J-29 TUNNAN gallery

The J-29 Tunnan initiated Saab’s successful career in the construction of jet-powered fighters. With more than 600 J-29 manufactured, this aircraft was a huge success for Saab company.
The aircraft was quickly nicknamed “Flygande Tunnan” (“The Flying Barrel”) due to its unpleasant appearance, but in fact the J-29 performed excellently in flight. Finally, and against the manufacturer’s desire, the aircraft was known worldwide as “Tunnan” (Barrel).
J-29 was the first western fighter to be built with swept wing type. This type of wing was created by German aeronautical engineers during WWII, and drastically reduce the drag at great speed.
The chosen engine to be installed was the de Havilland Ghost model. Although reliable, always had less performance than the desired by the J-29 builder. The engine was manufactured in Sweden under license by Svenska Flygmotor (SFA) under designation RM2.
The J-29 served with 13 different Fighter Wings within the Swedish Air Force during its 25 years career. Also, 30 ex-Swedish J-29F were transferred between 1961 and 1964 to the Austrian Air Force, (on the image), which kept them active until 1972.
Half of the Austrian Tunnan fleet were equipped with a camera pod for reconnaissance missions that was easily installed in the nose. Due to limitations imposed in the Austrian State Treaty of 1955, their J-29F never had air-to-air missiles, so their combat effectiveness was very limited.
In 1961 the UN requested military support for a peacekeeping mission in the Republic of Congo. Sweden sent nine J-29 Tunnan that carried out numerous ground attack missions without suffering a single loss, something that raised the reputation of this aircraft that was described as “excellent” throughout the campaign.
In 1955, more than 300 J-29 of the types “B” and “E” were transformed to the model “F”, changing the engine by the new RM2B turbojet, which had an afterburner that increased the power by 20%. Also featured a revised wing with “sawtooth” leading edge that allowed better behavior in flight at high speed.
The original armament consisted of four fixed 20mm Hispano Suiza Mk.V guns and different types of unguided rockets, but in 1963 the aircrafts were modified to carry two Saab RB-24 air-to-air missiles, a licensed Swedish version of the American Sidewinder missile.

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