The Saab 35 Draken interceptor is a second generation single-engine supersonic fighter. Its prototype took its maiden flight in October 1955. Like other Swedish fighter aircraft, it was intended for operation on field airfields and widened roads.
Over 600 units in different versions were manufactured by Saab in Linköping, Sweden by 1974. They were delivered to the Finnish, Danish, and Swedish Air Forces. In 1985, the Austrian Armed Forces bought 24 used J 35D series Draken from the latter and thus owned supersonic aircraft for the first time. They were completely overhauled, equipped with birdstrike-proof cockpit glazing, and modern avionics. They were hereafter referred to as J-35OEs. The single-seater jets were equipped with the striking double delta wing of the surveillance squadron of Air Regiment 2 in Zeltweg and Graz. Until the end of 2005, they formed the active component of the Austrian airspace surveillance system “Goldhaube” and deployed 24,000 flight hours for 500 alpha missions.
At AIRPOWER22, aviation fans can look forward to seeing the “dragon” again: Europe’s last airworthy specimen is part of the flying display at Hinterstoisser air base on 2nd and 3rd September. The model with serial number 35810 is a Saab Sk 35C Draken, a two-seater training version. It was extensively restored by SwAFHF (Swedish Air Force Historic Flight) and was permitted to fly again in 2014.
Austria’s most famous Draken can also be seen at AIRPOWER22: In 1996, the Ostarrichi Draken received its red-white-red livery with distinctive lettering on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of Austria’s first documented mention. Today it is in the historic Hangar-8 at the Hinterstoisser Air Base in the military aviation exhibition of the HGM (Museum of Military History), which can be visited free of charge on both AIRPOWER22 days.