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Saab J29 Tunan "The Flying Barrel"

Role Fighter
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer Saab AB
First flight 1 September 1948
Introduction 1951
Retired 1976
Primary users
Swedish Air Force
Austrian Air Force
Produced 1948–1956
Number built 661

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J29 Tunan "1951"

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J29 Tunan "1951"

The Saab 29 Tunnan, colloquially the Flygande tunnan (English: “The flying barrel),[1] is a Swedish fighter that was designed and manufactured by Saab in the 1940s. It was Sweden’s second turbojet-powered combat aircraft, the first having been the Saab 21R and it was the first post-Second World War Western European fighter to be produced with a swept wing, the Me 262 having been the first, during the war.[2][3] Despite its rotund appearance, from which its name is derived, the J 29 was fast and agile and served effectively in both fighter and fighter-bomber roles into the 1970s.


Sweden had fallen behind the rapid technical progress being made elsewhere, and Saab needed to catch up in terms of aerodynamics and jet propulsion.[4] Accordingly, project “JxR” was initiated in late 1945 and requirements were drawn up in October 1945.[5] A pair of proposals were presented by the Saab design team, led by Lars Brising. The first of these, codenamed R 101, nicknamed cigarren (the cigar) due to its shape, bore a strong resemblance to the American Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. The second design, which was chosen, was the barrel-shaped design, codenamed R 1001, which proved to be both faster and more agile

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Saab J29 Tunan Fighter


J 29
Four prototypes built in 1949–50.
J 29A
Fighter, 224 built from 1951 to 1954; later series had wing-mounted dive brakes moved to the fuselage, ahead of the main landing gear doors.[28]
J 29B
Fighter, 332 built 1953–55; featured 50% larger fuel capacity and underwing hardpoints to carry bombs, rockets and drop-tanks.
J 29F
Fighter, 308 aircraft converted from available stocks of B and E model airframes from 1954 to 1956

J29 Tunan "1951": Specifications

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 10.23 m (33 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 3.75 m (12 ft 4 in)
  • Empty weight: 4,845 kg (10,681 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,375 kg (18,464 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Svenska Flygmotor RM2B centrifugal-flow turbojet engine, 27.0 kN (6,070 lbf) thrust


  • Maximum speed: 1,060 km/h (660 mph, 570 kn)
  • Range: 1,100 km (680 mi, 590 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 15,500 m (50,900 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 32.1 m/s (6,320 ft/min)
  • Guns:
  • Rockets:
  • 75 mm (3 in) air-to-air rockets
  • 145 mm (5.7 in) Armour-Piercing rockets
  • 150 mm (6 in) High-Explosive rockets
  • 180 mm (7.1 in) High-Explosive antiship rockets
  • Missiles:

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A 2012 Jane's Aerospace and Defense Consulting study compared the operational costs of a number of modern combat aircraft, concluding that Gripen had the lowest cost per flight hour (CPFH) when fuel used, pre-flight preparation and repair, and scheduled airfield-level maintenance together with associated personnel costs were combined. The Gripen had an estimated CPFH of US$4,700 whereas the next lowest, the F-16 Block 40/50, had a 49% higher CPFH at $7,000.

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