Viggen Showcase – Grästorp, Sweden

Posted on 16. Jun, 2007 by in 2000-2009, JA 37 (Viggen), Sweden


Photo Credit: Saab History

On Saturday, June 9th, en-route to Läckö Slott (Castle) in Lidköping, Sweden after the ANA Trollhättan, I headed North in a 2007 Saab 9-3 SportCombi in Silver that I rented from AVIS at Landvetter Airport in Göteborg, Sweden. On route 44 between Trollhättan and Lidköping, Sweden you will pass through a town called Grästorp where alongside the road there is SAAB JA37 Viggen mounted on the ground at least a good 25 feet in the air. At this information booth I managed to uncover the following information below about how this section of highway amongst many others in Sweden doubled as aircraft runways for takeoffs and landings.


The waretime bases

The waretime bases between the two lakes Vänern and Vättern played an important role during the Cold War. One way to protect the aircraft was dispersion and regular roads were used for taking off and landing. In this region there was a great number of war bases. The precise location and infrastructure was highly restricted.

Viggen was constructed to be able to take off and land from short runways. A strong engine (about 80,000 hp) together with delta wing and a canard wing made it possible for the aircraft to take off from a short distance. To be able to stop quickly the aircraft was equipped with a highly effective thrust reversing system.

In the early eighties road number 44 was rebuilt to contain four short runways (17 x 800 meters). Along the road a large number of turn-around-sites for reaming and refueling were built. These short runways are still used today for training, landing and taking off with Gripen and Hercules as preparation for international operations under adverse conditions.


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