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F/RF-35 Draken RDAF

Old 11th Nov 2014, 08:47
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F/RF-35 Draken RDAF

Does anyone have any knowledge of why the Draken was chosen as a replacement for the F-100/RF-84F in the Royal Danish Air Force. I have some references that the competition was the A-4 and the Mirage V; but this needs confirmation (or denial!)
Thanks
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Old 7th Dec 2014, 22:08
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First of all: The Draken was the fastest and the main task of the RDAF those days was interception of WaPa forces over the Baltic sea hence speed was a major detail. This fact is also the reason why F104's were used rather late in the European airforces, RDAF included!
Beside, SAAB showed to be very flexible to accommodate RDAF's wishes into the detail - The Danish Drakens were far from stock J35's!
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Old 8th Dec 2014, 21:14
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Thanks for the input.
I'm researching for an article on the RDAF Draken for a magazine.
Any other input would be gratefully received.
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Old 8th Dec 2014, 21:50
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From Draken Team Karup (try to get it auto-translated (from Danish!), wich I'm not able to from my tablet wich at the time is My only possibility)
There is some essential details to pick-out!

SAAB F-35 DRAKEN er et svensk konstrueret ensædet Jagerfly fremstillet af Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget i Linköping. Som de øvrige svenske Jagerfly fra de seneste 40-50 år (TUNNAN. LANSEN, VIGGEN og GRIPEN) er også DRAKEN konstrueret til at kunne operere fra de mange afsnit af det svenske hovedvejnet, der fungerer som start og landingsbaner ved siden af de ordinære flyvestationer.
For at opnå gode aerodynamiske egenskaber over et stort hastighedsområde - det vil sige stor tophastighed og samtidig acceptabel lav landingshastighed - blev DRAKEN's vinger udformet som dobbelt-delta. DRAKEN var i mange år det eneste fly i verden med denne vingeform, men den britisk-franske CONCORDE er bygget over samme grund idé, dog med blødere linier. Senest er F-16 forsøgsversionen, F-16XL, set med dobbeltdeltavinge. Den første DRAKEN prototype fløj for første gang den 25. oktober 1955, men forinden havde SAAB gennem tre år gennemført mange vindtunnelforsøg med skalamodeller, flyvninger med linestyrede modeller, samt mere end 1.000 timers flyvning med en miniudgave kaldet SAAB 210 LILL-DRAKEN. Resultatet af det store forarbejde blev et vellykket Jagerfly, der endte med at gøre tjeneste ved flyvevåbnerne i Sverige, Danmark, Finland og Østrig.
Både ved egentlig produktion og ved modifikation af tidligere versioner byggede SAAB følgende Jagerversioner af DRAKEN til det svenske flyvevåben: J35A, J35B, J35D, J35F og J35J. Svenskerne anvendte også den tosædede Sk35C og fotoudgaven S35E. Danskerne blev SAAB's første eksport-kunde. Som afløsning for F-100 valgte vi en jagerbomberversion baseret på J35F. Den nye version blev indledningsvis kaldet 35X, men efter den var tilpasset de danske specifikationer, blev den af SAAB benævnt A35XD (Attackflygplan 35 Eksport Danmark). Flyvevåbnet valgte dog selv at anvende betegnelsen F-35. Tilsvarende blev re-cognosceringsversionen S35XD og tosæderen Sk35XD betegnet henholdsvis RF-35 og TF-35.
Det finske Ilmavoimat fik et antal 35S (S=Suomi) baseret på J35F og 35X, og desuden overtog finnerne et antal brugte svenske fly af typerne J35B, Sk35C og J35F. For at skelne dem fra de svenske versioner, blev de benævnt J35BS, Sk35CS og J35FS. Sidste eksportkunde, Østrig, besluttede sig i slutningen af 1980'eme til at købe 24 stk. brugte J35D.
Da Flyvevåbnet i midten af 1960'eme skulle vælge et fly til at supplere F-100, forsøgte man at finde en grundtype, der kunne tilpasses til både luftforsvar, angreb mod Jordmål og rekognoscering. Man ville gerne reducere antallet af forskellige flytyper, fordi det ville gøre både forsyning og vedligeholdelse nemmere og billigere. I første omgang var der tale om at anskaffe en eskadrille jagerbombere til supplering af F-100 og en eskadrille rekognosceringsfly til erstatning af RF-84F. På længere sigt var det hensigten, at også HUNTER skulle erstattes, men det blev dog ikke til noget.
Valget stod mellem F-5 FREEDOM FIGHTER, MIRAGE III og 35XD, og efter en længere udvælgelsesprocedure vandt DRAKEN. Af to omgange bestilte Danmark 20 stk. F-35, 20 stk. RF-35 og seks TF-35. De første tre fly blev leveret i september 1970, og den sidste i maj 1972. Af samme årsager, som der blev anskaffet ekstra tosædede F-100 og F-104. blev der i 1975 bestilt fem ekstra TF-35. Serieproduktionen af DRAKEN var indstillet for at give plads til VIGGEN, men SAAB præsterede at "håndbygge" de fem fly. På grund af megen travlhed på SAAB's malerværksted blev de to sidste fly leveret umalede (og i øvrigt med forkerte numre påmalet).
Indledningsvis havde ESK 725 Jagerbomberrollen som primær opgave og luftforsvar i lav højde som sekundær. Tilsvarende havde ESK 729 fotorecognoscering som primær rolle og jagerbomberrollen som sekundær. Senere blev ESK 729 dog tilmeldt til NATO som en jagerbombereskadrille, og reccerollen var en rent national opgave. De tre danske versioner havde næsten samme våbenbæreevne, bortset fra at tosæderen kun havde een kanon, og RF-35 ikke kunne medføre BULLPUP-missillet.
Fra 1980 blev DRAKEN flyenes evne til at udføre jagerbomberrollen forbedret betydeligt gennem modifikation med det såkaldte Weapons Delivery and Navigation System (WDNS). Systemet bestod af en computer til beregning af sigte og bombekast, inertinavi-gationssystem, laser-afstandsmåler og head-up display. Af hensyn til laser-afstandsmåleren blev F-35 og TF-35 udstyret med en næse, der lignede RF-35'erens til forveksling.
Det var forudset, at DRAKEN kunne have gjort tjeneste til midten af 1990'eme, men på grund af den politiske udvikling i Central- og Østeuropa, blev det politisk besluttet, at udfase en DRAKEN eskadrille med udgangen af 1991. Blandt andet på grund af ESK 729's recce-rolle, faldt valget på ESK 725. Kun to år senere, den 31. december 1993 blev også ESK 729 nedlagt, og recce-rollen overgik til ESK 726 på Flyvestation Ålborg. Af de ialt 51 stk DRAKEN, som Flyvevåbnet fik leveret, havarerede kun ni. De 42 overlevende blev fordelt med tretten fly til uddannelses- og testformål i USA, to holdes i flyveklar stand i Danmark, AT-158 og AR-113, medens resten anvendes til udstillingsformål og til træning i krigsskadereparatloner.
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 00:30
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Translation of the Danish text

As I happen to be a professional translator working with Danish to English technical translations, I am pleased to offer the following:
"The SAAB F-35 DRAKEN is a Swedish-designed single-seat fighter designed by Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget at Linköping, Sweden. As with the other Swedish fighters of the last 40-50 years (J29 Flying Barrel, J32 Lansen, J37 Viggen and J39 Gripen), the Draken was also intended to be able to operate from the many sections of the Swedish main road network which act as supplementary runways alongside the conventional airfields.
In order to achieve good aerodynamic characteristics over a wide speed range - i.e. a very high maximum speed while retaining an acceptably low landing speed, the Draken's wings were designed to be in the form of a double delta. The Draken was for many years the only aircraft with this wing shape, although the British-French Concorde was designed on the same basis, although with smoother lines. Most recently, an F-16 technology demonstrator, the F-16XL, appeared with a double delta wing (also called "cranked arrow").
The first Draken prototype flew for the first time on 25 October 1955, but for 3 years before that SAAB had carried out much wind tunnel testing with scale models, flights with line-controlled models and more than 1,000 hours of flying with a scaled down version called the SAAB 210 "Lill-Draken". The result of all this extensive preparatory work was a successful jet fighter which ended up serving in the air forces of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Austria.
Both by initial production and also modification of earlier versions, SAAB supplied the following fighter versions of the Draken to the Swedish Air Force: J35A, J35B, J35D, J35F and J35J. The Swedes also used the two-seater Sk35C and reconnaissance S35E. Denmark became Sweden's first export customer. As a replacement for the F-100 Super Sabre, we selected a fighter-bomber version based on the J35F. At first this new version was called the 35X, but after it had been adapted to meet the Danish specifications, it became designated by SAAB the A35XD (Attack aircraft type 35, Danish Export version). The Danish Air Force itself chose to use the designation F-35. Similarly, the reconnaissance version, the S35XD and the two-seater Sk35XD became the RF-35 and TF-35 in Danish service.
In Finland the Ilmavoimat obtained a number of 35S (S=Suomi; Finland) based on the J35F and 35X, and in addition the Finns acquired a number of second-hand Swedish aircraft, of the types J35B, Sk35C and J35F. To differentiate them from the Swedish versions, they became the J35BS, Sk35CS and J35FS. The final export customer, Austria, decided at the end of the 1980s to purchase 24 second-hand J35Ds.
The Danish Air Force in the mid-1960s had to choose an aircraft to choose an aircraft to supplement the F-100 Super Sabre. It thus tried to find a basic type that could be adapted to suit air defence, ground-attack missions and reconnaissance. There was a desire to reduce the number of different types of aircraft, because that would make both the supply and maintenance easier and cheaper. Initially there was talk about getting a squadron of fighter-bombers to supplement the F-100, and a squadron of reconnaissance aircraft to replace the RF-84F. In the longer term, the intention was to also replace the Hawker Hunters, but this never took place.
The choice was between the F-5 Freedom Fighter, Mirage III and the Draken 35XD, the latter being chosen after a long selection process. In two stages, Denmark ordered 20 F-35s, 20 RF-35s and six TF-35s. he first three aircraft were delivered in September 1970, and the last in May 1972. For the same reasons that additional two-seater F-100 and F-104s had been acquired, 5 extra TF-35s were ordered in 1975. Series production of the Draken was discontinued to make room for the Viggen, but SAAB "hand-built" these 5 aircraft. Due to the heavy workload in SAAB's paint shop, the last two aircraft were delivered unpainted (and incidentally with the wrong numbers applied).
Initially 725 Squadron had the fighter-bomber role as its primary task, and air defence at low altitude as secondary. Similarly, 729 Squadron had photo-reconnaissance as its primary role and the fighter-bomber role as secondary. Later, 729 Squadron was assigned to NATO as a fighter-bomber squadron, and the reconnaissance task was a purely national function. The three Danish versions had almost identical armament, apart from the two-seaters having only one cannon, and the RF-35 being unable to carry the Bullpup missile.
From 1980 onwards the Draken's ability to perform in the fighter-bomber role was significantly improved through modification of the so-called Weapons Delivery and Navigation System (WDNS). The system consisted of a computer to calculate the aim and bomb trajectory, an inertial navigation system, a laser rangefinder and a head-up display. Because of the laser rangefinder, the F-35 and TF-35 were equipped with a nose similar to that of the RF 35.
It was anticipated that the Drakens could have remained in service up to the mid-1990s, but because of the political developments in Central and Eastern Europe, the politicians decided to phase out one Draken squadron by the end of 1991. Due, among other things, to the reconnaissance role of 729 Squadron, the choice fell on 725 Squadron. Only two years later, on 31 December 1993, 729 Squadron was disbanded, and the reconnaissance task was taken over by 726 Squadron, based at Aalborg. Out of the total of 51 Drakens that were delivered to the Danish Air Force, only 9 crashed. The 42 survivors were distributed as follows. 13 aircraft sent for training and testing purposes to the United States, 2 kept airworthy in Denmark, AT-158 and AR-113, while the remainder are used for exhibition purposes and for battle damage repair training."
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 20:07
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Lovely, AvroLincoln! ��
DougGordon: The Danish Draken's was without radar! Actual the nosecone was made of steel to compensate for the missing weight of the tech-stuff :-o

Last edited by Flybiker7000; 10th Dec 2014 at 20:11.
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Old 11th Dec 2014, 08:30
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Thank you everyone for the very informative input.
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Old 15th Dec 2014, 05:50
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Many years ago whilst flying the Lightning, we were on a 10 day NATO exchange visit to an RDAF Sqn which was re-equipping with the Draken. I seem to recall that as part of the conversion, each pilot did a mini sort of air test to learn some of the capabilities of the aircraft. One guy was returning, writing some results on his kneeboard/air test proforma, flying at 2000ft in typical murky Euorpean conditions and was heads in for a little too long. In his own words, "on looking up I was about to enter a farmhouse window so just pulled back on the stick as much as possible". The engineers reckoned he momentarily pulled 13g, certainly off the top of the fatigue meter/g meter but apparently with no damage.

It's a long time ago and my memory of the exact details are maybe a bit fuzzy but the basics of the tale are still in what's left of my mind.
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