How good was the Saab 29 Tunnan

Saab J 29F "Tunnan"

AZmodel AZ4856 - injection molding - 1/48

Idol: The Saab 29 Tunnan is a single-seat, single-jet, all-metal mid-decker. The wing is designed as a swept wing and from the E version has a sawtooth with boundary layer fence, which made higher angles of attack possible. The landing gear is retractable.

It was the first fighter of its kind in Western Europe and was similar in design to the German Messerschmitt P. 1101, the Soviet MiG-15 and the American F-86. The squat appearance is due to the De Havilland Ghost engine with a centrifugal compressor, which was built under license in Sweden.

A total of four prototypes were produced during the development phase. The first flight took place on September 1, 1948 by the British pilot Robert Moore.

The similarity to the Messerschmitt project is based on the inclusion of documents confiscated from Messerschmitt's hunters in Switzerland. In autumn 1945 Frid Wanström, Saab project manager, came to Switzerland and checked the documents there. He recognized the importance and began developing the Saab 29 on the basis of these documents. Former Messerschmitt employee Dr. Hermann Behrbohm, who was employed by Saab in Linköping, supported him in this. As the first aircraft to be executed, the area rule was applied in addition to the swept wing. For the safety of the pilot, an ejection seat developed by Saab was installed.

In order to make the slow flight characteristics manageable, automatic slats made of cast light metal were attached to the wing, which were locked when the landing flaps were retracted. In the first prototype, the landing flaps extended over the entire length of the wing, with the ailerons also serving as landing flaps. From the second prototype, these functions were separated again. The sweep of the two-spar structure was 25 degrees. The horizontal stabilization surface, on which the elevator was also attached, could be adjusted to trim from + 1 ° to -6 °.

The operational designation was J 29 for the hunting variants (Swedish: "Jakt") and S 29 for the reconnaissance variant (Swedish: "Spaning"). On May 10, 1951, the first series aircraft were delivered to the F 13 squadron of the Swedish Air Force.

In 1954 and 1955, the Saab 29 gained the world's attention when it succeeded in setting two world records - 977 km / h over a distance of 500 km and 900 km / h over a great circle distance of 1000 km.

Nine Saab J 29B and two S 29C were deployed during the United Nations operation in Congo. The only export was the delivery of 30 used Saab 29Fs to Austria in the years 1960–1962 in two lots of 15 machines each, which were in use there until 1973. In Sweden, the machines were replaced by the much more modern Saab 35 Draken from 1960.

In addition to the prototypes, a total of 224 Saab J 29A, 360 Saab J 29B (several of which were later modified to J 29E and J 29F) and 76 S 29C were produced.
Source: according to Wikipedia Wiki: Saab J29 Tunnan

Kit: This is again one of the models that AZ had announced over a longer period of time, so that one almost couldn't believe it would appear. Now it is finally available and has received sharp criticism with the publication of the first test shot structures on the AZmodel website. In particular, the air intake and the pulpit looked strange. Since I really don't have any documents on the aircraft type, I don't want to take part in these discussions and prefer to refer to the relevant forums on the WWW.

When you open the box, you immediately notice that we have a classic short run Have a kit in front of us. The two gray injection-molded frames contain the large parts needed to build the model. The engraving is countersunk, but quite deep and wide or blurred - i.e. the engravings have no sharp edges, but rather run a little into the surface. In addition, the course of the engraving is a bit wobbly in places. The few indicated rows of rivets, on the other hand, appear very fine. The pulpit is also an injection molded part and reasonably transparent. A bath in Future / Klear should optimize this ... after the sprue and burr are removed.

14 resin parts are included for the cockpit, the wheels and the thrust nozzle. These are good, but do not reach the quality of e.g. Aires. In addition, they have unfavorably positioned and extensive sprues. The "nose ring" is added again in an improved form as a dark gray part. The belts are molded onto the ejection seat. The instrument panel is shown by means of a photo-etched part and a photo negative for the scales. If you don't like to paint yourself, you can also fall back on the color-printed photo-etched parts set that is available as an accessory.

The small decal sheet allows the representation of three aircraft of the air force of the Austrian Armed Forces. The sheet is neatly printed and also contains maintenance instructions. The painting instructions can be found on the colored printed lower box. The position of the maintenance instructions is shown in the small (A5) assembly instructions.

  1. SAAB J 29F Wnr. 29443 "Yellow M", 1st Squadron of the Fighter Bomb Squadron, Linz Hörsching, 1969
  2. SAAB J 29F Wnr. 29457 "Yellow A", 1st Squadron of the Fighter Bomb Squadron, Vienna Schwechat, 1961
  3. SAAB J 29F Wnr. 29649 "Rotes B", 2nd squadron of the Fighter Bomb Squadron, Linz Hörsching, 1969

Conclusion: AZmodel succeeds again and again in finding interesting aircraft models apart from the mainstream to be released in kit form. Unfortunately, the men from the Czech Republic make one or two mistakes. This time the equipment of the kit, unlike e.g. with the Vengeance, fits the small series. A lot of experience in handling such kits is required to build the J 29, but there are also few alternatives that have just as special requirements ready.

Reference: The model is available from good specialist shops or online. The pattern comes from IBG Modellbau (

Steffen Arndt, Barsinghausen (November 2011)