|A Saab MFI-17 Supporter, Radom Air Show 2007|
|First flight||26 February 1971|
|Primary users||Danish Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
|Developed from||MFI-9 Junior|
Saab MFI-15 Safari, also known as the Saab MFI-17 Supporter, is a prop-powered basic trainer aircraft used by several air forces.
Development and design
The Safari made its maiden flight in 1971. It is powered by a 200 hp Avco Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 air-cooled flat-4 piston engine. A shoulder wing improves all-round visibility for the pilots. It has to be a forward-swept wing to maintain correct centre of gravity. This design constraint applies also to the ARV Super2 and the Bölkow Bo 208 Junior. The aircraft was developed at Malmö Flygindustri as the MFI-15. The military version was called MFI-17 and later, the Saab Supporter when the project was taken over by Saab.
About 250 Saab manufactured aircraft were built in total. Most were sold to private fliers. It appears that the 92 Pakistani-assembled and 120 Pakistani-built machines are not included in the Saab production total. The Royal Norwegian Air Force purchased their Safaris in 1981. Today 16 of the aircraft are stationed at Bardufoss Air Station.
A variant with a stretched wing made of composite materials, the MFI-18, was tested during the 1980s in Sweden. Also fitted with provision for skis, this version never went into production. The supporter was also used as a highly efficient COIN aircraft, Experience with the earlier MFI 9B Minicom during the Biafran Civil war encouraged Saab to develop the Supporter as a close support aircraft carrying an assortment of underwing stores including rockets and gun pods.
- MFI-15 Safari – original civilian variant.
- MFI-17 Supporter – Saab's designation for the military variant, Danish designation T-17.
- Saab Safari TS – a prototype fitted with a 157 kW (210 hp) turbocharged piston engine.
- MFI-17 Mushshak – version of MFI-17 Supporter manufactured by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex under license.
- PAC Super Mushshak – upgraded Pakistan-manufactured variant of the MFI-17.
- Pakistan Air Force – 149
- Syrian Air Force – 6
- Crew: two, pilot and student
- Capacity: 1 passenger
- Length: 7.00 m (23 ft)
- Wingspan: 8.85 m (29 ft ½ in)
- Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 6½ in)
- Wing area: 11.90 m² (128.1 ft²)
- Empty weight: 690 kg (1,521 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1,200 kg (2,645 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Avco Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 fuel-injected, air-cooled flat-4 piston engine, 200 hp (149 kW)
- Maximum speed: 196 kts (362 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 110 kts
- Stall speed: 55 kts ()
- Service ceiling: 6,100 m (20,000 ft)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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