A 29B/E - SAAB 29 "Flygande tunnan" (1954-1957)

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Swedish Air Force Attack / Fighter Aircraft SAAB A 29 / J 29 "Tunnan"


After the WWII, SAAB designed a fighter aircraft with swept wings and built around the license-built Ghost engine (RM 2, 2.270 kp). Due to the large cross section of the engine, the aircraft was from the beginning was nicknamed ”Flygande tunnan (the Flying Barrel”).

SAAB 29 was developed primarily as a fighter-interceptor aircraft, but versions for reconnaissance and attack were also produced. Totally 661 SAAB 29 were built.  

The A 29B was the fighter version J 29B modified for attack missions. In addition to the built-in four 20 mm automatic cannons with 180 rounds each, also armour-piercing rockets (several alternatives) and napalm bombs could be carried, the latter instead of drop fuel tanks.

Awaiting the A 32 Lansen, specially designed for attack operations, the wings F 6 (Karlsborg) and F 7 (Såtenäs) were equipped with the A 29B. In 1953, the new fighter version J 29E, with a ”saw-tooth” on each wing, took to the air. This modification permitted a higher Mach number. A large number of J 29B were modified to J 29E standard. Also most of the attack version aircraft  were rebuilt and re-designated A 29E.  

The SAAB 29 served for a long time in the Swedish Air Force, but its time as attack aircraft was rather short. Experiences, that formed a valuable basis for the design work of the A 32 Lansen, were achieved. New tactics for the future were developed.

Photo at top: "Red Cesar" of Wing F 7. July, 1955.  

Photo below: "Red Harald" of Wing F 7 over Lake Vänern.

Photo at bottom: "Wing F 6 at Karlsborg in 1955. "Yellow Olof" and "Yellow Martin" in the foreground. The latter with take-off rockets (JATO).

Swedish Air Force Attack / Fighter Aircraft SAAB A 29  "Tunnan" of Wing F 7, Såtenäs

Swedish Air Force Attack  Aircraft SAAB A 29  "Tunnan"
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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-02-16

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