SAAB J29 B - ”22 U.N. Fighter Squadron”, 1/48 scale. 48A004
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Top quality plastic kit with surface details 2nd to none. Photo etched detail parts included and decals for 3 aircrafts.
SAAB 29 Flying Barrel, was a Swedish single-engine jet-powered fighter aircraft developed by Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (SAAB) on order from the Swedish Air Force and flew for the first time September 1st 1948. The aircraft was in active military service in Sweden and Austria between 1951 to early 1970s. The J29 was considered on a par with the contemporary American F-86 Saber and the Soviet MiG-15. SAAB 29 was in service in versions A, B, C, E & F, where version F had a more powerful engine with afterburner.
On May 6, 1954, Captain Anders Westerlund set a world record with a J29 B with an average speed of 977 km / h on a 500 km long track. The time was 30 minutes and 42 seconds. This distanced the previous American record by 27 km / h.
The Congolese crisis and the 22nd U.N. Fighter Squadron (F 22 wing in Congo)
The Congo crisis was a period of power struggles and severe unrest in Congo that began when Congo was declared independent from Belgium. Following a request from the UN on September 23, 1961, the Swedish government decided that a smaller group J29 B should be sent to the U.N. Fighter Wing, called F 22.
F 22 task was to protect UN air transport primarily through escorts and offensive missions, a task that offered great practical difficulties in the type of war waged in Congo in 1961. The difficulties of distinguishing between military targets and civilian facilities were extraordinarily great. On December 6, 1961, the first attack missions were carried out against the Kolwezi and Jadotville air bases in Katanga. The F 22's operation with the J29 B together with Indian Canberra aircraft and Iranian and a Philippine group with F-86 Sabers were at this time of crucial importance for the UN troops' security and success in Congo.
Its significant contribution was the attack on the air base at Kolwezi, where Katanga's air force was quick and surprisingly completely destroyed on the ground.
F 22 was disbanded in April 1963. Two J 29s and two S 29s were flown home to Sweden, other aircrafts were blown up on the spot because the cost of flying them home was considered too expensive as they would not be needed for the Swedish war organization. A total of 9 J29 B and 2 S29 C served in Congo.