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  • Saab 17 Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft

    Over 300 Saab Model 17 aircraft were produced for the nations of Austria, Ethiopia, Finland and Sweden from 1941 until 1944.

     Updated: 11/29/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    With the German conquest of Norway to the west and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the east during World War 2 (1939-1945), it behooved Sweden to maintain a viable defensive force to guard against its own impending invasion by a foreign power. As such, the country invested in procurement of foreign war-making goods and eventually looked to local industry when this became an unviable and impractical option. The Saab 17 was a product of the period, developed and manufactured by local means, and served the Swedish Air Force as a both a light bomber and reconnaissance platform for its time in the air.

    Production ran from 1941 until 1944 and 323 examples were completed. The line eventually found service with the nations of Austria, Ethiopia and neighboring Finland before the end.

    Origins of the Model 17 were during the latter-half of the 1930s as the design was born under the "L10" designation (originally a product of AB Svenska Jarnvagsverkstadernas Aeroplanavdelning (ASJA)). Following the company's merger with Saab, the L10 designation gave way to the more recognized Saab 17 designator. A pair of prototypes were completed and a first-flight recorded on May 18th, 1940. The first example was powered with a locally-built British Bristol "Mercury" XII of 880 horsepower while the second prototype followed into the air carrying a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial engine of 1,065 horsepower.

    The aircraft was of traditional design for the period, featuring an enclosed crew space, monoplane wings and a retractable undercarriage. The engine was held in a forward compartment and drove a three-bladed propeller unit. The tail unit incorporated a single, rounded vertical fin with low-set horizontal planes. The crew numbered two and were seated in tandem under a heavily-framed canopy offering fairly good vision around the aircraft.

    Images Gallery


    Saab B17C Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1942
    Type: Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft
    National Origin: Sweden
    Manufacturer(s): Saab - Sweden
    Production Total: 323

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 32.81 feet (10 meters)
    Width: 44.95 feet (13.70 meters)
    Height: 14.76 feet (4.50 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 5,908 lb (2,680 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 8,532 lb (3,870 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Piaggio P.XIbis R.C.40D 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,000 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 270 mph (435 kph; 235 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,056 miles (1,700 km)
    Service Ceiling: 32,152 feet (9,800 meters; 6.09 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 2,000 feet-per-minute (610 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 8mm Ksp m/22F machine guns in fixed, forward-firing positions.
    1 x 8mm Ksp m/22R machine gun in flexible position at rear cockpit.

    Up to 1,500lb of conventional drop stores.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Austria; Ethiopia; Finland; Sweden

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Model 17 - Base Series Designation

    B17A - Initial production mark; bomber version; Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S1C3G Twin Wasp engines of up to 1,200 horsepower; 132 examples completed.

    B17B - Bomber variant; SFA engine of 980 horsepower fitted; 55 examples completed.

    B17C - Final bomber form; fitted with Piaggio P.XIbis R.C.40D engines of 1,040 horsepower.

    S17BL - Reconnaissance variant with wheeled undercarriage; 21 examples procured.

    S17BS - Reconnaissance variant with floatplane undercarriage; 38 examples procured.