1/72 Heller Saab J-32 Lansen

by Tigre del Aire



Greetings from Colombia! On this occasion I bring you my J-32 Lansen, a spectacular Swedish plane that came to replace some missions of the J-29; here is the history:

The Saab 32 Lansen (Swedish: "lance") was a two-seater attack aircraft produced by SAAB from 1955 to 1960 for the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet). During its long operational life, the Saab 32 also served as a fighter, reconnaissance, electronic warfare and even as a target-tug aircraft.

The Saab Company was approached in 1948 to develop a turbojet-powered strike aircraft to replace a series of 1940s vintage attack, reconnaissance and night-fighter aircraft in the Flygvapnet: the Saab B 18/S 18, J 21R/A 21R and J 30 (de Havilland Mosquito). The design was initially designated the P1150.

Swedish Air Force requirements for the P1150 were demanding: the aircraft had to be able to attack anywhere along Sweden's 1,245 miles (2000 km) of coastline within one hour of launch from a central location. It had to be capable of being launched in any weather, day or night. Special attention was to be paid to integrating the electronics and weapons systems to create the equivalent of today's weapons systems approach to combat aircraft design. The aircraft was to be armed with four 20 mm cannon, rockets, bombs and/or a new anti-ship missile being developed, the Rb 04.

The design team created a sleek airframe with clean lines powered by a license-built Rolls-Royce Avon Series 100. Uniquely, the design of the swept wings was the result of an early application of computer technology. To test the 35 sweepback design, a half-scale wing was mounted on a Saab Safir, the Saab 202 Safir. The design initially featured both Fowler flaps and a leading edge slot. The slot was discarded as unnecessary after trials with the prototypes and never appeared on a production aircraft. A small batch of P1150 prototypes completed design and evaluation trials with series production of the newly renamed Saab J 32 Lansen ("Jakt" [Fighter]) beginning in 1953. There were no trainer versions, but some Lansens had rudimentary controls installed in the rear seat.

Soon after entering squadron service, the J 32 Lansen broke the sound barrier on 25 October 1953 when a production aircraft exceeded Mach 1 in a shallow dive. The J 32 carried four 30 mm ADEN cannons while the A 32 ("A" stands for attack) had an armament of four 20 mm Bofors m/49 cannon and the Rb 04C anti-ship missile, one of the earliest of its type in western service. The Lansen normally was fitted with two missiles but it could also carry an additional missile. Its main role was to prevent any Soviet invasion across Sweden's extensive coastline.

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One planned use of the A 32A was to deliver nuclear warheads or chemical weapons. Sweden had an active nuclear weapons program during the 1950s and 1960s, but no weapons were ever produced.

The A 32 Lansen was Sweden's last purpose-built attack aircraft. Throughout the Cold War years, the Lansen distinguished itself with a solid if unspectacular career; Swedish pilots often described it as pleasant to fly. Gradually, being replaced by more modern types, the Saab 32 soldiered on into the late-1990s. (another time, from Wikipedia)

This it is another excellent Heller kit, the armed one was a real marvel, it takes as additional details the pilots and both basins of weapon, since this plane was coming in clean configuration and I decided to give some teeth to the beast ...

The lace and the armed one were spectacular and once more my gratefulnesses to Kater for having obtained this wonderful kit (equally of old to J-29 Tunnan!)

Tigre del Aire

Photos and text by Tigre del Aire