S 29C - SAAB 29 ”Flygande tunnan” (1954-1970)

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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 S 29C was the photo reconnaissance version. The test aircraft flew for the first time in June 1953. 76 S 29C were delivered to the Air Force 1954-1956.  

The S 29C was based on the J 29B fighter version. The nose section was redesigned to get room for the camera equipment. Later, the aircraft got  the ”saw-tooth” on each wing, from the beginning introduced on the J 29E  variant. This permitted a higher Mach number. 

Maximum seven cameras could be fitted. The standard installation consisted of four large scale SKa 10 cameras of 92 mm focal length, two vertical and two oblique mounted. Further one wide-angel SKa 15 camera (15 mm focal length) for mapping and high-altitude vertical photos, and one vertical mounted Ska 5 camera of 25 mm focal length.  

The S 29C was also equipped with Rear Warning Radar, indicating intercepting fighters in the rear sector.  A camera sight was fitted to allow the pilot to start the cameras more exact above the target. The aircraft lacked any armaments.  

Two S 29C were used by the Swedish UN forces in Congo in the beginning of the sixties. It showed an outstanding serviceability even under tropical conditions.    

Photo at top: A group of four S 29C from Wing F 3 at Malmen. SwAF/n 29961 closest to the camera.



For the Model Builder

Heller has a plastic model kit of "Tunnan" where the  builder can choose between two versions: S 29C code white B from the Swedish UN forces in Congo (F 22) or J 29E code yellow H from Wing F 4. Scale 1:72: The edition we ourselves have built (the box to the right) had Heller's catalouge number 260.


  A group of four S 29C from Reconnaissance Wing F 11 at Nyköping. SwAF/n 29929 closest to the camera.  
Swedish Air Force Recconiassance Aircraft SAAB S 29C "Tunnan" - models by Göran Sebardt
Models in scale 1:72 displayed at Flygvapenmuseum (Swedish Air Force Museum). Builder Göran Sebardt, Eskilstuna.
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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-03-25


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