Tagged: Viggen

A comically porny Saab Viggen video from 1980

Need I say more?

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MY FAVOURITE AEROPLANE IN 200 WORDS #24 Saab 37 Viggen by Alice Dryden

Your friend is running an aviation role-playing game. You need a character and an aircraft, and you don’t want to be British or American because everyone else is.

You remember an airshow, early 1990s, you and your dad gazing at a silver fighter with unusual wings. You say: OK, my pilot is Swedish, his name’s Lars, and he flies a Saab Viggen.

The more you research your chosen plane, the more you’re smitten. It can take off and land on motorways! It’s technically a biplane! You build the 1:144 Revell kit; find the Matchbox model at a boot sale. You visit the Gothenburg Aeroseum and sit in that huge, high cockpit, in a Cold War hangar hacked from solid rock.

In 2012, the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight restore their Viggen to flying condition and announce a display at Sanicole Airshow in Belgium. On your birthday.

So on a sunny September Sunday you watch that silver fighter rise on the lift from its delta wing and canard foreplane, showing off its unique silhouette for you just like twenty years ago, and you learn that this particular Viggen was actually made in the year of your birth.

It’s your birthday Viggen.

 Alice Dryden [http://www.alice.dryden.co.uk] appreciates well-built Scandinavians.

If you like Swedish aircraft, you’ll love this

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Hush-Kit Top Ten: The ten best-looking Swedish aeroplanes

Hur mår du? Outside of France and the superpowers, Sweden is the only nation that still produces her own fighter aircraft. From Gunnar ‘The Ghost’ to Elsa Andersson, Sweden’s aviators and aircraft have long been made of a special kind of magic. Their aeroplanes have often been technologically advanced, rivalling the best in the world, and it is only  politics (and large price tags) which have stopped them being more widely exported (Allestädes framme får ofta näsbränna!).

 

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Here is an excuse to ogle at ten wonderful Swedish aeroplanes. If you enjoy this, have  a look at the top ten British, French, Australian,  Soviet and German aeroplanes. Wanting Something a little more exotic? Try the top ten fictional aircraft.

10. Saab 91 Safir

9. Saab 29 Tunnan

8. Svenska Aero Jaktfalken

7. FFVS 22

6. Saab 18

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5. Saab 39 Gripen

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4. Saab 21R

3. Saab Lansen

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2. Saab 37 Viggen

1. Saab 35 Draken

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Viggen love here

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Want to see more stories like this: Follow my vapour trail on Twitter: @Hush_kit

Thank you for reading Hush-Kit. Our site is absolutely free and we have no advertisements. If you’ve enjoyed an article you can donate here. At the moment our contributors do not receive any payment but we’re hoping to reward them for their fascinating stories in the future.

Have a look at 10 worst British military aircraftSu-35 versus Typhoon10 Best fighters of World War II top WVR and BVR fighters of today, an interview with a Super Hornet pilot and a Pacifist’s Guide to Warplanes. Was the Spitfire overrated? Want something more bizarre? The Top Ten fictional aircraft is a fascinating read, as is The Strange Story and The Planet Satellite. The Fashion Versus Aircraft Camo is also a real cracker. Those interested in the Cold Way should read A pilot’s guide to flying and fighting in the Lightning. Those feeling less belligerent may enjoy A pilot’s farewell to the Airbus A340. Looking for something more humorous? Have a look at this F-35 satire and ‘Werner Herzog’s Guide to pusher bi-planes or the Ten most boring aircraft. In the mood for something more offensive? Try the NSFW 10 best looking American airplanes, or the same but for Canadians. 

  If you enjoyed this, have  a look at the top ten British, French, Australian,  Soviet and German aeroplanes. Wanting Something a little more exotic? Try the top ten fictional aircraft.

Hush-Kit Top Ten: The Ten best Fictional Aircraft

 

A lot of thought has gone into the fictional aircraft that have appeared in books, films and TV shows. This is a tribute to the clever and imaginative people who have put their aviation know-how to use in producing flying ‘stars’. These aircraft are characters in their own right, and have entered the consciousness of millions. It was hard to select only ten, but here is Hush-Kit’s selection.

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To keep this blog going- allowing us to create new articles- we need donations. We’re trying to do something different with Hush-Kit: give aviation fans something that is both entertaining, surprising and well-informed. Please do help us and click on the donate button above – you can really make a difference (suggested donation £10). You will keep us impartial and without advertisers – and allow us to carry on being naughty. Once you’ve done that we hope you enjoy 10 Incredible Soviet fighter Aircraft that never entered service. A big thank you to all of our readers.

Was the Spitfire overrated? Full story here. A Lightning pilot’s guide to flying and fighting here. Find out the most effective modern fighter aircraft in within-visual and beyond-visual range combat. The greatest fictional aircraft here. An interview with stealth guru Bill Sweetman here. The fashion of aircraft camo here. Interview with a Super Hornet pilot here. Most importantly, a pacifist’s guide to warplanes here. F-35 expose here

Hush-kit is reminding the world of the beauty of flight.

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10. BAC TSR.2MS

Ridiculous and wonderful, the TSR.2MS is featured in the Japanese cartoon Stratos-4. It is a  mad, rocket-assisted tribute to a real-world cancelled bomber. In Stratos-4 the TSR2.MS is an ultra-fast interceptor, that can be launched from the back of a truck. The creators also considered the CF-105 Arrow for the part! Click here for more on TSR.2

9. AT-99 Scorpion

The AT-99 Scorpion featured in Avatar, and was a chimera of several real-world aircraft. The cockpit is reminiscent of the AH-1W, the weapons are based on real types and the fuselage has elements of the Kiowa. The ducted rotors are an interesting touch, and have featured on several small UAVs as well as flying cars, including the Israeli X-Hawk (which looks like it may have been a muse for the AT-99). The tail is similar to that of the He-162 Salamander. The AT-99 is a fascinating ‘mash-up’.

8.  Blue Thunder

Take a Gazelle helicopter, bolt on a load of prosthetics and you have Blue Thunder. The star of the 1983 film was apparently a dog to fly due to the extra weight required to ‘dress’  it to look like an advanced gunship helicopter.

Keep this blog alive!

To keep this blog going- allowing us to create new articles- we need donations. We’re trying to do something different with Hush-Kit: give aviation fans something that is both entertaining, surprising and well-informed. Please do help us and click on the donate button above – you can really make a difference (suggested donation £10). You will keep us impartial and without advertisers – and allow us to carry on being naughty. Once you’ve done that we hope you enjoy 10 Incredible Soviet fighter Aircraft that never entered service. A big thank you to all of our readers.

 

7. Angel Interceptor

From the British puppet show Captain Scarlet, the Angel interceptor was a VTOL supersonic fighter. The type has an airspike on the nose (a good idea for hypersonic flight) and a ‘wave-riding’ wing. Clever stuff.

6. Air Wolf

Like Blue Thunder, Air Wolf was another transvestite helicopter (I wish I could think of a good pun to describe that). Air Wolf was a 1980s TV show starring a dressed-up Bell 222. The helicopter was eventually sold after the show ended and became an ambulance helicopter in Germany. Sadly, it crashed in a thunderstorm on June 6, 1992, killing all three on board.

5. F/A-37

The 2005 film Stealth featured the F/A-37 fighter-bomber. The concept is clearly based on the ‘Switchblade’ patent filed by Grumman in 1999 for a Mach 3 capable stealth aircraft. The ‘Switchblade’ used extreme variable-geometry and was a very radical notion. The F/A-37 combines Switchblade-like  features with elements of the YF-23 to produce a visually convincing idea.

4. Mikoyan MiG-37B ‘Ferret-E’

In 1987, the faceted stealth design of the F-117 was highly classified. So, there were some very unhappy people at the Pentagon when model kit maker Testor released their MiG-37. This notional Soviet stealth fighter used a faceted shape to reduce its radar cross-section and a shielding trough to reduce its heat signature, painfully close to the then top-secret F-117. A naughty and well-informed prediction! Click here for the story of Russian stealth.

3. Carreidas 160

Tintin  featured  many wonderful real-world aircraft, including the Arado Ar 196 and de Havilland Mosquito, it also featured one of the very best fictional aeroplanes. The Tintin book Flight 714 featured a Hergé creation, a gloriously well conceived swing-wing supersonic business jet with three engines. Flight 714 came out in 1968, a year before Concorde flew, at a time when supersonic civil aircraft were a very hot topic. The central engine was fed through a bifurcated intake inboard of the outer inlets.

2. Lockheed F-19 Stealth fighter

In the early 1980s, observers found it odd that the F/A-18 was followed by the F-20. What was the F-19? Rumours of secret stealth aircraft were hot gossip at the time. The two exciting ideas were put together leading to the crypto-aeronautical F-19. It appeared in the 1983 ‘Deal Of The Century’ with Chevy Chase as a cranked delta, with outward canted fins. In 1986 Testor released a model kit, of an aircraft with a plectrum shaped blended wing/body and inward-canted fins, this become the archetypal F-19 image. A ‘Northrop-Loral F-19A Specter’ magazine advert did little to quell the F-19-mania, but the outing of the F-117 ‘stealth fighter’ in 1988 ended this enjoyable trend.

1.Mikoyan MiG-31 ‘Firefox’

The winner is course- Firefox. Rumour has it that Clint Eastwood originally wanted to cast the Saab Viggen, but it proved cheaper to use dodgy special effects. The resultant ‘Firefox’ was an exciting shape, with four engine intakes and a canard and cranked-delta wing design. With thought control and energy weapons, ‘Firefox’ was ahead technologically of even today’s F-35. Our winner also had a small amount of faceting on its nose and transparencies, but this appears to be for aesthetic reasons rather than hinting at a stealth insight. The 1982 film Firefox was based on a novel of the same name by Craig Thomas, in the novel however, the type looked similar to the MiG-25, as does the real MiG-31. Firefox was released at a time when real, new Soviet fighters were secretive and mysterious, and the film perfectly exploited this sexy mystique.

Reunited with a source book of aircraft

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I lost my favourite book over twenty years ago. I could not remember its title or the author’s name so it seemed unlikely I would ever see it again. But this week, by chance, I rediscovered it.

I had arranged to meet my friend to watch an circus performance on London’s Southbank. She was delayed, so I watched the performance by myself. I moved to the front to join 30 confused and delighted school children. The show was outside, on one of those sunny days when the Southbank is the happiest place on Earth.

The two performers climbed and spun from tall flexing poles- swinging in dramatic switchblade movements- for the climax they wrapped themselves in reels of clingfilm, which reminded me of the funniest book I’ve ever read, ‘Ulrich Haarburste’s Novel Of Roy Orbison In Clingfilm’. This contains short stories, written in the voice of an Orbison clingfilm fetishist. Each story is a contrived set-up, leading (inevitably) to Roy Orbison being wrapped in clingfilm.

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The show ended and my friend still hadn’t arrived, so I went to the book market under Waterloo Bridge. Being a mono-maniac with time to burn, I immediately looked for books about aeroplanes. The first I came across was entitled ‘Air Shows’, and was a rather dry guide from the early 1980s.
As I walked toward the next stall, I spotted a small landscape book with the image of a BOAC VC10 taking-off on the cover. Within seconds of opening it, I realised it was THE MISSING BOOK.
There have been two books that have changed my life, directly and profoundly. The second was The Wild, Wild World of The Cramps by Ian Johnston. The one I was now holding was the first.
I double-checked. It was the book. I hadn’t held a copy in twenty years. Every photo I could recall in absolute detail. I ran to the book-seller and paid the £3 pencilled in the inside cover.

Lowercase book

I have tried to avoid looking at it until now. I want to share with you my reunion feelings as they happen.

Ok, I’m ready now. First impressions- my initial copy had no dust jacket, the cover image, in the dismally dreary colour reproduction of 1970, was new to me. The title ‘a source book of aircraft‘. The lowercase ‘a’ was strangely progressive, it made the little book appear friendly. As I look at the cover, I hear thunder outside. Written and compiled by m. allward (all lowercase). The reviews inside are lovely:

“For transport enthusiasts of any age…clear illustrations and and neatly laid out vital statistics for instant identification of the beloved objects.” The Sunday Telegraph

Beloved objects, how marvellous. Beloved indeed.

The Irish Independent said:

“easy reading in a survey ranging from the first perilous contraption to the latest droop-snouted supercilious model. There also grows on the reader a profound respect to those who flew the early machines or even believed the machines would fly.”

SUPERCILIOUS! Ha ha, a little bitchy snipe at Concorde, at a time when it was a fashionable target of criticism. I was just about to open the first page when my mobile phone barked (remind me to change my ringtone). I have a visitor. Well, I’ve waited twenty years, I can wait another couple of hours. Time for tea with the artist Katie Horwich.

I’m back. My first copy I marked with crosses and ticks, showing my approval or disapproval of each type. I was about five when I first saw the book. It introduced me to aeroplanes. I fell in love with aeroplanes from seeing them in this book.

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The book is organised chronologically, starting with the Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer I. As a child I did not like the early machines. They were not sleek, they resembled piers or bridges or fences. The first sexy aircraft was the Nieuport 17 Scout of 1915. On the side is a skull and crossed bones on a heart, a tattoo-like artwork which brings the ’17 to life.
The locations of the aeroplanes in the pictures were mysterious. Large empty airfields, woods and lakes. The Empire of 1936 was on a body of water next to a castle, a frothy wake streaming from its hull.

The Spitfire was unique in having two pictures- surely this made it the king of the aeroplanes?

The handsome Boeing 314 sat on a sunlit ocean and was photographed from the air- where was it? What was it doing? The absence of captions forced my imagination to make up the story.

Rocket-propelled nazis and jet Christs
When good quality photos could not be found (or copyrights granted?) the aircraft were shown in exciting, but naïve, paintings. The paintings were crudely over-painted photos, each seemingly completed in five minutes. This naïvety could not conceal the mad excitement of the Messerschmitt Me.163; a rocket-propelled nazi fighter and the first aircraft in the book with raked back wings. If that wasn’t titillating enough, the opposite page showed a gorgeous image of the Tempest fighter. As a boy this high-sided machine reminded me of a knight’s charger, the shape speaking of massive power and nobility. The Salamander of 1944 was cool, but incomprehensible, with a black boiler trying to mount it like a randy labrador.

The Sea Hawk of 1947 was a pure, uncluttered shape. The shape of the aircraft resembling a jet-propelled Christ on the cross.

The Sabre carried USAF markings, happy and garish, and familiar to me from toys and comics. The Comet of 1949 shared the same Christian looks as the Sea Hawk. A mass of well-balanced compound curves, the Comet had the gentle look of a deer.

Flying daggers!

In striking contrast to this- the Draken and F-104 were flying daggers! They looked to me like swords or battle-axes. They were speed, aggression and purpose. I loved them, maybe the most of all. The HS 125 and Trident 2E (I have used the aircraft titles and designations from the book), were further Christians, but this time with pally, dog-like snouts.

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The MiG-23 was a revelation. It was Soviet, and therefore little was known about it. The painting showed a duet of zooming spaceships. They looked invincible. The designation ‘MiG-23’, later proved to be wrong. The aircraft was actually the MiG-25, the legendary ‘Foxbat’.

The world in the pictures was now looking more like the world I knew in 1983. The Harrier of 1966, with its ventilator-like nozzles and oversized tyres was apparently landing in Hampstead Heath, behind were winter-stripped trees. The setting familiar to a British child. The Viggen of 1967 earned a big tick; a gothic cathedral that had transformed into a fighter and flown off over some enigmatic misty landscape.

In 1969 the world ends. Concorde comes into land, in all its supercilious droop-snouted glory.

Seeing the book again was a main-lining of nostalgia that I will be unable to feel again, even if I bury this book for another twenty years.
I dedicate this article to Beatrice Brown, as without her terrible experiences on the London Underground that summer day, I would not have been reunited with this old childhood friend.

 

Want to see more stories like this: Follow my vapour trail on Twitter: @Hush_kit

Thank you for reading Hush-Kit. Our site is absolutely free and we have no advertisements. If you’ve enjoyed an article you can donate here. At the moment our contributors do not receive any payment but we’re hoping to reward them for their fascinating stories in the future.

Have a look at 10 worst British military aircraftSu-35 versus Typhoon10 Best fighters of World War II top WVR and BVR fighters of today, an interview with a Super Hornet pilot and a Pacifist’s Guide to Warplanes. Was the Spitfire overrated? Want something more bizarre? The Top Ten fictional aircraft is a fascinating read, as is The Strange Story and The Planet Satellite. The Fashion Versus Aircraft Camo is also a real cracker. Those interested in the Cold Way should read A pilot’s guide to flying and fighting in the Lightning. Those feeling less belligerent may enjoy A pilot’s farewell to the Airbus A340. Looking for something more humorous? Have a look at this F-35 satire and ‘Werner Herzog’s Guide to pusher bi-planes or the Ten most boring aircraft. In the mood for something more offensive? Try the NSFW 10 best looking American airplanes, or the same but for Canadians.