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Saab 91 Safir
Saab 91C of the Swedish Air Force
Role Trainer
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer Saab
Designer A J Andersson
First flight 20 November 1945
Primary user Swedish Air Force
Produced 1946-1966
Number built 323

The Saab 91 Safir (Swedish: "sapphire") is a three (91A, B, B-2) or four (91C, D) seater, single engine trainer aircraft. The Safir was built by Saab AB in Linköping, Sweden, (203 aircraft) and by De Schelde in Dordrecht, Netherlands (120 aircraft).

Design and development[edit | edit source]

The Safir's first flight on 20 November 1945.[1] The all-metal Safir was designed by Anders J. Andersson, who had previously worked for Bücker, where he designed the all-wood Bücker Bü 181 "Bestmann". The Safir thus shared many conceptual features of its design with the Bestmann.

The Saab 91A is powered by a 125 hp four cylinder de Havilland Gipsy Major 2c piston engine, or a 145 hp Gipsy Major 10 piston engine. The 91B, B-2 and C have a six-cylinder Lycoming O-435A engine with 190 hp.[2] The 91D has a four-cylinder Lycoming O-360-A1A engine with 180 hp.

The "Safir" was later used as a platform to test at low speeds the new swept wing for the Saab 29 and Saab 32 jet fighters.

Operational history[edit | edit source]

Finnish Saab 91D Safir

323 units were built in 5 versions (A, B, B-2, C and D). The Safir was used by the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Austrian, Tunisian and Ethiopean air forces as a trainer aircraft, and a single aircraft was used by the Japan Defense Agency as an STOL test platform.[3]

Major civilian users were Air France, Lufthansa and the Dutch Rijksluchtvaartschool (RLS) on the Groningen Airport Eelde, near Groningen.

During development of the Saab 29, the initial Saab 91 prototype was modified with a scaled down version of the Saab 29's swept wings; this aircraft was designated Saab 201 Experimental Aircraft. This same airframe was later fitted with wings designed for the Saab 32 Lansen; this was designated Saab 202.

A single Saab 91 Safir was modified as the Saab X1G for research in Japan.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Saab Safir 91B trainer airplane just started from Hahnweide airfield.

Operators[edit | edit source]

Military operators[edit | edit source]

 Austria
 Ethiopia
 Finland
 Japan
 Norway
 Sweden
 Tunisia

Civil Operators[edit | edit source]

 Australia
 France
  • Air France
 Germany
  • Lufthansa
 Paraguay

Specifications (91A)[edit | edit source]

Saab 91B "Safir"

Data from Safir in the Air[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 7.80 m (25 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.60 m (34 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 2.20 m (7 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 13.6 m² (146 sq ft)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Gipsy Major X four-cylinder air-cooled inline engine, 145 hp (108 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 264 km/h (143 knots, 164 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 235 km/h (127 knots, 146 mph) (econ cruise)
  • Stall speed: 85 km/h (46 knots, 53 mph)
  • Range: 942 km (509 nmi, 585 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 4,600 m (15,100 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 5.3 m/s (1,050 ft/min)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Taylor 1966, p. 125.
  2. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". August 1954. p. 39. 
  3. SAAB Safir s/n 91.201 (dead link)
  4. Flight 1 January 1954, p. 2.
  5. Taylor 1961, p. 135.
  6. Smith, 1947, pp. 459–462.
  • "Saab 91 C Safir". Flight, 1 January 1954, pp. 2–3, 21.
  • Smith, Maurice A. "Safir in the Air". Flight, 23 October 1947, pp. 459–462.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1961.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1966.

External links[edit | edit source]

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