P 1 - Sparmann S 1-A ”Sparmannjagaren” (1939-1947)
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Swedish Airforce Advanced Trainer P 1 Sparmann S1-A "Sparmannjagaren

Edmund Sparmann (1888-1951), mentioned on other pages in this website (Dront, Ö 4, J 1 etc) as he introduced the Austrian Phönix Aircraft in Sweden, established an aircraft factory in 1933 in Stockholm. Sparmann was born in Vienna and was an educated engineer. He had made several inventions in the aeronautical field, including an automatic stabilizer which was patented in several countries and which could be used in submarines and torpedoes as well as aircraft. During the WWI he served first in the Austrian Army flying corps and then became chief pilot and factory manager for Phönix-Werke in Vienna. His work also included designing military aircraft.  

Before starting his enterprise, Sparmann had lived in Sweden for many years. In 1919, when he arrived to Sweden and managed to sell the Phönix aircraft to the Army Aviation Company, he decided to stay here and began to work for the Thulin company and as a stuntflier.  

In 1926 Sparmann was granted Swedish citizenship. The same year he was employed as a controller and test-pilot at the Malmen workshop. He was not, however, used in the further development of the Phoenix aeroplanes. Relations between him and the other engineers at Malmen became so strained that he left his work in 1931. 

Sparmann got at this time about 250.000 Swedish crowns from the United States as compensation for a patent infringement during the war concerning his patented stabilizer. He used most of the money to establish an aircraft design bureau with a manufacturing capacity. Skilled engineers and draughtsmen were employed. The leading engineers were Germans, but he also got hold of some personnel from ASJA. In 1936 Sparmann had about forty persons employed. 

 Sparmann’s first project was an ”trainer fighter”. He meant that such an aeroplane would provide a training in flying fighters that was as good as, but considerably cheaper than, training in a real fighter.  The Air Board did not accept his reasoning and declined to buy the aeroplane. Sparmann built a prototype for his own means. The aeroplane got a civil registration (SE-ADX) in June of 1935, but crashed and was damaged beyond repair at an airshow the same summer. Finally in 1936 Sparmann got an order of four aircraft from the Air Force. Most of the order was to be paid by from the fund for combatting unemployment. This order was later followed by others. In total, Sparmann delivered ten of his ”trainer fighters” to the Air Force.  

The Air Force gave the type the designation P 1 (P = ”Provflygplan”; in English ”Trial Aircraft”). The maker’s designation was S 1-A, but the aircraft was usually called ”Sparmannjagaren” (”the Sparmann Fighter”). The ten P 1 got the Air Force numbers 811-820. 

P 1 had a fuselage of steel tubes, covered by canvas. The wooden wings were covered by plywood. Control surfaces were covered by canvas and plywood. The aircraft had a wooden propeller. In wintertime, the P 1 could be equipped with skis. The aircraft was unarmed, but could be provided with a gun camera. Some P 1’s were later modernized with a covered cabin. 

Three P 1s was delivered to the Air Force Flight Academyl at Ljungbyhed, but remained there only for a few years. The P 1 served not very much in the intended role as ”training fighter”. As it had a long range, it was much used for liaison flying at various Air Force Wings around the country. The aircraft performed very well and was easy to fly. It was a popular ”toy” among the pilots during the years of WWII.  

The power plant was a 4-cylinder de Havilland Gipsy Major engine of 130 hp. 

Due to lack of financial resources, Sparmann could not survive in the competition with the larger aircraft manufacturers in Sweden. But the government and the Air Force were willing to help Sparmann and his personnel to be employed at the company that was eventually chosen as Sweden’s main aircraft producer. The story ended with that Sparmann was offered 100.000 crowns for good-will, compensation for manufacturing equipment etc and employment for three years at SAAB. This was without doubt a good offer, but Sparmann accepted only reluctantly. He was regarded as being difficult to co-operate with and also showed little interest in the new developments in the aeronautical field. The Sparmann story ended in bitterness.  

Photos: Top - The only remaining P 1 - Sw AF/n 814 (c/n 8), now exhibited at Flygvapenmuseum. Bottom: The same aircraft at Såtenäs, Spring 1942.

Length: 6,18 m. Span: 8,00 m. MTOW: 625 kg. Max. speed: 250 km/h



For the Model Builder

The Czech company Kora Models has developed a resin model kit of P 1. Scale 1:72. Catalouge number 7297.

Kora Models kit in 1:72 of P 1 Sparmann. Catalouge number 7297.


Swedish Airforce Advanced Trainer P 1 Sparmann S1-A "Sparmannjagaren


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-10