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Saab B3LA trainer/light strike aircraft

overscan (PaulMM)

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Estimated specs from Flight International, 7 October 1978

Length: 41ft
Span: 33ft
Wing gross area: 240 sq ft
Empty Weight: 8,800lb
Internal Fuel weight: 3,300lb
Clean takeoff weight: 12,500lb
Maximum payload: 6,600lb
Max takeoff weight: 19,000lb
Max wing loading: 79lb/sq ft
Powerplant: 1 x RB199
Static thrust: 8,500lb

Almost 20% of the structure was planned to be carbon-fibre, as indicated on the drawings below.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Here is a model, a sketch of the cockpit, and a scratch view of a combat equipped aircraft's nose. Production combat aircraft would have been single seat. Source: Flight International, 30 September 1978
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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In 1978 Sweden and Italy discussed combining the B3LA and AMX programs.

Flight International, 23 Sept 1978, p1154
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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From http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRHeft7X/FRHeft79/FRH7903/FR7903c.htm
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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For Tinwing

Saab B3LA 3 view

Source: Air International August 1977
 

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TinWing

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overscan said:
For Tinwing

Saab B3LA 3 view

Source: Air International August 1977

Overscan, this is a real find.

I've been looking for this drawing for a decade. Thank you.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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From Usenet discussions, in 2000:

"wooden mock-up of the B3LA at the Air Force Museum in Linköping"

Anyone ever visited? Any Swedes in the forum?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Some additional details about the B3LA program.

Able to operate from road surfaces (takeoff/landing under 3,000ft)
Swedish Air Force favour "cheaper and more maintainable" F404, Saab-Scania prefer RB199. F404 higher fuel comsumption requires larger wing to carry more fuel.
Svenska Radio wide-angle holographic HUD
D-80 standardised computer processing units

Designed to identify multiple targets in a single pass. Target detection and tracking handled by Ericsson FLIR. Laser rangefinder considered, but possibly to be eliminated to save cost and weight and range information obtained instead via trigonometry.

Infrared radiating targets are isolated and marked on both HUD and HDD by arrowhead symbols. At night, the FLIR image is projected onto the HUD. The target nearest the line of sight is marked for pilots attention. Pilot does not fire the weapon but simply verifies target and give permission to fire. The next nearest target is then marked, and so on. The intention is to allow multiple targets to be designated and attacked in a single pass using the fire-and-forget IR B83 missiles. Once permission to fire is recieved, a B-83 missile is cued onto each target and fired automatically when in range.

Other weapons options include a cannon belly pack and reconnaissance pack and an area munitions dispenser.

In 1978, 7 attack and 2 training squadrons were planned.

Source:
Flight International, 30 Sept 1978
 

waynos

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Are you also familiar with the SK2? This was the project with which SAAB replaced the B3LA and was basically similar in appearance and layout but which was intended to use the forward fuselage of the BAe Hawk to save time and money.
 

Archibald

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It seems to be the number between the Viggen and Grippen...
good website here
http://www.canit.se/~griffon/aviation/text/saabcanc/
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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overscan said:
From Usenet discussions, in 2000:

"wooden mock-up of the B3LA at the Air Force Museum in Linköping"

Anyone ever visited? Any Swedes in the forum?

Yes and yes, but I don't remember the mock-up, I probably didn't know about that particular aircraft back then.
 

hesham

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Hi,

may be early B3LA.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1976/1976%20-%200704.html
 

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Antonio

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Great contribution Hesham.

That's an alternative B3LA design according to the text in the page you linked.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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overscan said:
In 1978 Sweden and Italy discussed combining the B3LA and AMX programs.

Flight International, 23 Sept 1978, p1154
It's interesting that the automobile section of SAAB worked with FIAT when doing SAAB 9000 during the 1980's. Coincidence?
 

Pioneer

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Great find with that 3-view drawing!!

Looking at its twin main and nose gear arrangement - it looks as if it was going to have the customary (and very wise!!) Swedish beefy rough-field capability.

Regards
Pioneer
 

TinWing

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Hammer Birchgrove said:
overscan said:
In 1978 Sweden and Italy discussed combining the B3LA and AMX programs.

Flight International, 23 Sept 1978, p1154
It's interesting that the automobile section of SAAB worked with FIAT when doing SAAB 9000 during the 1980's. Coincidence?

I'm not sure I would read too much into the collaboration, either in aerospace or the automotive sector.

The Saab 9000 shared its platform with the Fiat Croma/Lancia Thema, although it was a slightly later car, with altogether corrosion protection and superior structural rigidity. Basically, all of the cars had the same doors, but shared few parts. Perhaps Fiat was going to merge with Saab, which certainly was in need of a partner and eventually hooked up with GM? On the other hand Fiat had a massive engine joint venture with PSA in the same period, and there are many other examples of collaboration.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there was an attempt at linking civilian and military projects, but I don't think it went very far at all.
 

archipeppe

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This project seems to have more than one point of contact with the AMX-T.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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TinWing said:
Hammer Birchgrove said:
overscan said:
In 1978 Sweden and Italy discussed combining the B3LA and AMX programs.

Flight International, 23 Sept 1978, p1154
It's interesting that the automobile section of SAAB worked with FIAT when doing SAAB 9000 during the 1980's. Coincidence?

I'm not sure I would read too much into the collaboration, either in aerospace or the automotive sector.

The Saab 9000 shared its platform with the Fiat Croma/Lancia Thema, although it was a slightly later car, with altogether corrosion protection and superior structural rigidity. Basically, all of the cars had the same doors, but shared few parts. Perhaps Fiat was going to merge with Saab, which certainly was in need of a partner and eventually hooked up with GM? On the other hand Fiat had a massive engine joint venture with PSA in the same period, and there are many other examples of collaboration.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there was an attempt at linking civilian and military projects, but I don't think it went very far at all.
Good points, thanks.
 

GTX

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Another model pic of the Saab B3LA:

Regards,

Greg
 

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Antonio

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B3LA model at Paris 77

(Source: Flug Revue July 1977)
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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The remains of the wooden mockup at the Air Force Museum in Lingkoping.

Found here: http://forum3.sff.n.se/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1941
 

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Etoski

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overscan said:
The remains of the wooden mockup at the Air Force Museum in Lingkoping.

Found here: http://forum3.sff.n.se/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1941

Cool! I've also been to the museum last year, but I don't remember seing the mock-up there....I even had a guided tour by Saab folks, but they didn't even mention the project ::)

However, it was pretty cool to see the Gripens for South Africa being manufactured in the Linköping facilities B)
 

datafuser

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A Flight International article dated 30th September 1978 says "the B3LA will have very low signatures both for radar and infra-red - particularly for infra-red."

Does anybody see anything special - especially in terms of low radar signature - in the B3LA design?
 

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Grey Havoc

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mithril said:
maybe they were planning to use radar absorbing paints?

Or else use large amounts of various RAM in the construction of the airframe? Or maybe a combination of the two approaches together with a good ECM system.

EDIT: Based on a quick search, the internal ECM system intended for this design may have been designed around a core based on a version of the AQ 861 airborne noise and deception jammer. At least what dates I've found so far in relation to the AQ 861 would seem to match the B3LA timeline, but I'm still digging, so I'm not counting my chickens just yet. :)

The AQ 861 is described as a internal dual-mode I/J-band radar jammer with an integral receiver subsystem. It included both white noise and range-gate pull-off among it's jamming modes. It may have used as recently as 2004 by the Swedish Air Force for EW training. It could be fitted to both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

If it was the AQ 861 the B3LA's ECM was to be based around, it may indicate that Saab was aiming for an all-out Warning/ECM system for the aircraft, possibly using the 'system of systems' concept.
 

GTX

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1/48 Saab B3LA model kit now available (be warned though - it ain't cheap!)





Click on image for more details.
 

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Wind tunnel model of the B3LA being tested at the Canadian NRC, in 1978 or 1979.
From AGARD-CP-285 Subsonic/Transonic Aerodynamics (1980) - Paper "The Tale of Two Wings", a trade study between leading edge slats versus drooped leading edge.
Authors of the paper are L. Thornqvist from Saab and L. Torngren from FFA (Aeronautical Research Institute of Sweden).
-Luc
 

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Triton

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Saab B3LA sales brochure dated March 1977 found on eBay.

Source:
http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Promo-Brochure-SAAB-B3LA-Combat-Training-aircraft-1977-/380839500207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58abcd99af
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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The first was posted before but this is the actual source, plus cockpit mockup photo.


http://www.osterlensflygmuseum.se/saabb3la_foto.php
 

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hesham

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Also from Flygvapen NYTT,


here is the early two concepts to SAAB trainer aircraft,which rejected in favour of third design.
 

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hesham

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Hi,


here is the SAAB B3LA mock-up.


http://saabveteran.se/lunch/141119_saab340.pdf
 

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hesham

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Hi,


can anyone ID those four drawings for a SAAB Models,from SAAB archive or memory.


http://www.saabveteran.se/minnen/d18/d18omslag.htm
 

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hesham

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Hi,


from flygvapennytt magazine 2-1977.
 

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