Tag Archives: SAAB

All The Highlights of the Spectacular Aerobaltic 2018 Air Show in Gdynia, Poland.

Many interesting warbirds have taken part in the Polish airshow.

Last year the Polish Aeropact company organized the first edition of a beach air show, known under the name Aerobaltic in Gdynia. The show took place at the main city beach in Gdynia, Poland, and was generally received as a major success, with daytime and evening/night flying program. This year, on the other hand, the organizers decided to expand and divide the event into two parts: the daytime program was organized at the Gdynia Kossakowo/Babie Doły airport, while the evening/night portion of the flying took place at the beach, similarly to last year.

The Babie Doły flying program evoked a lot of hope, as this year’s edition of the event was to include the military jets too. And so it did. TS-11 Iskra jet trainer, privately owned by the White-Red Wings foundation took part in the show. Another highlight – undoubtedly – came in a form of the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight team that brought some unique airframes to Gdynia. It was the first time that this Author saw the Lansen, single-seater Draken or twin-seater Viggen jets in the air, all constituting a somewhat special point of the flying program. The Swedish participation was also complemented by a flying display performed by J29 Tunnan – a very exotic Saab’s design dating back to the 1950s – the “Ikea Air Force’s” display was thus presented in all of its glory.

The Saab J29F Tunnan.

The Saab 32 Lansen of the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight team.

The Saab Draken.

The legendary Saab Viggen.

Baltic Bees jet team was another of the jet-powered points of the flying program.

One of the L-39 of the Baltic Bees team.

Another highlight of the Babie Doły portion of the show came in a form of the Orlik Team of the Polish Air Force. To commemorate the Polish Air Force’s centenary, the team has prepared a special program this year, with the display involving Canadian Harvard trainers that were, back in the day, used as the trainer platform by the Polish aviators. The coordination and level of precision achieved between the aircraft involved in the program is undoubtedly a sight to behold. The Polish Air Force’s MiG-29 display was also scheduled for Aerobaltic, unfortunately the jets have been grounded, along with the Su-22s, at least until September, or longer. The Polish Navy, meanwhile, also presented the W-3WARM SAR helicopter in a role demo display. The Jordanian Air Force, on the other hand, had the Royal Jordanian Falcons participate in the Gdynia show, and the group also showcased a high-precision display on their Extras.

W-3WARM SAR helicopter in a role demo display.

The “civil” participants included aerobatic pilots, such as Maciej Pospieszyński or Stijn De Jaeghre, or the only Polish participant of the Red Bull Air Race series: Łukasz Czepiela. Red Bull’s Czech ‘The Flying Bulls’ team also took part in the show. 57-my team flying autogyros and Sydney Charles Display Team flying the Grob motor-gliders were also performing their programs at Babie Doły. Artur Kielak, another of the show’s participants, has prepared an interesting flying program with a Polish privately owned Yak-3U – with numerous crossings and interesting formation shifts. Swiss P3 Flyers team has also been a rarity, and it was really nice to witness the vintage trainers in the air over Gdynia Babie Doły.

Swiss P3 Flyers team.

Aerobaltic air show would not have been complete, had it not been for the sunset/night portion of the show at the beach, from which the event originated in the first place. The evening/night program was to some extent identical to the daytime one (Kielak/Yak-3U flown by Mateusz Strama), however most of the highlights for the evening/night show were different. And most of them utilized pyro element making the evening show even more spectacular, offering a lot of unique photo opportunities. Johan Gustafsson and Sydney Charles Display Team were the highlights of the night show, with their pyro display being especially rich.

The night part of the show is always breathtaking.

Overall though, the night show was not as good as the one during the first edition of the event. Maybe it would also be a good idea to have some of the jet-powered aircraft perform at the beach over the water, which could possibly produce some spectacular effects such as vapor cones. In general, the event bears a significant potential, and we should only hope that the Aeropact company which is the organizer of the show would not let it go to a waste. Fingers crossed, and we highly recommend attending this show next year!

All images: Jacek Siminski

Saab GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning & Control Aircraft Completes First Flight

Saab’s new AEW&C aircraft has successfully completed its maiden flight.

On Mar. 14, Saab GlobalEye, a modified Bombardier Global 6000 jet turned into surveillance platform, took off on its first flight at 12.52 LT from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden.

The aircraft was officially unveiled to the media on Feb. 23, 2018. It carries a full suite of sophisticated sensors including the powerful new extended range radar (Erieye ER), an AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar. The Erieye ER is contained within the same “skibox” fairing used by other AEW platforms (i.e. the Hellenic Air Force EMB-145H), but new technologies, such as gallium nitride transmit/receive modules are said to provide a 70% increase in detection range.

The aircraft is also equipped with the Leonardo Seaspray 7500E X-band maritime search radar and a FLIR Systems EO/IR (electro-optical/infra-red) turret below the nose.

The GlobalEye launch customer is the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, where it is known as the Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS). Three aircraft have been ordered in 2015. The SRSS won’t be the UAE AF’s first AEW&C platform: two Saab 340AEW&C were delivered as an interim solution between 2010 and 2011. Although it’s not clear what will happen to these two aircraft as the new GlobalEye enters active service, the new assets, with the first application of the Erieye ER, will give the UAE a pretty unique AEW force among the Gulf States, with simultaneous airborne, maritime, and ground surveillance capability. Moreover, the UAE AF is about to be equipped with other heavily-modified Global 6000 aircraft: two such planes are reportedly being modified by Marshall Group at Cambridge, UK, into ELINT/SIGINT platforms.

The maiden flight of the GlobalEye, preceded by a series of ground trials including high and low speed taxi tests (during those the aircraft started “pinging” on ADS-B), lasted 1 hour 46 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft (with registration SE-RMY) could be tracked online on Flightradar24 portal.

The GlobalEye, registration SE-RMY, could be tracked online during its first flight by means of ADS-B. (Image: screenshot from Flightradar24).

According to Saab, the test flight was important to collect extensive flight-test data using the on-board instrumentation suite. This data is then used to verify the aircraft performance and associated modelling.

“The first flight is the second major milestone for the GlobalEye programme within a very short space of time. Yet again we have demonstrated that we are delivering on our commitments and that we are on track with our production of the world’s most advanced swing-role surveillance system,” said Anders Carp, Senior Vice President and head of Saab’s business area Surveillance, in a public release.

“Today’s flight went as planned, with the performance level matching our high expectations. The aircraft’s smooth handling was just as predicted and a real pleasure for me to fly,” said Magnus Fredriksson, Saab Experimental Test Pilot.

Image credit: Saab

This Video Shows A Gripen Test Pilot Flying The Jet’s Full Display Programme And Pulling 9g

A pretty interesting video that includes g-forces details: – 3 to +9g.

Disclaimer: the following video is obviously marketing stuff. Still, it’s interesting enough to deserve a post on this blog.

It shows the Saab Gripen display, filmed with a camera attached to the pilot’s helmet complemented by acceleration details. Therefore, it gives an idea of the g-forces on André Brännström, Saab test pilot, as he performs extreme aerobatics with the JAS-39 Gripen C light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft. Note the g-units going up and down from +9 to – 3!

The aircraft in the C/D variants is operated by the Air Forces of Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa and Thailand. The Brazilian Air Force ordered 28 Gripen E and 8 Gripen F aircraft with 72 more to be ordered.

The Swedish Gripens have taken part to the Air War in Libya in 2011.

 

On May 18, 2016, Saab unveiled the new variant of the Gripen fighter, designated Gripen E. The aircraft made its first flight on Jun. 15, 2017.

The Gripen E is a new multirole variant of the Swedish fighter based on the proven C/D platforms tailored for the future Network Centric Warfare (NCW) environment. The aircraft is much similar to its predecessors, an IRST bump in front of the cockpit in the nose section as well as the missile warning system on the air intakes are the main external differentiators. According to Saab, Gripen E offers operational dominance and flexibility with superior mission survivability. Air-to-air superiority is guaranteed with METEOR, AMRAAM, IRIS-T, AIM-9 missile capability and supercruise.

Air-to-surface capability is assured through the use of the latest generation precision weapons and targeting sensors. Gripen E’s superior situation awareness is ensured through an AESA radar, IRST passive sensor, HMD, cutting-edge avionics, next generation data processing and a state-of-the-art cockpit.

H/T Fredrik Öberg for the heads up!

Watch this awesome JAS-39 Gripen video shot with a special ultra-stable gyro camera

Rock-steady footage at speeds exceeding 300 knots.

This footage does not need too much explanations.

According to Blue Sky Aerial’s Peter Degerfeldt, “Saab Defence and Security needed a heavy-duty camera system to capture its Gripen fighter jet’s top speeds of over 345 mph and US-based company Blue Sky helped by building a customized gyro-stabilized camera. Consisting of a 6K Red Dragon digital camera and $40K USD Canon lens, the 5-axis system yields rock-steady images, even at speeds of more than 300 knots.”

Watch out the stunning footage shot from a SK60 photoship.

H/T Henry Blom for the heads-up

Low Level Flying with the Legendary SAAB J-37 Viggen in Sweden

Here’s an interesting video, showing the SAAB J-37 Viggen at work in Sweden some years ago.

The footage brings you in the cockpit of the Swedish Air Force’s delta wing plane, at very low level, over unpopulated areas covered by snow and on the range, to fire rockets.

It was filmed by the F21 (21st Wing) at Luleå and Vidsel air bases.

The front line Viggen aircraft were retired from the Swedish Air Force in November 2005 and replaced by JAS 39 Gripen. A few examples were kept flying for electronic warfare training against Gripen before being eventually retired in June 2007.

 

 

H/T to Lars-Gunnar Holmström for sending the link to the video.

 

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