Saab 91 Safir

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Saab 91 Safir
Saab 91C 01.jpg
Saab 91C of the Swedish Air Force
Role Trainer
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer Saab
Designer A J Andersson
First flight 20 November 1945
Primary user Swedish Air Force
Produced 1946–1966
Number built 323

The Saab 91 Safir (Swedish: "sapphire") is a three (91A, B, B-2) or four (91C, D) seater, single engine trainer aircraft. The Safir was built by Saab AB in Linköping, Sweden, (203 aircraft) and by De Schelde in Dordrecht, Netherlands (120 aircraft).

Design and development[edit]

The Safir's first flight took place on 20 November 1945.[1] The all-metal Safir was designed by Anders J. Andersson, who had previously worked for Bücker, where he had designed the all-wood Bücker Bü 181 "Bestmann". The Safir thus shared many conceptual design features with the Bestmann.

The Saab 91A is powered by a 125 hp four cylinder de Havilland Gipsy Major 2c piston engine, or a 145 hp Gipsy Major 10 piston engine. The 91B, B-2 and C have a six-cylinder Lycoming O-435A engine with 190 hp.[2] The 91D has a four-cylinder Lycoming O-360-A1A engine with 180 hp.

The "Safir" was later used as a platform to test at low speeds the new swept wing for the Saab 29 and Saab 32 jet fighters.

Operational history[edit]

Finnish Saab 91D Safir

323 units were built in 5 versions (A, B, B-2, C and D). The Safir was used by the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Austrian, Tunisian and Ethiopean air forces as a trainer aircraft, and a single aircraft was used by the Japan Defense Agency as an STOL test platform.[3]

Major civilian users were Air France, Lufthansa and the Dutch Rijksluchtvaartschool (RLS) on the Groningen Airport Eelde, near Groningen.

During development of the Saab 29, the initial Saab 91 prototype was modified with a scaled-down version of the Saab 29's swept wings; this aircraft was designated Saab 201 Experimental Aircraft. This same airframe was later fitted with wings designed for the Saab 32 Lansen; this was designated Saab 202.

A single Saab 91 Safir was modified as the Saab X1G for research in Japan.

Variants[edit]

Saab Safir 91B trainer taking-off from Hahnweide airfield.

Operators[edit]

Military operators[edit]

 Austria
 Ethiopia
 Finland
 Japan
 Norway
 Sweden
 Tunisia

Civil operators[edit]

 Australia
 France
 Germany
 Netherlands
 Paraguay

Specifications (91A)[edit]

Saab 91B "Safir"

Data from Safir in the Air[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 7.8 m (25 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.6 m (34 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 13.6 m2 (146 sq ft)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,000 kg (2,205 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Gipsy Major X 4-cylinder, 108 kW (145 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed or variable-pitch propeller

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 264 km/h (164 mph; 143 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 235 km/h (146 mph; 127 kn)
  • Stall speed: 85 km/h (53 mph; 46 kn) (econ. cruise)
  • Range: 942 km (585 mi; 509 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 4,600 m (15,100 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 5.3 m/s (1,040 ft/min)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Taylor 1966, p. 125.
  2. ^ Flying Magazine: 39. August 1954. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ SAAB Safir s/n 91.201 (dead link) Archived 2004-11-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Flight 1 January 1954, p. 2.
  5. ^ Taylor 1961, p. 135.
  6. ^ Smith, 1947, pp. 459–462.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Safir in the Air". Flight. Vol. LII. (No. 2026): p.p. 459–462. 23 October 1947. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1961). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company.
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1966). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company.
  • Smith, Maurice A. (1 January 1954). "SAAB 91C SAFIR : Personal Impressions on a Brief Air Test". Flight. Vol. 65 (No. 2345): p.p. 2-3, 21. Retrieved 17 August 2019.

External links[edit]