Flickr’s Stefan Johansson has appeared here several times this year with his meticulously recreated Saab aircraft. His latest is one of Saab Aero’s newer offerings – the fearsome JA37 Viggen – and this time Stefan has branched away from his usual stealthy grey to brick-build a full camouflage livery. There’s more to see on Flickr at Stefan’s photostream – click the link above to take off.
Company names are bit weird these days. Saab automotive died a few years ago when General Motors killed it off, but the Saab Aerospace and Defence business, which separated from the automotive company in 1990 (in the same way that the Rolls Royce aero engine and vehicle companies used to be one business until 1973) is going strong.
Powered by an RM12 after-burning jet engine produced by Volvo Aero (which no longer has anything to do with Volvo cars. Or trucks for that matter, although Volvo trucks do own Renault trucks, which have nothing to do with Renault cars… This is getting confusing…) the Saab JAS 39 Gripen can reach Mach 2 and is currently in service with four national air forces. Around 250 Gripens have been produced since launching in 1997, with several other air forces recently placing orders for the latest versions.
This superb Lego recreation of the Swedish fighter comes from previous bloggee Stefan Johansson, who is continuing his chronology of Saab aircraft. There’s lots more to see at his Flickr photostream at the link above, and you can see Stefan’s past Saab (aerospace) builds to feature here via this bonus link.
The Swedes; famous for their flatpack furniture, attractive blondes, and – as we can see here – their fighter aircraft. This is a 1950 Saab 21R, and it does look a bit like someone read the instructions upside-down when they opened the box to assemble it. Fear not though, it is supposed to look like that, and being one of the very earliest jet-powered aircraft the Saab’s twin-boom tail design was actually a common solution back in the late ’40s and early ’50s.
The Saab 21R was developed from the earlier piston-engined Saab 21 as an attack aircraft to help Sweden quickly catch up with the other airforces’ jet-engined counterparts. British jet maker de Havilland supplied their ‘Goblin II’ engine from the magnificent Vampire fighter, and Saab shoved it in the back of their 21 to jump them into the jet-age, making the 21R one of only two aircraft in history to be retro-fitted with a jet engine.
The 21R saw service for only six short years before it was replaced by the Saab 29 Tunnan, which was designed as a jet from the outset, and only around 60 were made. Nevertheless we quite like the 21R – shoving a much more powerful engine into something clearly never designed for it is the hot rodder’s way!
This brilliant Lego recreation of Saab’s ’50s airborne hot rod is the work of previous bloggee Stefan Johansson, and it’s a wonderfully intricate build. You can see more of it and Stefan’s other historic Saab aircraft at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to take off.
We round off a busy day here in TLCB Towers with two builds that aren’t cars at all. But they are excellent. Plus we quite like jet fighters because the average mental age in the office is about eleven. First up is TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg‘s newest version of his F-14A Tomcat, this time in VF-84 Jolly Rogers spec, and joining him is Stefan Johansson, who returns to this blog following his awesome Saab Viggen, this time with Saab’s mighty 32 Lansen fighter. If you’re eleven too you can see more of each build on Flickr via the links above.
For many years Saab advertised their cars as being built by the only company which also built aeroplanes. Both the cars and ‘planes were esoteric products with cult followings. Be it the sci-fi styled Drakken, the tank-like 900 or the canard-delta Viggen, the designs were certainly individual. The Viggen (Thunderbolt) was designed with some very specific requirements of the Swedish Airforce in mind. It had to be capable of operating from short, rough airstrips but also capable of Mach 2 performance. This led to an unusual wing layout for short take offs, coupled with automatic thrust-reversers for short landing, which enabled the aircraft to almost handbrake turn, as shown in this video.
Sweden’s Stefan Johansson has posted this very nice model of the original AJ-37 version of the Viggen on Flickr. Its grey/natural metal finish is very similar to the last flying example, operated by the Swedish Airforce Historic Flight. Stefan has done a great job of capturing the Viggen’s compound delta wing and area-ruled fuselage in bricks. The model also includes working landing gear. To see more photos of this and Stefan’s other models of Saab fighter jets, you can visit his Photostream at this link.
But this Saab has a few surprises, for underneath there sits the engine and running gear from a Subaru, meaning this sensible Swede is an all-wheel-drive rally weapon.
Unfortunately for the Senator this combination is the wrong way round for our Elves, who are – as has been mentioned before – largely idiots, and therefore they judge a book wholly by its cover. And perhaps if it has pop-ups.
The Saabaru’s slick engineering may be wasted on our workforce, but TLCB staff appreciate the genius that lies beneath. If you’re smarter than the Elves you probably want to take a look too – join us by clicking on the link above to Senator Chinchilla’s photostream.
A double post today, from both ends of the scale spectrum. Here at The Lego Car Blog we appreciate models of all sizes; our Elves return to the office with a variety of vehicles, from tiny 4-wides up to monster Technic supercars. However, unfortunately for us, this week the Eves got into our secret supply of drumstick lollies and as such everything they’ve found for the past few days has been red or yellow.
We’ll have a think about what we can do about our workforce’s colour fixation (maybe force them to eat blue urinal cakes?), but in the mean time here are two more red and yellow vehicles, from Nick Barrett and Starscream Soundwave respectively.