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Sweden's Saab B18, Saab 18 bomber

Design

The Saab B18 was originally designed in the late 1930s to be a reconnaissance plane. Swedish requirements kept changing so the first Saab-18 didn't appear until 1942. These requirements called for the aircraft to be able to do bombing and dive bombing.

The Saab-18 was of all metal construction.

Wings

The wings were positioned mid fuselage and were cantilevered.

Engines

The engines used in the B18A were unlicensed Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S1C3G Twin Wasps.

Prototype

The first Saab-18 prototype flew on June 19, 1942.

Production

The first B18B flew on June 10, 1944.

Production ceased in 1948.

  • Prototypes: 2
  • Saab B18A, Saab S18A: 60
  • Saab B18B: 120, 121
  • Saab T18B: 62
  • Total: 245
  • Manufacturer: Saab

Variants

  • Saab B18A: Bomber. Entered service in June 1944.
  • Saab B18B: Dive bomber. Originally designed as a torpedo bomber. Could carry rockets under the wings. First appeared in 1945.
  • Saab S18A: Photo reconnaissance. Equipped with radar.
  • Saab T18B: Was originally to be a torpedo bomber. Instead had a 57 mm and two 29 mm cannons in the nose.

Usage

Flygvapen (Swedish Air Force) units were equipped with the B18s in 1944. In 1956 the last Saab-18 was withdrawn from service.

Specifications

  Saab B18A, Saab 18 A
Type Bomber, Reconnaissance bomber, Dive bomber
Crew 2 - 3, 3
Engine (Type) 2: SFA
2: Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,065 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 55' 9", 55' 9.25"
17 m
Length 43' 5"
13.23 m
Height 14' 3", 14' 3.25"
4.35 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 12,100 lb
5,488 kg
Loaded 17,946 lb, 17,948 lb
8,140 kg
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
289 mph
465 kph
Cruising speed 258 mph
415 kph
Climb  
Service ceiling 26,250'
8,000 m
Range 1,367 miles
2,200 km
Armament 3: MG
Nose 1: 7.9 mm MG
Rear cockpit 1: 13.2 mm MG
Rear under nose 1: 13.2 mm MG
Internal bombs 3,307 lb
1,500 kg
  Saab B18B, Saab 18 B
Type Reconnaissance bomber, Dive bomber
Crew 2 - 3
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 605B
Cylinders Inline, Inverted V 12
Cooling  
HP 1,475 each
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 55' 9.25"
17 m
Length 43' 5"
13.23 m
Height 14' 3.25"
4.35 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Maximum load 19,400 lb
8,800 kg
Performance  
Speed 357 mph
574 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 32,150'
9,800 m
Range 1,616 miles
2,600 km
Armament 2: 20 mm
1: 57 mm Bofors
Nose 1: 7.9 mm MG
Rear cockpit 1: 13.2 mm MG
Rear under nose 1: 13.2 mm MG
Internal bombs 3,307 lb
1,500 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site