MMP's Saab 29 'FlygandeTunnan'


Mikael Forslund


Mushroom Models Publications


$39.00 from 


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 192 pages, Softbound. ISBN: 978-83-65281-34-0, #8117

The Saab 29, often called the 'flying barrel' due to its rather rotund shape, was Sweden and indeed, Europe's first production swept wing fighter. Designed with some input from the body of work of German WWII designers, the aircraft was powered by a license built RR Ghost centrifugal flow turbojet engine. Due to the requirements of the engine, the J.29 has a short intake and exhaust. This required a more direct method of feeding the engine with air rather than the usual 'cheek' intakes of other single engine fighters of the time. With this requirement and the need to carry fuel and other military equipment, you get the sort of 'guppy' look of the aircraft. Other neat items used was a nose wheel steering unit, something that was not the norm at the time.

The Saab 29 was built in several versions. Most were the J fighter versions, though there were A attack planes and S reconnaissance versions. As with every aircraft the 29 went through a number of upgrades. One was the use of an afterburning engine and another was a 'dogtooth' wing leading edge. The ultimate Saab 29, the J.29F, were all rebuilds of earlier versions, and these were the ones that served in greater numbers and for the longest time.

The J.29 had a distinguished combat career as well, operating in the Congo during the early 1960s as part of a UN force that was operating against the breakaway province of Katanga. Though used mostly for ground attack, they did shoot down a plane or two and during the last year of the war, started sporting an interesting camouflage scheme. Interestingly, these were all the initial production J.29A versions as it was felt the oldest versions would be the easiest to maintain. In fact, thanks to a constant supply of spares from home, they were. With the conflict at an end, most of the J.29s were destroyed in country, saving the expense of bringing them back home.

In line with other titles in this series we are given the full story of the Saab 29 from its initial development through all the units that flew it even until the present day where one is still flying. A brief introduction and unit usage is followed by a look at all the different variants. This is accompanied by a superb collection of photos, many in color, as well as some great color profiles. Included is a full look at their service in the Austrian Air Force, the only other nation to purchase the J.29. Thanks to the large number of survivors, the details section is quite extensive, providing a look at all the areas of the aircraft, a real plus for modelers. In addition, a full set of 1/72 drawings are included.

Like other MMP books, this one is all any modeler or aircraft enthusiast needs on the type. Another outstanding edition and one I give my highest recommendation.

May 2017

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