SAAB RF-35 Draken
SAAB RF-35 Draken
SAAB RF-35 Draken
SAAB RF-35 Draken
SAAB RF-35 Draken
SAAB RF-35 Draken

Time to Release the Kraken! Or should I say "Draken?" Your donation will assist in restoration funds to help restore the Draken to its former unit colors! (5th image above.) Donate today!


Manufacturer: Saab
Year/Model: 1971 RF-35 Draken
S/N: AR-106
C/N: 35-1106
Also Registered as: N106XD
Power Plant: Svenska Flygmotor RM6C licence built Rolls-Royce Avon Turbo Jet
Wingspan: 30 feet 9 inches
Length: 50 feet 4 inch
Tail Height: 12 feet 8 inches
Empty Weight: 16,400 pounds
Maximum Speed: Mach 2.0
Maximum Range: 2,000 Statute miles with external tanks
Internal Cannons: 2 30mm Aden
Missiles: AGM-12 Bull-Pup air to ground missiles
Crew: 1
Status: Static Display - awaiting restoration
Owner: Estrella Warbirds Museum

In Flight


Estrella Warbirds Museum recently received a donation of an RF-35, Draken. Manufactured by Saab of Sweden, the Draken was a front line Mach 1.7 fighter aircraft, equipped with a distinctive double delta wing. The aircraft was manufactured between 1959 to 1985 and phased out of service in 1999. This particular aircraft was part of the Royal Danish Air Forces and last saw service at the National Test Pilot School at the Mojave Spaceport. The aircraft was transported from Chino, CA to Paso Robles and awaits restoration. You can always help out with the Draken! Donate today!

The Saab 35 Draken (English: "Kite" or ‌"Dragon") was a Swedish fighter aircraft manufactured by Saab between 1955 and 1974. The Draken was built to replace the Saab J 29 Tunnan and, later, the fighter variant (J 32B) of the Saab 32 Lansen. The indigenous J 35 was an effective supersonic Cold War fighter that was also successfully exported to Austria, Denmark and Finland.

As the jet era started, Sweden foresaw the need for a jet fighter that could intercept bombers at high altitude and also successfully engage fighters. Although other interceptors such as the US Air Force's F-104 Starfighter were being conceived during the same period, Saab's "Draken" would have to undertake a combat role unique to Sweden. Other demanding requirements were the capability to operate from reinforced public roads used as part of wartime airbases, and for refuelling/rearming to be carried out in no more than ten minutes, by conscripts with minimal training. In September 1949, the Swedish Defence Material Administration issued a request for a fighter/interceptor aircraft, and work began at Saab the same year.

Draken's design incorporated a distinctive "double-delta" configuration, with one delta wing within another larger delta. The inner wing has an 80° angle for high speed performance, while the outer 60° wing gives good performance at low speeds. Propulsion was provided by a single Svenska Flygmotor RM 6B/C turbojet (Rolls-Royce Avon 200/300). A ram turbine, under the nose, provided emergency power and the engine had a built-in emergency starter unit. The Draken could deploy a drag chute to reduce its landing distance.

Although the J 35 Draken was not designed to be a dog-fighter, it proved to have a good quick turn capability, and it was a capable fighter plane. It entered service with the Swedish Air Force in 1960. A total of 651 Saab Drakens were manufactured. Sweden's fleet of Drakens came in six different versions and two other models of the Draken were offered for export. The early models were intended purely for air defense. The last model built was the J 35F, the final version to remain in Swedish service. These aircraft were retired in the 1990s, and they were replaced by the Saab Gripen.

The J 35 Draken design underwent several upgrades. The last was the J 35J version, made in the late 1980s, although by then, the Draken had been almost replaced by the Saab 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force. The J 35J was a service-life extension program because the delivery of the new Saab JAS 39 Gripen was suffering from delays. The extension program was intended to keep the Draken flying into the 2000s, but due to cutbacks and high maintenance costs, the Draken was eventually phased out of service. The Swedish Drakens were officially retired in December 1998, although the aircraft remained in limited numbers in both military and civilian roles.

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