Saab 21R
1947
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Saab 21R

To produce Sweden's first turbo jet-powered fighter, Svenska Aeroplan adapted its Saab-21 design to accept the installation of a de Havilland Goblin gas turbine. This seemed a simple way to gain experience with this form of powerplant and, at the same time, extend the performance capability of the proven Saab-21 design; however, it was to prove rather more difficult a process than had been anticipated. The first requirement was for the aft fuselage nacelle to be widened to accept the new engine and the tailplane moved to the top of the fin to be clear of the jet efflux. It was also decided that because of the higher performance of this aircraft some structural strengthening was essential, and as there was no longer any need to be concerned about propeller ground clearance the landing gear struts were shortened. In this form the first Saab-21R prototype was flown initially on 10 March 1947, but almost two years elapsed before all development-problem fixes had been finalised, the first deliveries of production aircraft starting during February 1949.

Saab 21R

The original Saab-21 production order had been for 120 aircraft, but because of delay in its development a contemporary programme for the specially-designed turbojet-powered Saab-29 was well advanced, with a result that the Saab-21R order was reduced to only 60 aircraft. These were produced as the J21RA with a 1361kg thrust de Havilland Goblin 2 engine, and J21RB with a licence-built Goblin turbojet, 30 of each being built.

After comparatively short service in the fighter role, all were converted as attack aircraft, redesignated A21R and A21RB respectively, and carrying 10 100mm or five 180mm Bofors rocket projectiles, or 10 80mm anti-tank rockets.

3-View 
Saab 21RA three-view drawing (1000 x 672)


Specification 
 MODELJ-21RB
 CREW1
 ENGINE1 x DeHavilland "Goblin 3", 1500kg
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight4990 kg11001 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan11.6 m38 ft 1 in
    Length10.45 m34 ft 3 in
    Height2.95 m10 ft 8 in
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed800 km/h497 mph
    Ceiling12000 m39350 ft
    Range720 km447 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 20mm cannon, 4 x 13.2mm machine-guns

Saab 21R

Comments
Johan Runfeldt, 28.05.2015

One of the weapon's fits for this type consisted of a gun pod containing eight 7.9mm Browning machine-guns. The 8mm calibre was being phased out in the mid- to late forties, so RSAF had a lot of surplus guns and ammo. Trials in northern Sweden showed that these gun pods (named "Paddan" - The Toad) was excellent for cutting high-voltage power lines. Not only did they rake the isolators off the masts, it actually cut the very Cables as well. The pod can be seen on the colour profile of Red Caesar-7 above.

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