04 June 2008

SAAB B 18B Bomber

The SAAB B 18B bomber, number 18172 "Red D", was involved in one of the most dramatic accidents in the Swedish Air Force ever. The squadron formation was making long distance navigation flight to the north when they entered bad weather conditions with low clouds. Rapid weather deterioration in the whole area closed off airfields for landing and all eight aircraft had to try emergency landings whereever they could. One aircraft belly landed on the ice outside of the harbour of Härnösand, luckily without injury to the crew. With only 21 hour of flight time it sank through the ice in the Baltic Sea.

In September 1979 the wreckage was salvaged after 33 years on the bottom of the sea. Of course it was in a very bad condition but after many years of voluntary work, still ongoing, the aircraft is now on display in the Swedish Air Force Museum. Photo 29 May 2008

SAAB B18 for restoration and on display in the Swedish Air Force Museum. Photo 29 may 2008

The version T 18B had a larger bomb bay originally intended for torpedoes. However it was instead used to carry a 57 mm automatic gun, the largest caliber gun ever usd in an aircraft. Photo 29 May, Swedish Air Force Museum

The Bofors 57 mm automatic gun.