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60096 SAAB Sk.60B c/n 60096 - Swedish Air Force - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 6 September 1993 Swedish Air Force

The SAAB 105 is a two-seat jet trainer and light ground attack aircraft. This shoulder-wing aircraft was originally engined by two French Turbomeca Aubisque turbofans. The Swedish SAAB launched the Saab-105-project for a multirole jet aircraft in April 1960. The SAAB 105 project was company-funded and conducted by a design team under Ragnar Haerdmark. On 16 December 1961, the Swedish government awarded SAAB a contract for a prototype of the SAAB 105 side-by-side two-seater and signed a letter of intent for at least a hundred production machines. In 1962, the Flygvapnet ordered 150 SAAB 105, designated Sk 60 (was to be Sk 55, but SAAB asked for number 60). The first SAAB 105 prototype, registered SE-501, was flown on 29 June 1963. A second prototype, SE-502, flew on 17 June 1964. The first production aircraft was flown on 27 August 1965, with the first Sk 60A, Swedish Air Force 60001, delivered to the F 5 at Ljungbyhed in 1966. By 1969, 149 Saab Sk 60A, were delivered to the Swedish Air Force and placed in service. Next to the SAAB 105 for the Swedish Air Force, SAAB worked on a military export model, the SAAB 105XT, with "XT" standing for "Export Tropic". This variant had more powerful General Electric J85-GE-17B turbojets and an improved wing structure. The second SAAB 105 prototype was modified and was flown first as Saab 105XT on 29 April 1967. It was registered SE-XBZ for use as a flying demonstrator. Austria ordered 40 SAAB 105XT machines with the designation of SAAB 105OE ("OE" for "Oesterreich"). Deliveries started in 1970 and the order was completed in 1972. The Saab 105OE is used in Austrian service for reconnaissance, support and air defence tasks. The Saab 105 delivered to the Swedish Air Force as Sk 60A was an unarmed trainer. Starting in 1970, 46 Sk 60As were converted into Sk 60B standard, with three hangpoints beneath each wing enabling them to operate as a light ground attack aircraft. Another 28 Sk 60A aircraft were modified to Sk 60C. The difference is that the Sk 60C has a reconnaissance camera in the nose. The nose is longer and angular compared with the other versions of the aircraft. The Sk 60C prototype was the only new-build Sk 60C, when delivered to the Flygvapnet, making it the 150th and last new-build Sk 60 for the Swedish Air Force service. SAAB had also designed the SAAB 105 for use as a four-seat liaison transport: the two ejection seats could be yanked and quickly replaced with four seats. In the mid-1970s, ten Sk 60A planes were configured as transports and given the designation of Sk 60D. A further development is the Sk 60E, which is equipped commercial-type instruments, including an instrument landing system. This variant has four seats, and consequently no rocket chairs. The Sk 60D and Sk 60E variants were also used for training of civil pilots. The Sk 60 has now gone trough a modernisation programme. The most important alteration was replacement of the Turbomeccas by the stronger William Rolls FJ 44 turbofans. The first Williams-powered Sk 60(W) was flown in August 1995. A total of about 115 conversions of Sk 60A, Sk 60B, and Sk 60C machines were performed in the late 1990s. In addition to its primary duty as a trainer, the Sk 60 is used as target aircraft, weather flying and liaison aircraft. A new variant, the Sk 60M, is developed to replace the Mitsubishi MU-2 target aircraft / target tug of Nyge Aero.

SAAB Sk 60B 60096 of the Swedish Air Force F 5 Wing was photographed at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands. The 60096 was one of the planes of the "Team 60" aerobatic display team. "Team 60" and an escorting Piper PA-31 were on the way back to Ljungbyhed air base in Sweden after an air show in Belgium. Nowadays "Team 60" belongs to F 17 "Blekinge Flygflottilj" at Ronneby-Kallinge and is supported by F 17M. The Saab 105s of the Svenska Flygvapnet "Team 60" flight demonstration group are based at Linkoping-Malmen (Malmslätt air base) in Sweden. It's hard to see them outside Sweden, approximately twice a year they leave Sweden. Team 60 uses six aircraft and is staffed by Flygvapnet flight instructors; it is operated on a roughly seasonal basis.

page last updated: 11-08-2005
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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