FFVS J 22
This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|J 22-2 at the Swedish Air Force Museum|
|Manufacturer||Kungliga Flygförvaltningens Flygverkstad i Stockholm (FFVS)|
|First flight||September 1942|
|Primary user||Swedish Air Force|
At the onset of World War II, the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) was equipped with largely obsolete Gloster Gladiator (J 8) biplane fighters. To augment this, Sweden ordered 120 Seversky P-35 (J 9) and 144 P-66 Vanguard (J 10) aircraft from the United States. However, on 18 June 1940 after the German occupation of Norway, the United States declared an embargo against exporting weapons to any nation other than Great Britain. As the result, Flygvapnet suddenly faced a shortage of modern fighters. Several other foreign alternatives were considered: the Finnish VL Myrsky and Soviet Polikarpov I-16 were unsatisfactory, and while the Mitsubishi A6M Zero was available, delivery from Japan was impractical. A batch of Fiat CR.42 Falco (J 11) biplanes and Reggiane Re.2000 Falco (J 20) were eventually purchased but this was clearly an interim solution.
With Flygvapnet facing a serious shortage of aircraft and Saab running at full capacity building its single-engine Saab 17 and twin-engined Saab 18 bombers, a new firm and factory were established specifically for the new fighter — Kungliga Flygförvaltningens Flygverkstad i Stockholm ("Royal Air Administration Aircraft Factory in Stockholm", FFVS) under Bo Lundberg. The aircraft, designated J 22, was a monoplane with a plywood-covered steel airframe. Wing and fuselage layout were conventional, with the narrow-track main landing gear retracting rearward entirely within the fuselage. Power came from a Swedish copy of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp, manufactured without a license at the time, though license fees were paid later (a symbolic US$1).
The J 22 first flew on 20 September 1942 from Bromma airport, where the factory was located. It entered service in October 1943, at the F9 air wing at Gothenburg, with the last of the 198 aircraft delivered in April 1946. Sub-assemblies for the J 22 were made by over 500 different contractors.
The J 22 was well liked by its pilots and possessed good manoeuvrability and responsive controls. Forward visibility on the ground left something to be desired and if the tailwheel was left unlocked and able to swivel during take-off there was the potential to ground-loop. In mock dogfights with P-51 Mustangs (called J 26 in Swedish service) it was able to "hold its own" up to 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) although, above 6,000 m (19,000 ft), without a good high altitude supercharger, it became sluggish. J 22 pilot Ove Müller-Hansen: "This was one of the finest aircraft that I have ever flown. The responsiveness of the controls and overall handling was exceptionally nice. It was not a high altitude fighter but up to about 5000 m (16,000 ft) it could hold its own very well. We flew mock dog fights with P-51 Mustangs and they could not catch us below 4000 m (13,000 ft) but if the fight was higher than that we had to be very careful. At altitudes above 6000 m (19,500 ft) it was getting sluggish and at 9000 m (29,000 ft) it was not much power left. Stalls in turns and straight forward were usually not a problem. If you pulled really hard in turn it would sometime flip over on its back. The first version, the 22-A, did not have much fire power, but the 22-B was better." Because of its simple systems the J 22 was very easy to maintain and service.
With 575 km/h (360 mph) from a 795 kW (1,065 hp) engine, the press called the diminutive fighter "World's fastest in relation to the engine power" (while not absolutely true, it was in the same class as the early marks of Supermarine Spitfire and Zero). The J 22 crews promptly modified this to "World's fastest in relation to the track width" (for which the Spitfire might also have competed), because of the very narrow wheel track. The aircraft was retired in 1952.
- J 22-1 or J 22A (originally called J 22 UBv "Ursprunglig Beväpning" (original armament)) - first production version, 2x 8 mm and 2x 13.2 mm machineguns, 141 built.
- J 22-2 or J 22B (originally called J 22 FBv "Förbättrad Beväpning" (improved armament)) - armed with 4x 13.2 mm machine guns, 57 built.
- S 22-3 or S 22 - nine J 22-1 equipped for reconnaissance in 1946, restored to fighters in 1947. Used a spaningskamera Ska4 (recce camera Ska4) in the tail.
Three examples of the J 22 are preserved externally complete looking. Two are owned by the Swedish air force museum and one of them is on static display there with the other one being located at a nearby veteran airfield where it is able to taxi around by its own power. The third one is owned by Svedinoes bil- och flygmuseum but is currently in France being borrowed by a plane restoration company named Memorial flight so they can restore it to flying condition. Two more J 22 survive but are way less complete and is for the most part just metal skeletons. One is owned by the Swedish air force museum with the other one being owned privately. They are planned to be combined with eachother and restored to flying condition.
Specifications (J 22)
- Crew: One
- Length: 7.80 m (25 ft 7 in)
- Wingspan: 10.00 m (32 ft 10 in)
- Height: 3.60 m (11 ft 10 in)
- Wing area: 16.00 m² (172.16 ft²)
- Empty weight: 2,020 kg (4,445 lb)
- Loaded weight: 2,835 kg (6,240 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × SFA STWC-3G 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 795 kW (1,065 hp)
- Maximum speed: 590 km/h (367 mph)
- Cruise speed: 500 km/h (310 mph)
- Landing speed: 140 km/h (90 mph)
- Range: 1,270 km (790 mi)
- Service ceiling: 9,300 m (30,500 ft)
- Rate of climb: 14 m/s (2760 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 177 kg/m² (36 lb/ft²))
- Power/mass: 0.28 kW/kg (0.17 hp/lb)
- J 22-1/J 22A
2x 8 mm (actually 7.87 mm) (0.31 in) ksp m/22 with 500 rpg (license built AN/M2 machine guns)
2x 13.2 mm (0.53 in) akan m/39A with 250 rpg (FN Herstal M.1939 machine guns license built by LM Ericsson and designated automatic cannons in Sweden)
- J 22-2/J 22B
4x 13.2 mm (0.53 in) akan m/39A with 250 rpg (FN Herstal M.1939 machine guns license built by LM Ericsson and designated automatic cannons in Sweden)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Andersson, Hans G. SAAB Aircraft since 1937; 2nd revised edition. London: Putnam Aeronautical books, 1997. ISBN 0-85177-886-0 (Note: Although dedicated to SAAB aircraft, this book has a chapter on the FFVS J 22.)
- Angelucci, Enzo. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914–1980. San Diego, California: The Military Press, 1983. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
- Donald, D, Lake J. (eds.) (1996) Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. AIRtime Publishing. ISBN 1-880588-24-2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to FFVS J 22.|