Swedish Air Force Historic Flight
When talking about aviation, you immediately think of innovation, and the following two aircraft are two prime examples of fighter aircraft that were far ahead of their time and made young people dream of a career in the air force years ago. Both aircraft come from Sweden, a country with a long tradition of building aircraft for its own air force, primarily from manufacturer Saab, and perhaps surprisingly, remarkably innovative fighters for their time.
The first aircraft the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight (SWAFHF) is bringing to Kleine-Brogel is the 1950s Saab J35 Draken, the first true supersonic fighter built in Western Europe, and it was also one of the first Western aircraft to achieve up to twice the speed of sound. With its distinctive double delta wing, another novelty of the Draken, it also remained highly manoeuvrable and could perform, for example, the cobra, a manoeuvre that Russian aircraft would make world famous 30 years later. Moreover, the Draken would be exported to Denmark, Finland and Austria.
The second aircraft that the SWAFHF will present at Kleine-Brogel is the AJS37 Viggen, a fighter and fighter-bomber with distinctive delta wing and canard, a design feature we also find today on the new Rafale, Gripen and Typhoon. It also possessed a thrust reverser for shorter landing distances and reversing on Swedish highways without extensive support equipment, and had an exceptional of automation in terms of avionics for the 1960s. Although the aircraft was remarkably advanced, it curiously did not manage to achieve any exports.
With names like Dragon and Thunderbolt and their accompanying loud afterburners, these legendary Swedish fighters appeal to the imagination, so you'll probably want to see them in action with your own eyes during the Belgian Air Force Days at Kleine-Brogel on September 9 and 10, 2023. Even after all these years, they will no doubt inspire the "new generation". #jointhenewgeneration