TP 86 - Rockwell Sabreliner 40A (1980- ) 
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Swedish Air Force TP 86 Sabreline  Lars E. Lundin


The Test Establishment of the Swedish Defence has acquired two Rockwell Sabreliners 40A as flying laboratories. The Sabreliner is most known under the US military designations T-39 and CT-39, but the two Swedish machines are bought in second-hand from civil operators in the USA. In Sweden, the Sabreliner has got the designation TP 86. The first aircraft, 86001, was bought in 1981 and was flown to Sweden by a Swedish Air Force crew. The second, 86002, arrived in the next year. 

Both aircraft are used as flying platforms for testing of various equipment. One early mission was to test the GPS navigation system. Other tests includes target detecting systems for missiles and meteorological investigations. The TP 86 was also used during the test of the Carabas radar system. The Carabas is able to detect targets under the ground level - a kind of X-ray technique. 

The ordinary flight crew consists of two pilots and one flight engineer. In addition, one or two operators handles the test equipment. 

The TP 86 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT12A-8 (Swedish designation RM 11) engines, each delivering a thrust of 1.500 kp. 

Photo above: # 86002 at Malmen in  May 1988. 

Below: # 86001 with antennas for the Carabas system. 

Length: 13,76 m. Span: 13,61 m. MTOW: 8.500 kg. Max. speed: 665 km/h.



Swedish Air Force TP 86 Sabreline  Lars E. Lundin collection

Military Aviation in Sweden - main page

Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-03-19