This Day in Aviation History
October 25th, 1955
First flight of the Saab 35 Draken.
The Saab 35 Draken (“Kite” and/or “Dragon”) was a Swedish fighter aircraft manufactured by Saab between 1955 and 1974. The Draken was built to replace the Saab J 29 Tunnan and, later, the fighter variant (J 32B) of the Saab 32 Lansen. The indigenous J 35 was an effective supersonic Cold War fighter that was also successfully exported to Austria, Denmark, Finland, and to the United States as a test pilot training aircraft.
The Draken was the first fully supersonic aircraft to be deployed in Western Europe.
As the jet era started, Sweden foresaw the need for a jet fighter that could intercept bombers at high altitude and also successfully engage fighters. Although other interceptors such as the US Air Force’s F-104 Starfighter were being conceived during the same period, Saab’s “Draken” would have to undertake a combat role unique to Sweden. Other demanding requirements were the capability to operate from reinforced public roads used as part of wartime airbases, and for refuelling/rearming to be carried out in no more than ten minutes, by conscripts with minimal training. In September 1949, the Swedish Defence Material Administration issued a request for a fighter/interceptor aircraft, and work
began at Saab the same year.
Draken’s design incorporated a distinctive “double-delta” configuration, with one delta wing within another larger delta. The inner wing has an 80° angle for high-speed performance, while the outer 60° wing gives good performance at low speeds. Propulsion was provided by a single Svenska Flygmotor RM 6B/C turbojet (Rolls-Royce Avon 200/300). A ram turbine, under the nose, provided emergency power, and the engine had a built-in emergency starter unit. The Draken could deploy a drag parachute to reduce its landing distance….
Wikipedia, Saab 35 Draken: http://gstv.us/1R4BLtw
YouTube, Saab J35 Draken Marketing video: http://gstv.us/1R4BKFR
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