The Saab J21R "1950"

The Saab J21R Twinboom "Jet"

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The Saab J21R Tinboom "1950"

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The Saab J21R

The Saab 21R was a Swedish fighter/attack aircraft developed and produced by Saab (“SAAB” before 1950). It was a jet-powered development of the piston-engined SAAB 21 and was the first jet aircraft to be produced by Saab. Along with the Soviet Yakovlev Yak-15, the 21R was one of only two jet fighters to have been successfully converted from piston-powered aircraft.[1]


The Saab 32 Lansen had a simple general arrangement, being one of the first aircraft in the world to be specifically developed to fly attack missions.

Its basic design features it was designed from came from Switzerland. It included drawings on Messerschmitts P.1101, P.1110, P.1111 and P.1112. SAAB’s project manager Frid Wänström retrieved these secret papers from Switzerland to Sweden in 1945. The documents came from engineers from Messerschmitt who fled to Switzerland at the end of the Second World War.


J21R Twinboom

Role Fighter and attack aircraft
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer SAAB
First flight 10 March 1947
Introduction 1950
Retired 1956
Status Retired
Primary user Swedish Air Force
Produced 1950–1952
Number built 64
Developed from SAAB 21



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Saab J32 Lansen "Fighter"

During 1947, SAAB began converting the piston-engined J 21s to jet propulsion, which required extensive modifications. 124 aircraft were planned, however this was reduced to 64 and they were instead mainly used as fighter-bombers. It saw service in the late 1940s and early 1950s before it was replaced by a new generation of fighters designed from the onset with jet propulsion, such as the de Havilland Vampire and the Saab 29 Tunnan.

J21R Twinboom "1950": Specifications

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 10.55 m (34 ft 7 in) including 20mm cannon
  • Wingspan: 11.37 m (37 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 22.1 m2 (238 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: Saab laminar airfoil[16]
  • Empty weight: 3,090 kg (6,812 lb)
  • Gross weight: 4,340 kg (9,568 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 5,615 kg (12,379 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Goblin II (Svenska Flygmotor RM1) centrifugal-flow turbojet engine, 13.24 kN (2,980 lbf) thrust J 21RA / A 21RA
  • Maximum speed: 800 km/h (500 mph, 430 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 610 km/h (380 mph, 330 kn)
  • Minimum control speed: 155 km/h (96 mph, 84 kn)
  • Range: 450 km (280 mi, 240 nmi) internal tanks only
  • Ferry range: 900 km (560 mi, 490 nmi) with drop tanks
  • Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 17 m/s (3,300 ft/min)
  • Take-off run: 650 m (2,133 ft)
  • Guns: 4 × 30 mm ADEN cannons 90 rounds each
  • Rockets: 4 × 75 mm air-to-air rocket pods
  • Missiles: 4 × Rb 24 air-to-air missiles

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Operational history The first prototype Saab 21R first flew on 10 March 1947, almost 2 years after the Second World War. The aircraft first entered service with F 10 in August 1950. Although the type was intended as a fighter aircraft, the Saab J 29 was flying by October 1948, so the order was reduced to 60, and all 21Rs were eventually converted to attack aircraft as A 21RA or A 21RB depending on the engine type

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