Description: J 29 Tunnan is a Swedish Fighter designed
and manufactured by SAAB
History: In the wake of the Second World War it was decided that
Sweden needed a strong airdefence and it should be built around the hottest
new technology around, jetengines. Project "JxR" began in the final
months of december 1945 with two proposals from the SAAB design team. The
first, codenamed R101, was a "cigar" shaped aircraft somewhat similar to the
american P-80 Shooting Star. But the design that came out on top was the
"barrel" design, codenamed R1001, which proved to be both faster and more
agile. At first R1001 had an almost straight wing but after the Swedish
engineers had obtained some german research data on swept-wing designs the
prototype was altered. It now had a 25 degree sweep. Where and how this data
was obtained is still a bit of a mystery since all research papers were
supposed to have ended up in Russian or American hands. The SAAB 29
prototype that flew for the first time on Sept 1:st 1948 was a small "chubby"
aircraft with a single central airintake, a bubble cockpit and a very thin
swept-back wing. Because of its rotund apperance it was quickly nicknamed
"Tunnan" (barrel). J 29 as it was to be called was the first production
fighter with a swept-back wing. Tunnan was generally regarded as one of the
finest fighters of its time, it was fast and supremely agile. During a short
time in the 1950s the Swedish airforce ranked as the fourth most powerfull
in the world. It is the only Swedish jet aircraft to see combat, in 1961
five J 29Bs were stationed in Congo as part of a UN peacekeeping mission.
Most of the missions were ground-attack using the internal cannons as well as
unguided rockets. No aircraft were lost despite heavy AAA and the general
consensus of the crews as well as the foreign observers was that Tunnans
capabilities were excellent. A total of 661 Tunnans were built from 1950 to
1956 making it the largest production run for any SAAB aircraft. 30 Tunnans
were sold to Austria in 1961 where they remained in service until 1972.
Tunnan held the world speedrecord for about a year in 1954 when it set the
record at 977 km/h, the record was beaten by an American F-86 Sabre.
Current Status: No aircraft in service.
Technical Data: (J 29F)
Length: 11.00 meters
Wing Span: 10.23 meters
Height: 3.75 meters
Thrust: 2800 kp
Weigth: 4845 kg (empty)
Speed: 1060 km/h
Engine: Volvo Aero RM2B (de Havilland Ghost)
Air to Air: 4 x Hispano Mark V 20 mm Cannon, 75 mm unguided rockets, Rb 24
Air to Ground: 145 mm anti-armor rockets, 150 mm HE (high-explosive) rockets,
180 mm HE antiship rockets.
Sources: Flygplankort, Military aviation: Swedish and worldwide(http://www.canit.se/~griffon/aviation/), SAAB J29 Tunnan (http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-76412/saabj29.htm), (http://www.vectorsite.net/avj29.html)