SAAB 35 DRAKEN
The Saab 35 Draken ("dragon") is a second generation single-engine supersonic fighter, whose first prototype made its maiden flight back in October 1955. Like other Swedish fighters it was designed for operation from simple reserve airfields – i.e. roads that are a bit wider than usual.
Saab produced different versions of the aircraft in Linköping, Sweden, up until 1974, by which time they had built over 600 aircraft for delivery to the air forces of Finland, Denmark and, of course, Sweden. The Austrian Armed Forces purchased 24 second-hand Draken aircraft of the J 35D series from the Swedish Air Force in 1985. They were overhauled, fitted with bird-strike resistant canopies as well as modern avionics and renamed the J-35OE. The single-seat jets with their striking double delta wing design served on the Surveillance Wing of the 2nd Air Regiment in Zeltweg and Graz. Until the end of 2005 they formed the active element of Austria's "Goldhaube" radar system and made 500 Alpha scrambles in 24,000 flying hours.
Aviation fans can look forward to a reunion with the Draken at AIRPOWER16: Europe's last airworthy example will be part of the Flying Display at Hinterstoisser Air Base on September 2 and 3. The Draken with serial number 35810 is a Saab Sk 35C, a two-seat trainer. It was meticulously restored by SwAFHF (Swedish Air Force Historic Flight) and has been flying again since 2014.
Austria's most famous Draken will also be making an appearance at AIRPOWER16: in 1996 the Ostarrichi-Draken was given its red and white livery, with 'Ostarrichi' painted across it, to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the first documented mentioning of Austria's name. Today it is on show at the historic Hangar-8 at Hinterstoisser Air Base as part of the military aviation exhibition of the HGM (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Museum of Military History), which can be visited free of charge on both days of AIRPOWER16.
Facts & Figures
|Version at AIRPOWER16||Sk 35C Draken|
|Austrian Armed Forces version||S-35OE Draken|
|In service with Austrian Armed Forces||Until 2005|
|Max. takeoff weight||17.6 t|
|Max. speed||Mach 2|
|Service ceiling||18,300 m (19,995 m for Sk 35C)|
|Crew||1 (2 for Sk 35C)|
|Powerplant||Volvo Flygmotor RM6C turbojet (Svenska Flygmotor RM6C for Sk 35C)|
|Power||77.61 kN thrust|