J 22 -  FFVS J 22 (1943-1952)

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Helicopter Sweden

Swedish Air Force fighter aircraft J 22

When the WWII broke out in 1939, the Swedish Air Force had only one Wing equipped with fighters. It was F 8 at Barkarby, intended for the defence of Stockholm. In February 1940, it was decided to establish further two Fighter Wings, F 9 near Gothenburg and F 10 in the south of Sweden. Two more Fighter Wings were established during the WWII, F 13 at Norrköping and F 16 at Uppsala. New fighter aircraft became of highest priority.  

Obtaining fighter aircraft from abroad was impossible due to the war situation. SAAB, the Swedish Aeroplane Company, was in full production, but was concentrated on the production of bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. The lack of aluminium and other strategic materials was great, and SAAB needed more than they could get. In this situation, the clever aircraft engineer and designer Bo Lundberg got the task to design a fighter aircraft. Only domestic materials would be used. The new design would consist of a frame of steel tubing, strengthened by a skin of birch plywood panels. The only engine available was the STW C-3 ”Swedish Twin Wasp”. This was a Swedish copy, built without license, of the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp of 1065 hp.

An advantage was that the Air Force’s central workshops had a long experience of working with steel and wood. Engineers and draughtsmen would be recruited from the Air Administration and other sources outside SAAB. The Air Force workshops in Stockholm (FFVS) was to assemble the aircraft, mostly from parts made by more than 500 sub-contractors all around Sweden.

T he work advanced rapidly, and in September 1942, the first J 22 took to the sky. Serial production began in the summer of 1943.

The J 22 was built in two different versions, the J 22A armed with two 7,9 mm machine-guns and two 13,2 mm automatic cannons, and J 22B armed with four automatic cannons. 120 J 22A and 78 J 22B were produced.

Photo at top and at bottom: J 22A c/n 185, Sw AF/n 22185 in the markings of First (red) Squadron) of Wing F 10.  It is owned by Flygvapenmuseum, but placed at F 10 Kamratförening. Photo above taken at F 7, Såtenäs, in June 2000. Photo at bottom from F 10 in June 1990.

J 22 of Wing F 13 (Norrköping) from the days of active service.

J 22A:  Length: 7,80 m. Span: 10,00 m.  Maximum take-off weight: 2,835 kg. Max. speed: 575 km/h.


For the Model Builder

Marivox has developed a plastic model kit of J 22 in scale 1:72 (Kit No. 1). The box includes decals and painting instructions for five different individuals, two J 22A and three J 22B.


Plastic model kit of J 22 from Marivox in scale 1:72. The model builder can choose between two different markings of J 22A and three of J 22B.


Link to You Tube - "J22 -Swedish WW 2 fighter starting engine". The aircraft is J 22A, c/n 22185 shown at top of the page. The mechanic turns the crank to the flywheel. When he has achived a certain speed of the flywheel, the engine is connected to it. The ignition is switched on and the engine starts.


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-03-17