“Fygande Tunnan” (Flying Barrel)

    Plans began to be made as early as 1949 for a replacement for the Saab 29 fighter, “Fygande Tunnan” (Flying Barrel).

    Nearly 900 flights were made with the Saab 210 Lilledraken (Little Dragon) over a four-year period. The intention was to develop an aircraft that could engage nuclear-armed bombers at high altitude.

     

    The plane also had to be able to fly faster than the speed of sound. Project manager Erik Bratt was early to realise that a dual-delta wing should be tested to comply with the requirements both for supersonic flight and low landing speeds. The test plane was designated the Saab 210 and was popularly called Lilledraken (Little Dragon in English).

     

    The first test flight was made in January of 1952, piloted by Bengt Olow. Nearly 900 flights were made with the Saab 210 over a four-year period. Attracting the most attention was the flight over Stockholm in conjunction with the capital’s 700-year jubilee on 6 June 1953.