SK 35C - SAAB 35C Draken (1962-1998)
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Swedish Air Force trainer aircraft SK 35C SAAB Draken


Some years after the beginning of the Cold War, Sweden saw the need of a capable interceptor aircraft that could protect the country from transonic bombers carrying nuclear bombs. This demanded a radar-equipped fighter aircraft with supersonic speed, very high rate of climb, great range and endurance and of course the capacity of the necessary weapon load. It demanded also STOL (Short-Take-Off-and-Landing) capability to be able to operate from ordinary roads during dispersed operations according to the standard of the Swedish Air Force.

The choice fell on an layout with a slender fuselage and a double-delta wing. This kind of wing would give good performances at high speed through the inner, extremely swept part. The outer, less swept part would combine this with good characteristics at subsonic speeds. The thick inner wing, integrated with the fuselage,  granted a large fuel capacity and good space for landing gear and fixed armaments. It also made the construction very rugged. The first of the prototypes took to the air in October 1955. The deliveries of the first production variant, J 35A, began in 1959. Other versions of the Draken fighter interceptor was J 35 B (1962), J 35D (1963), J 35F (1965) and finally J 35J - 67 J 35F aircraft upgraded to higher standard (1987). A reconnaissance version, S 35E, was also manufactured (1965).

The J 29 ”Flygande tunnan” was never produced in any two-seat trainer version, a fact that probably led to many unnecessary accidents with this early arrow-winged aircraft. Due to this bad experiences, for the J 35 Draken, with its still more advanced and uncommon layout, a two-seat trainer was planned from the beginning. The trainer version - designated SK 35C - was however not delivered to the Air Force until 1962-1963. The 26 Draken trainers were re-built fighters of the J 35A variant. They got the (changed) c/n:s (= Air Force numbers) 35800-35825. The first aircraft (35800) was never delivered to the Air Force, but was kept by SAAB as a test aircraft.

A delta-wing like the Draken has a tendency to ”super-stall”. To train how to behave in this difficult situation, an anti-spin parachute was installed in a few SK 35Cs.

The SK 35C was powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon 200 engine (Swedish designation RM 6B) which gave a thrust of 6.535 kp together with a domestic designed reheat. The aircraft carried no armament.

Photo from airshow at Malmen in May 2001 of SK 35C #35811 in the markings of Wing F 10 at Ängelholm.

Length: 15,21 m. Span: 9,42 m. MTOW: 10.089 kg. Max. speed: 1.900 km/h.    



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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-03-21

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