My Viggen story
In my opinion the Viggen is still one of the most aesthetically pleasing modern aircraft in existence.
I remember one spring evening waiting for at Ronneby airport in southern Sweden for my regional flight back to Stockholm. The capacious runway is shared between civil aircraft and military division F17. The air was perfectly clear and it was just getting dark after sunset. We've been small-talking with a colleague standing by the fence and looking towards the airfield. Then we saw Viggens taxiing on a perimeter track. We counted eight aircraft. They rolled slowly toward the near end of the runway, and then took off, on after another.
We stood really close, and I can tell you - when these babies take off on full afterburner, the ground is trembling. The name Viggen means The Thunderbolt in Swedish, and SAAB could hardly find a better name for it's handsome piece of equipment.
Staying in service for over 25 years, the Viggen is through constant upgrades still modern and still possesses some truly unique features. For example, it was initially constructed to operate from runways just 500 m long. To provide this capability, SAAB built-in the most powerful fighter jet engine then in existence.
AJS 37 version shown here, is the most modern of the upgrades. AJS stands for "Attack, Fighter, Reconnaissance" and adds true multi-role capability. The version entered service in 1992, and 115 AJ, SF and SH 37 Viggens are planned to be upgraded in total. AJS 37 will probably remain in service after the year 2000.
The pictures have been taken during the late summer of 1998 at the military stand at Stockholm Water Festival (a huge beer party, lasting for a week, traditionally held in August every year).
AJS 37 Viggen
Since there are many photographs, the walkaround has been divided into sections presented below.