1/72 Heller Saab J-29 Tunnan

Congo´s fighter

by Tigre del Aire



Greetings from Colombia! From the depths of the modeller hell  the Tigre del Aire is reborn!

This is my Saab J-29 Tunnan that served during the war of the Congo with the UN Forces, but first a bit of history!:

The Saab 29, popularly called Tunnan ("the barrel"), was a Swedish fighter designed and manufactured by Saab in the 1950s. It was Sweden's second turbojet-powered combat aircraft, the first being the Saab 21R. Despite its rotund appearance, the J 29 was fast and agile, serving effectively in both fighter and fighter-bomber roles into the 1970s.

The Tunnan was the first and only Swedish jet aircraft to fight in combat. In 1961, five J 29Bs were stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a UN peacekeeping mission (ONUC), organized as the F 22 Wing of the Swedish Air Force. It was reinforced by four J 29B and two S 29C (the photo reconnaissance version) in 1962. Most of the missions involved attacking ground targets with internal cannons as well as unguided rockets. No aircraft were lost in action despite large amounts of AAA.

Consensus of the crews and foreign observers was that the Tunnan's capabilities were exceptional.  (Their secessionist adversaries used a few Fouga Magisters and other aircraft with relatively poor air combat capabilities.) The only aircraft lost was by a high-ranking officer, who made a trial-run and crashed during an aborted takeoff. When ONUC was terminated in 1964, some of the Swedish aircraft were destroyed at their base, since they were no longer needed at home and the cost of taking them all back was deemed excessive. (from Wikipedia).

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It is a Heller kit (very old!) whose instructions are very particular and they seem to be written with a typewriter! The decals are excellent quality and they were not old in spite of the old of the kit, there were no problems in the lace of pieces and it was a delight to build it!  The paint scheme is the kit scheme, as for additional detail I stopped with the opened canopy and a pilot with the arms out of the cabin as if he was entering to the plane. 

A special gratefulness to my friend kater that sold me the model; I was lost but I returned to appear!

Tigre del Aire


Saludos desde Colombia, la tierra de Juan Valdez!

Greetings from Colombia, the land of Juan Valdez!

Photos and text © by Tigre del Aire