Saab 17


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Saab 17

The Swedish company Svenska Aeroplan AB was established in 1937, combining AB Svenska Jarnvagsverkstaderna and Svenska Flygmotor AB, to build aircraft and aero-engines for the Swedish government and for export. Early licence production covered the Douglas 8A-1, similar to the US Army Air Corps' A-17; the Junkers Ju 86A twin-engined bomber; and the North American NA-16, from which was developed in the USA the AT-6 Texan. Saab's first original design was for a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft to meet an official requirement, but following the first flight of the Saab-17 prototype on 18 May 1940 the company made the proposal that its development as a bomber should be given consideration by the Flygvapen. Evaluation of the prototype led to the aircraft being developed for this role as well as for reconnaissance, and 325 were built. A cantilever mid-wing monoplane with retractable tail-wheel landing gear, the Saab-17 had its crew accommodated beneath a long continuous canopy. Powerplant varied, the B17A dive-bomber having the 794kW Swedish-built Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3G Twin Wasp radial, the B17B dive-bomber and similar S17B (equipped for the reconnaissance role) the 731kW Swedish-built Bristol Pegasus XXIV radial, and the B17C dive-bomber (which differed from the B17B only in its engine, the Piaggio P.XIbis). Included in the total production were 38 examples of the S17BS, a maritime patrol version of the B17B on twin floats. Many of the landplane versions were later given retractable ski landing gear for operation from snow-covered surfaces.

Entering service with the Flygvapen in 1941, the Saab-17 was notable for the robust construction that has since been a feature of the company's designs, and the type remained in service until 1948. After World War II 47 were delivered to the Ethiopian air force.

Saab 17

 MODELSaab-17 (B17C)
 ENGINE1 x Piaggio P.XIbis RC.40D, 761kW
  Take-off weight3865 kg8521 lb
  Wingspan13.70 m45 ft 11 in
  Length9.80 m32 ft 2 in
  Height4.40 m14 ft 5 in
  Wing area28.50 m2306.77 sq ft
  Max. speed435 km/h270 mph
  Cruise speed370 km/h230 mph
 ARMAMENT2 x 13.2mm + 1 x 7.9mm machine-guns, 680kg of bombs

Saab 17A three-view drawing (800 x 741)

Negu Tadesse, e-mail, 28.01.2015 23:48

Hi David,
To have all these a /c in my database is like a dream come true. I have flown the Saab Safir 91-A, B & C; B-17, DC-3,
T-37, (the Tweedy Bird, a Cessna, Twin Engine jet) and currently just rent Cessna 172s, 210s and a couple of Pipers). Anyway, Thanks again, really appreciate.


Negu Tadesse, e-mail, 27.01.2015 11:06

To fly such a big ass bird was sure a feat. I have many stories to tell abt the Saab B-17. Would like to acquire one, but oooof the maintanance....


Charles Temple, e-mail, 22.06.2011 18:25

I lived in Ethiopia in the late 1950's and actually got to see these aircraft in action at several air shows, and near Dire Dawa attacking a band of Somalis who had derailed and robbed a train. The Ethiopian version also had detachable 37mm gun pods.


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