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SE-IIL SAAB 91B Safir c/n 91.211 - 'Swedish Air Force F 5 wing  50011' - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 29 June 2011 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

The SAAB 91B three-seat civil and military primary trainer was the second basic version of the SAAB 91 Safir that flew for the first time on November 20nd 1945. The initial model, the SAAB 91A, was powered by a 145 hp Gipsy Major X engine. 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 in the Netherlands, as the SAAB factories were fully committed at that time. Safir production returned to Sweden in 1954 and the company announced the Model 91C which had been modified to include a fourth seat. In 1957, the SAAB 91D with the smaller 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A1A four-cylinder air-cooled engine followed and joined the 91C at the production line. Of the SAAB 91B seventy-five were delivered to the Royal Swedish Air Force as the Sk 50B, sixteen were delivered to Ethiopia, and twenty-five to Norway. When the production ended in 1966 a total of 323 SAAB Safir were built, including 120 built under licence by "de Schelde" in Dordrecht.

The Swedish Air Force was the main operator of the SAAB 91 Safir. In the period 1947-1992 ninety-nine served with the Swedish Air Force: 10 SAAB 91A designated Tp 91 as liaison aircraft; 75 SAAB 91B designated Sk 50B as basic trainer and 14 SAAB 91C designated Sk 50C as trainer. After the Sk 50B and Sk 50C had been replaced by the Scottish Aviation Bulldog as a trainer, they were used by all wings as liaison aircraft until retirement. The last Sk 50B was retired in 1990, the last Sk 50C in 1992. On 22 November 1952, SAAB 91B Safir c/n 91.211 entered service with the Swedish Air Force F 5 wing at Ljungbyhed as Sk 50B 50011. On 27 April 1972, the 50011 was transferred to the the F12 wing. Before the aircraft was retired from military service this Sk 50B served also with F 16 wing.On 22 June 1981, the 1952-built SAAB entered the civil register as SE-IIL. The aircraft was operated by a privat owner in a drabbrown/green camo in the Swedish Air Force F 5 wing colours, however the aircraft wear in military service its camo in service with F 12 wing. When the aircraft was photographed at Groningen Airport Eelde it was on its return flight to Sweden after it was freshly painted in the UK in the original yellow 'Swedish Air Force F 5 wing" colours.

page last updated: 29-06-2011
Photo Copyright © Jack Poelstra, the Netherlands

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