine. After rebuilding became the name SAAB 210B. SAAB 210 Little Dragon flew for the first time January 21, 1952, the pilot was Bengt Olow. In the picture above we see the air intakes completely in the nose, later built 210-ball if by moving back air vents for better airflow to the engine. After rebuilding became the name SAAB 210B. SAAB 210B SAAB 210B The anticipated flight characteristics of the delta wing was proven and confirmed during test flights with Little Dragon approximately 1,000 flights pass. When all the tests have been approved, it was decided to build a number of full-scale prototypes. Simultaneously with the first flight of the Saab 210 was decided that the project from October 1951 called in 1250 would continue. It was a plan developed for missile armament and direct cases and would become the basis for future J 35. Already in April 1952 ordered the Royal Academy. Aerospace Administration (KFF) 3 prototypes of SAAB 35th The first prototypes of SAAB 35th The first prototypes of SAAB 35th They had planned for a completely Swedish-made jet engine, Stal Glan engine with 5000 kg traction without EBK. KFF decided in November 1952 to complete the development of the Swedish motor, much because of it could not wait until it was fully tested, it needed an engine promptly both 32 Lance and the future 35 Draken. Instead, they got good deals by British Rolls Royce to license, produce their engines in Sweden, which gradually upgraded to the newer series of standards. Aircraft engine in Trollhattan license manufactured engines and built the domestically developed efterbrännkammarna. The first prototypes were weaker Rolls Royce Avon MK21, but this engine was soon replaced with Avon 200 series became the Swedish RM6B. Later built RM6C which was based on Avon 300 series. The first prototype of the Saab 35 Draken then flew October 25, 1955, also with Bengt Olow at the controls. As early as January 26, 1956 passed this first prototype sound barrier in pitch, WITHOUT EBK! The first series of the J 35A ordered by KFF in August 1956 and March 1960 delivered the first series-built J 35A to F13 in Norrköping. Other news that came by airplane 35 was the introduction of control data and commands from the new combat management system STRIL 60. Sweden was, if not first, number two in the world to introduce computerized combat command. The United States was perhaps slightly ahead of its SAGE system. As Major General Gunnar Lindqvist at KFF once said, "Together with STRIL 60 and the base and maintenance system constituted Dragon a network-based air defense (NBD) more than 30 years earlier than a dazed defense line invented words NBF and leading politicians exploited buzzword NBF to disarm our defense." Shelf on the plate at F16 in Uppsala. Shelf on the plate at F16 in Uppsala. J 35D from the F13 over the mountains. J 35D from the F13 over the mountains. The dragon was built in 7 versions for the Air Force and the total delivered 533 planes: J 35A, 35B J, SK 35C (two-seat school version), J 35D, 35E S (unarmed reconnaissance version), J and J 35F 35J. J 35 A, B and C had RM6B engine with thrust: 4750kp without and with 6340kp EBK. J35 D, E, F and J had RM6C engine with thrust: 5650kp without and with EBK 7755 (with RM6C could D, E, F and J, passing Mach 2, that is, twice the speed of sound). Air Force 35: or came to be used operationally at 11 air bases and consist of 26 divisions, fighters, reconnaissance planes 4 divisions and one division trainer. Dansk SK 35C Dansk SK 35C Total produced 615 Saab 35 Draken in nine versions. Of these, 19 pcs. test aircraft and 63 st. exported to Finland, Denmark and Austria. The time from the development work began in 1952 to last flight in the service became very slow. As a - what if in 1970 were still using a plane, in military service, which was manufactured in 1924 !! Curiosities: During the "Cold War" was Drakensberg involved in many events reflected in other contexts. One example was when a J 35F surprised a SR71-crew to perform a direct case against them during their normal mission profile, ie height approximately 20 000m of speed about Mach 3.0 and radar interference. Of course, no weapons were fired, it was just an indication that Sweden is able to defend its airspace to these limits. Another example is that we have seen in various air shows performed by Russian pilots is so spectacular "Pugasjevs cobra" . The Russian pilots did actually experience this when they met Swedish J 35's pilots over the Baltic Sea. The Swedes made ??a "short parade" to get it behind you to go by. This was an instability that existed in the Dragon, and was simply the entrance to the "Super Team", but if handled correctly, it was only a "stop cord". The Russians thought it was a "brazen" maneuver and showed up on their air shows. Draken (English: "Kite" or ?"Dragon") Saab JA 35 Draken The Saab 35 Draken (English: "Kite" or ?"Dragon") was a Swedish fighter aircraft manufactured by Saab between 1955 and 1974. The Draken was built to replace the Saab J?29 Tunnan and, later, the fighter variant (J?32B) of the Saab 32 Lansen. The indigenous J?35 was an effective supersonic Cold War fighter that was also successfully exported to Austria, Denmark and Finland. Around 1950 Sweden realized that they needed a fighter who could intercept the new nuclear-armed bombers that could fly faster than sound. The aircraft would be equipped with radar and also be able to fly faster than sound. In addition, have a very good climbing ability, long range, endurance and the ability to carry the weapons needed for the mission. In addition, the aircraft would be able to take off and land on the scale bases, which was standard for the Swedish Air Force. Chief Engineer of the project was Erik Bratt. The choice fell on a design with a narrow fuselage with a double delta wing. This vane gave good flying characteristics at high speeds due to the internal, more arrow-shaped wing. The outer delta wing could then combine this with good flight characteristics at lower speeds. The thick inner wing conceded large fuel space and also good areas for landing gear and fixed weapon mounts. It also made ??the construction very stable. The design was evaluated in a test aircraft called SAAB 210 Draken. This aircraft was built in a smaller scale (around 70%), and thus became unofficially dubbed the 'Little-Dragon' after the first prototype of the SAAB 35 flown. SAAB 210 used only at subsonic flights. This aircraft is now on display at the Air Force Museum in Linköping. The name of the dragon came from its similarity directly from above in the form of a 'flying dragon', and had nothing to do with the fire-breathing fairytale animal to do The first prototype flew in October 1955, and the deliveries of the first version, J 35A, began in 1959. This version had a Rolls-Royce Avon 200 engine (in Sweden called RM 6B) which provided 64.1 kN force together with a Swedish-made afterburner. The dragon was constructed as a höghöjdsjaktplan, but also proved to be very capable at lower altitudes. A reconnaissance version, the S 35E, was added later, as well as a two-seater training version, Sk 35C. Dragon also exported to Denmark, Finland and Austria. Total built 644 Draken aircraft. They served in four different air forces in a total of 46 years (1959-2005). Even today fly some civilian in the United States. Moreover kept some aircraft airworthy in Sweden and Denmark for display purposes. On January 15, 1960 flew for the first time a Swedish fighter aircraft in the double speed of sound. It was test aviator Captain Erik Dahlström as a J 35B Dragon put the record in level flight.

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Page last modified: 15-07-2016 19:25:30 ZULU