This Day in Aviation History
December 9th, 1988
First flight of the Saab JAS 39 Gripen.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen (English: “griffin”) is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet). The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. It is powered by the Volvo RM12, and has a top speed of Mach 2. Later aircraft are modified for NATO interoperability standards and to undertake in-flight refuelling.
In 1979, the Swedish government began development studies for an aircraft capable of fighter, attack and reconnaissance missions to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen. A new design from Saab was selected and developed as the JAS 39, first flying in 1988. Following two crashes during flight development and subsequent alterations to the aircraft’s flight control software, the Gripen entered service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. Upgraded variants, featuring more advanced avionics and adaptations for longer mission times, began entering service in 2003….
Wikipedia, Saab JAS 39 Gripen: http://gstv.us/1NU5HeG
YouTube, Gripen Pilot – Blokkies Joubert – SAAF Saab JAS-39: http://gstv.us/1NU5HLD
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Photo from: http://gstv.us/1NU5UhM
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