You will not believe this weird flying machine flew 1,000 test flights 60 years ago

The Saab J-35 Draken is one of the most famous Swedish aircraft, ever.

However, its particular double delta wing configuration was something never seen before in the ’50s and, in order to move towards that new shape, a special test-bed scale model was developed.

The experimental aircraft, that was given the designation Saab 210 Lill-Draken, was scaled down to 70 percent of the planned size and was then used to test the low speeds flight characteristics and to validate the assumptions made before undertaking full-scale construction.

The weird flying machine (a flying saucer-plane-car hybrid) made its maiden flight on Jan. 21, 1952, piloted by Bengt Olow

According to SAAB, their first and only experimental aircraft in history (currently on display at the Air Force museum in Linköping, Sweden) “performed around 1,000 test flights over four years. The results provided valuable experience during development of the Saab 35 Draken.”

Image credit: SAAB Group

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About David Cenciotti 4090 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.