In 1944 Saab em-barked on two civil aircraft projects — the Saab 90 Scandia, a twin-engined airliner, and the Saab 91 Safir, a single-engined trainer and private plane. The Saab-90 Scandia represented the company's attempt to join the post-World War II hunt for a Douglas DC-3 replacement.
A cantilever low-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, with retractable tricycle landing gear and powered by two wing-mounted 1081kW Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radial engines, and accommodation was provided for a flight crew of four or five and 24 to 36 passengers, according to cabin layout. The 14-cylinder R-2180 radial drove a four-bladed variable-pitch propeller. The Scandia was the only civil use for the R-2180 (also known as the Twin Wasp E1) engine, although a military version was used in rhe prototype Piasecki H-16 helicopter. The elevators and ailerons were fabric-covered and interchangeable port and starboard. After landing a support strut could be deployed from the cockpit to keep the aircraft from tipping backwards during passenger and baggage loading and unloading.
The results of the SAAB 90 first test flight, on 16 November 1946 were sufficient to encourage the Swedish airline, AB Aero-transport, to sign a contract for 10 aircraft at a value of SKr 15 million. The first plane was delivered in October 1950. When Swedish airline AB Aerotransport this was absorbed into SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) the order was reduced to six. The remaining four aircraft were then sold to Aerovias Brasil (later VASP). Both airlines found them efficient aircraft to operate, resulting in production of two more for SAS and five for VASP, but that was all.
When Saab was told by the Swedish Air Force to focus on Saab 29 "Tunnan" deliveries, Scandia production was transferred to Fokker in 1951, who in turn used Aviolanda and de Schelde to finish the aircraft. Saab received compensation from the Swedish Air Force for the abandonment of the project.
At this point, the Company had delivered 8 aircraft to ABA and exported 10 to Brazil. In time, the ABA planes were also sold to Brazil, where they remained in service until 1969. Only those 18 were ever built, between 1948 and 1954, including the prototype.
A Saab-90B with a pressurised cabin was planned, but with no demand for the type it was not built.
Saab 90A Scandia
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2180-E1 radial, 1342kW
Wingspan: 28 m / 92 ft 10 in
Length: 21.3 m / 70 ft 11 in
Height: 7.1 m / 23 ft 4 in
Wing area: 85.65 sq.m / 921.93 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 16000 kg / 35274 lb
Empty weight: 9960 kg / 21958 lb
Cruise speed: 390 km/h / 242 mph
Ceiling: 7500 m / 24600 ft
Range: 1480 km / 920 miles
Saab 90A-2 Scandia
Engine: 2 x Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-2180-E1, 1825 hp
Span: 28.0 m (91’10.5”)
Length: 21.3 m (69’10.5”)
Take-off weight: 15900 kg (35053 lb)
Range: 2650 km (1650 miles)
Maximum speed, km/h (mph) 455(283)
Cruising speed: 400 kph (249 mph)
Landing speed: 120 kph (75 mph)
Max. altitude: 8700 m (28540 ft)
Saab 90 Scandia