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SAAB 91 Safir

saab91-1


Design work was started in winter 1944-45 and the first prototype. A three-seat cabin monoplane of cantilever low-wing configuration which had retractable tricycle landing gear and was powered by a 147-hp / 97kW de Havilland Gipsy Major 1C inline engine.

Saab flew on 20 November 1945 the prototype, with a top speed of 265 km/h (165 mph).

Successful testing led to the first production version, the Saab-91A, commenced in Spring 1946, which differed primarily by having the more powerful de Havilland Gipsy Major 10 engine. 48 aircraft were built between then and 1950. Ten of these were bought by the Swed-ish Air Force for liaison and light transport duties. 

 

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The SAAB 91B, which appeared in 1951, differed primarily in having a 190 hp Lycoming O-435-A engine. This model was ordered by the Swedish Air Force and was largely built by "de Schelde" in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, as the SAAB factories were fully committed at that time. In the Spring 1952 the first SAAB Safir training aircraft for which De Schelde had received a large licensed production order, left the factory. The 91B had a top speed of 275 km/h (171 mph. This model (which was also used as a trainer from 1952 on) was followed by a 4-seater version designated the 91C. Safir production returned to Sweden in 1954 and the company announced the Model 91C which had been modified to include a fourth seat.

Swedish airforce interest in this aircraft as a primary trainer led to a prototype powered by a 142kW Avco Lycoming O-435-A flat-six engine, first flown on 18 January 1949. This was adopted by the Flygvapen as a standard trainer under the designation Sk 50, built by Saab with the same powerplant as the Saab-91B It could be equipped to carry guns, practice bombs or rockets, and served also with the air forces of Ethiopia and Norway; in a pure training sub-variant this version was also adopted by a number of European airlines.

The Saab-91C, first flown in September 1949 having four-seat accommodation. The final production version was the Saab-91D, which introduced a number of improvements, including a new Avco Lycoming O-360-A1A engine, disc brakes and other advanced equipment that offered weight saving.

In 1957, the SAAB 91D with the smaller 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A1A four-cylinder air-cooled engine, joined the 91C at the production line.

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A total of 323 Safirs were built, 120 under licence by de Schelde in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, and examples had been sold to operators in 21 countries and 6 air forces.

 

SAAB-91-01

 

Variation:
Japan Aircraft Manufacturing Co Z1G3

 

91A
Engine: 1 x De Havilland Gipsy Major 10,147 hp
Span: 10.6 m (34’9.25”)
Length: 7.80 m (25’10.25”)
Take-off weight: 1075 kg (2370 lb)
Maximum speed, km/h (mph): 265 kph (165 mph)
Cruising speed: 248 kph (154 mph)
Landing speed: 85 kph (53 mph)
Range: 960 km (597 miles)
Max. altitude: 4600 m (15090 ft)

91B
Engine: 1 x Lycoming O-435A, 190 hp
Span: 10.6 m (34’9.25”)
Length: 7.95 m (26’l’)
Take-off weight: 1215 kg (2472 lb)
Maximum speed: 275 kph (171 mph)
Cruising speed: 240 kph (149 mph)
Landing speed: 90 kph (56 mph)
Range: 1075 km (668 miles)
Max. altitude: 6200m  (20340 ft)

91C
Engine: 1 x Lycoming O-435A, 190 hp
Span: 10.6 m (34’9.25”)
Length: 7.95m  (26’l’)
Take-off weight: 1215 kg (2472 lb)
Maximum speed: 275 kph (171 mph)
Cruising speed: 240 kph (149 mph)
Landing speed: 90 kph (56 mph)
Range: 1075 km (668 miles)
Max. altitude: 6200 m (20340 ft)

91D
Engine: 1 x Lycoming O-360-A1A, 180 hp / 134kW
Span: 34 ft 9 in (10.6 m)
Length: 26 ft 4 in (8.03 m)
Wing area, 146.3 sq.ft (13.6 sq.m)
Height: 2.2 m / 7 ft 3 in
Empty wt: 1,570 lb (710 kg)
Take-off weight: 1205 kg (2657 lb)
Maximum speed: 165 mph (265 kph)
Cruising speed: 235 kph (146 mph)
Initial climb: 800 fpm (4.06 m/sec)
Landing speed: 90 kph (56 mph)
Range: 660 mls (1060 km)
Max. altitude: 6100 m (20010 ft)
Service ceiling: 16,400 ft (5000 m)

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Saab 91 Safir

 

 


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