Saab J29F Tunnan

Saab J29 Tunnan


With the H.A.M from May 1972 to May 1983*

The Saab J29 or ‘Flygande Tunnan’ (Flying Barrel) was a first generation jet fighter that entered service with the Swedish Flygvapnet (Air Force) in 1950. Produced in greater numbers than any other indigenous Swedish jet aircraft design, they continued to serve long after their replacement – the Saab Draken – had been introduced. As far as the H.A.M.’s J29 was concerned, she began life in June 1958 and was passed on to Skvadron F4 at Frösön, Östersund during September of the same year. She eventually found herself at the F20 Flygvapnetskadetskola (Air Force Cadets School) in Uppsala training budding air force pilots before finally being sent to the U.K. on loan to the B.H.A.M. at Southend where she was subsequently handed over by the Swedish Air Force C-in-C and an accompanying delegation who had flown into the airport on Douglas C-47 TP-79 79002.


Flying into SEN on June 13th 1967, the J29 did several circuits of the airport before landing and became part of the museum’s collection on the eastern perimeter. However during this time her drop tanks were stolen, although they were eventually recovered and kept in storage to prevent a recurrence of this theft. Also, somewhat more nefariously, the guns vanished too with a rumour abounding of them having been appropriated for a Meteor that had been provided to the Biafrans by Tony who became quite involved with the conflict during this time. The Saab was eventually moved over to the new compound in 1970 and on completion of the museum building she was moved to her final resting place in ‘Fighter Row’ where she was finally reunited with her tanks. With the museum’s closure she was donated by the Swedish Flygvapnet to the Midlands Air Museum in Coventry moving there in April 1985 and has since been restored and placed on internal display where she remains to this very day.

With thanks to Tony Avis & John Berkeley for addition information & Mark & Hayley Bull for providing the two handover images above.


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.