Looking at his picture is hard to believe. His last name doesn’t help either. This is the Swedish Saab 29 fighter, considered a masterpiece of aeronautical engineering and designed for Russia in the sky, but which is known as the “flying barrel”. The dual fighter-bomber, which has earned its place in the military history books, arose as a natural reaction to the research that led countries to develop their own fighter after World War II.
As La Razón published, at the end of the conflict, Sweden only had the Saab S21R, a direct-wing turboprop aircraft modified to accommodate a jet engine. That his only trump card was to fire real arrows faster than the Russian MiGs.
Led by German scientists who came to Sweden after the end of the war, the first designs of the Saab 29 were changed, introducing a modification that proved to be fundamental, implementing a 25 degree sweep in the wings which was shown to have greater flight capability. to the wings at great speed
A flying barrel completed its maiden flight in 1948 and its pilot blurted out the following description in writing: “On the ground, ugly duckling; in the air, swift.” And he himself judging well by the various tables which Tunnan broke and collected by the aforesaid instruments. So at speed. In 1954 he beat the world championship with a speed of 607 mph over a distance of 500 kilometers. Also next to La Razón, one of its variants, the S 29C, managed to break another record, with an average of 560 mph on a 1,000 kilometer journey in 1955.
Pacification operations in the Congo
Despite the purpose with which it was born, the “flying barrel” will never reach another plane in the air. They were part of a series of United Nations peacekeeping operations in the Congo.
They came under fire with open cannons and shaped missiles. However, none returned from that mission, one crashed and the others were intentionally destroyed at the end of operations in 1964.