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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.1 Swedish requirements kept changing so the first Saab-18 didn't appear until 1942.1 These requirements called for the aircraft to be able to do bombing and dive bombing.1

The Saab-18 was of all metal construction.1

Wings

The wings were positioned mid fuselage and were cantilevered.1

Engines

The engines used in the B18A were unlicensed Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S1C3G Twin Wasps.1

Prototype

The first Saab-18 prototype flew on June 19, 1942.1

Production

The first B18B flew on June 10, 1944.1

Production ceased in 1948.1

  • Prototypes: 21
  • Saab B18A, Saab S18A: 601,2
  • Saab B18B: 1202, 1211
  • Saab T18B: 621
  • Total: 2451
  • Manufacturer: Saab2

Variants

  • Saab B18A: Bomber.1 Entered service in June 1944.1
  • Saab B18B: Dive bomber.1 Originally designed as a torpedo bomber.2 Could carry rockets under the wings.1 First appeared in 1945.2
  • Saab S18A: Photo reconnaissance.1 Equipped with radar.1
  • Saab T18B: Was originally to be a torpedo bomber.1 Instead had a 57 mm and two 29 mm cannons in the nose.1

Usage

Flygvapen (Swedish Air Force) units were equipped with the B18s in 1944.1 In 1956 the last Saab-18 was withdrawn from service.1,2

Specifications

  Saab B18A1, Saab 18 A2
Type Bomber2, Reconnaissance bomber1, Dive bomber1
Crew 2 - 31, 32
Engine (Type) 2: SFA1
2: Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp2
Cylinders Radial 141,2
Cooling Air2
HP 1,065 each1,2
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 55' 9"2, 55' 9.25"1
17 m1
Length 43' 5"1,2
13.23 m1
Height 14' 3"2, 14' 3.25"1
4.35 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 12,100 lb1
5,488 kg1
Loaded 17,946 lb1, 17,948 lb2
8,140 kg1
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
289 mph1,2
465 kph1
Cruising speed 258 mph1
415 kph1
Climb  
Service ceiling 26,250'1,2
8,000 m1
Range 1,367 miles1,2
2,200 km1
Armament 3: MG2
Nose 1: 7.9 mm MG1
Rear cockpit 1: 13.2 mm MG1
Rear under nose 1: 13.2 mm MG1
Internal bombs 3,307 lb1,2
1,500 kg1
  Saab B18B1, Saab 18 B2
Type Reconnaissance bomber1, Dive bomber1
Crew 2 - 31
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 605B1,2
Cylinders Inline2, Inverted V 121
Cooling  
HP 1,475 each1,2
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span 55' 9.25"1
17 m1
Length 43' 5"1
13.23 m1
Height 14' 3.25"1
4.35 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Maximum load 19,400 lb1
8,800 kg1
Performance  
Speed 357 mph1
574 kph1
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 32,150'1
9,800 m1
Range 1,616 miles1
2,600 km1
Armament 2: 20 mm2
1: 57 mm Bofors2
Nose 1: 7.9 mm MG1
Rear cockpit 1: 13.2 mm MG1
Rear under nose 1: 13.2 mm MG1
Internal bombs 3,307 lb1
1,500 kg1

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