SAAB J29F

Evaluation of the J29, pilot training and education of mechanics was in progress during 1960 and in July 1961 the first 15 overhauled J29 landed at Vienna's international airport. These aircraft were used to form  the Jagdbomberstaffel (1. Staffel/ Jabogeschwader A-O yellow tailcodes). Soon afterwards, in autumn of 1961, Austria wished to increase its J29 inventory and to establish a second JaBoStaffel (2.  Staffel/ Jabogeschwader A-O red tailcodes). A request for an additional 15 J29Fs was forwarded to the  Swedish authorities, but this was initially rejected as deliveries of the new J35 Draken to Flygvapnet  were delayed. Fifteen J29As were offered on loan until January 1963, by which time the J29Fs could be delivered. In the event, the loan offer was not taken up,  and the delivery of the second batch of J29Fs started in January 1963, ending in June 1964.

Before delivery the second batch of aircraft was overhauled before entering a modification process. At the Swedish air service company Svenska Flygverkstäderna i Malmö both the Hispano-Suiza cannon on the port side of the fuselage were removed and replaced by a Swedish-designed capsule containing three Vinten 70-mm cameras, which could be controlled by the pilot in the air. After a couple of years there were discussions in Austria to buy another eight to ten J29s as a replacement for the aircraft that had been lost in crashes, but the purchase was newver concluded.

Austrian training began with a group of 15 pilots and 40 mechanics, located at F15 at Söderhamn. Pilot training began with 10 - 15 hours in a Vampire trainer, combined with theory training about the 29, covering safety equipment, navigation aids, and the controls and regulators of the cockpit. Before taking off for the first time, taxiing and rapid accelerations were practised. Forty hours in the J29 followed. No tactical exercises were carried out and the only shooting practise was with cannon against ground targets. German was spoken in all instructions, except in radio communications, where English was used. After the 40 hours in Sweden, the pupil could continue his flight training in Austria in the Link trainer, which the Austrians has constructed together with the English company Redifon.

Schwechat, the international airport of Vienna, came to be the home for five of the newly delivered J29s for nearly a year, while they waited for their new base at Linz to be made ready in May 1962. From the beginning it was intended that they be based in the southern part of Austria, at Klagenfurt, but the tourist industry  and environmental activists complained about the noise the J29s made, which was said to keep out the valuable dollar- and Deutsch Mark-tourists. But in spite of the complaints, 10 of the 29s were based at Klagenfurt for a year. The 15 aircraft in the second batch formed 2.  Staffel/ Jabogeschwader, with its home base at Graz-Thalerhof.

In Austrian service the principal role of the J29 was close air support, but neither rockets nor bombs were used, only the cannon. The secondary role was surveillanceof Austrian airspace. An Egyptian military transport aircraft, an Antonov An-12, one day passed without permission through Austrian air territory on its route from Belgrade to Dresden. Two J29s were practising in the vicinity and they were ordered to identify and turn away the intruder. In spite of the fact that international signs were given to persuade the Egyptian aircraft to leave Austrian airspace, it just flew on until it reached the Czech border, its crew apparently not impressed at all by the warlike Barrels.

During its 11 years of service in the Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte the J29 was much appreciated by the people who worked with it around Austria. But in 1969 it was time for the first J29 (yellow B, ex-Swedish c/n 29447) to retire, but not so far away since it was placed as a gate guardian at its home base at Linz. As the replacement , the SAAB105 , arrived one by one, so die fliegende Tonne was withdrawn and in July 1971 the last J29 made a round trip to all the military air bases. In Austrian service the J29 racked up 13205 hours 8 minutes in 18301 flights.

Type c/n s/n d/d Remarks
SAAB J29F 29457 A yellow 07.1961 w/o 07.11.1967 in a collision with red N
SAAB J29F 29447 B yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.05.1969; see text above
SAAB J29F 29585 C yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29433 D yellow 07.1961 w/o 22.12.1964 in a collision with yellow K
SAAB J29F 29560 E yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.1972; preserved Hubhof Amusement Park
SAAB J29F 29449 F yellow 07.1961 crashed 10.07.1968, rebuilt but grounded; preserved Tulln 05.1995
SAAB J29F 29439 G yellow 07.1961 w/o 09.08.1963
SAAB J29F 29541 H yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.1972; preserved Graz
SAAB J29F 29392 I yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.1972; preserved Bad Ischl
SAAB J29F 29565 J yellow 07.1961 w/o 25.09.1967 in a collision with yellow N
SAAB J29F 29530 K yellow 07.1961 w/o 22.12.1964 in a collision with yellow D
SAAB J29F 29535 L yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29443 M yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.1972; preserved Linz
SAAB J29F 29518 N yellow 07.1961 w/o 25.09.1967 in a collision with yellow J
SAAB J29F 29566 O yellow 07.1961 wfu 07.1972; preserved Vienna
SAAB J29F 29614 A red 1963 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29649 B red 1963 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29587 C red 1963 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29588 D red 1963 wfu 07.1972; preserved Graz
SAAB J29F 29559 E red 1963 w/o 20.10.1964 over Czechoslovakia - ran out of fuel after getting lost
SAAB J29F 29617 F red 1963 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29664 G red 1963 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29540 H red 1963 w/o 17.06.1969 at Graz
SAAB J29F 29466 I red 1963 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29582 J red 1963 wfu 07.1972; Zeltweg dump 1984
SAAB J29F 29572 K red 1963 w/o 09.08.1963
SAAB J29F 29627 L red 1963 w/o 20.10.1964 over Czechoslovakia - ran out of fuel after getting lost
SAAB J29F 29554 M red 1963 wfu 07.1972
SAAB J29F 29524 N red 1963 w/o 07.11.1967 in a collision with yellow A
SAAB J29F 29622 O red 1963 wfu 07.1972; wreckage at Vienna-Aspern 1977