The Saab B17 ASJA "1940"

The Saab B17 ASJA

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The Saab B17 ASJA

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The Saab B17 ASJA

The Saab 17 is a Swedish single-engine monoplane reconnaissance dive-bomber aircraft of the 1940s originally developed by ASJA prior to its merger into Saab. It was the first all-metal stressed skin aircraft developed in Sweden.

The project was initiated in response to a 1938 request from the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force) for a reconnaissance aircraft to replace the obsolete Fokker S 6 (C.Ve) sesquiplane. Design work began at the end of the 1930s as the L 10 by ASJA, but once accepted by the Flygvapnet it was assigned the designations B 17 and S 17 for the bomber and reconnaissance versions respectively, and it became better known as the Saab 17.


The design chosen was a conventional mid-wing cantilever monoplane with a long greenhouse canopy and a single radial engine in the nose. Control surfaces were covered in fabric but the remainder was stressed-skin duraluminum. It could be fitted with wheels or skiis, both of which retracted straight to the rear along the underside of the wing, leaving prominent fairings, and when fitted with wheels the undercarriage doors could be used as dive brakes.[3] A retractable tailwheel was provided. A floatplane version was built in small numbers for coastal reconnaissance to replace the obsolete Svenska S 5, with massive fairings joining the floats to the wings where the wheels would have been. To maintain stability small vertical fins were added to the horizontal stabilizer.


Saab B17

Role Reconnaissance-dive bomber
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer Saab
First flight 18 May 1940
Introduction March 1942
Retired 1968 (Ethiopia)
Primary users Swedish Air Force
Imperial Ethiopian Air Force
Royal Danish Air Force
Produced 1941–1944
Number built 326 (including 2 prototypes)

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Saab B17 "Fighter"

The first flight was on 18 May 1940 and first deliveries of dive bombers to the Flygvapnet began in March 1942,[1] while deliveries of reconnaissance versions began in June 1942, and the type was operational by September 1942 when the first exercises were carried out.[2] Problems immediately arose with wing failures, and additional modifications were needed before it could be cleared for dive bombing, which remained limited to shallow attacks thereafter.[2] The final aircraft was delivered on 31 August 1944

Saab B17 "1940": Specifications

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.7 m (44 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)
  • Empty weight: 2,680 kg (5,908 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,870 kg (8,532 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Piaggio P.XIbis R.C.40D 9 cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 790 kW (1,060 hp)
  • Maximum speed: 435 km/h (270 mph, 235 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn)
  • Minimum control speed: 125 km/h (78 mph, 67 kn)
  • Range: 1,700 km (1,100 mi, 920 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 9,800 m (32,200 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10 m/s (2,000 ft/min)

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Rapid advances in aviation related to improved aerodynamics, higher engine power and finally the introduction of jet engines, resulted in it having a short career, and it was gradually withdrawn from frontline service between 1948 to 1950,[2] while the last examples were retired from secondary roles by 1954. Over the next few years, examples would be sold off to various operators

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