The Saab Friction Tester Program

Posted on 23. Feb, 2008 by in 2000-2009

Film Credit: Sarsys

The Saab Friction Tester Program has been running since the mid-seventies with Saab Automobile AB, formerly Saab-Scania AB. The company that has been providing Saab Friction Testers in collaboration with Saab since that time is a company called Sarsys. Sarsys with head offices in Trelleborg, Sweden; continue to push the envelope when it comes to intelligent design and engineering of the Saab friction testers in order to keep the runways safe at airports all around the world.

The first Saab friction tester or SFT for short, was the Saab 99 and since then the it has been outfitted in a Saab 900, 9000, NG900, 9-3 and the 9-5.

Since Saab Automobile was effectively “born from jets”, showcasing the Saab Friction Tester is a perfect fit for the brand, especially now that Saab Automobile USA’s GM Heritage Collection has acquired a 1983 SFT from Buffalo Airport in New York to be restored. Furthermore, it makes sense that the Saab Automobile company, known for safety, is being used to return the favor to their airplane counterparts by providing safety on the runways across the globe.

In North America, Sarsys works with a company called Trade Wind Scientific who manages the Saab Friction Tester Products for this region of the globe and is also responsible for outfitting all of the onboard technlogy as well.

It is my hope that I can identify all of the airports across the globe, beginning with the United States that have used and/or currently use any of the aforementioned Saab Friction Tester products.

I leave you with some information about both Sarsys and the Tradewinds companies:


Scandinavian Airport and Road Systems AB (SARSYS) team have had friction testers as their work and main interest since mid 70-ties, when SAAB Automobile AB started their design and manufacturing. The full SAAB team in design, service, spare parts and sales has been working in SARSYS from the beginning. Some has now left for retirement.

With the mixture of experience and top class educated young people we have been able to design and build the most modern and advanced friction tester in the market. Thanks to our close co-operation with SAAB Automobile AB and their excellent staff, which we are continuously working together with, we also have the best balanced and reliable unit in the area of friction testers.

SARSYS always try to be one step before the competition on the market to give the customers the latest versions and high-tec equipment to suit their needs on the airport.

Source: Sarsys


With our head office in Ottawa, Canada, we are a versatile group of scientists, technologists and technicians, all with extensive experience on airport project work.

Tradewind Scientific Ltd. was incorporated in 1980 to provide technical measurement and monitoring services along with associated equipment, support and training focusing on the aviation industry. Experience gained from successfully completing over 180 contracts since then enables the firm to offer a diversified collection of services.

We have been continuously active in the supply, operations, maintenance and technical support of airport-safety-related products for over twenty years and have an established record of incident-free airside operations

Tracr II®, our touch screen based runway condition reporting system continues to occupy a unique place in the forefront of airfield condition reporting technology.

We remain the exclusive providers of support in North America for our principal friction measurement products; SARSYS AB (Scandinavian Airport and Road Systems) Saab Surface Friction Testers, Findlay Irvine Ltd. GripTester Trailers and TES Instruments Electronic Decelerometers

As well as extensive runway friction and roughness testing programs (approximately 100 airports annually over some 20 years), we are involved in the design, installation, operations and maintenance of airport air and water quality monitoring systems.

Along with regularly participating in the latest developments in airfield friction testing, the company maintains an active presence in airport safety issues through membership in ASTM – International (American Society for Testing and Materials) and IAAE – Canada (International Association of Airport Executives).

An intensive research and development program combined with our years of practical experience ensures that Tradewind Scientific will remain, to airports large and small, a leading provider of Friction Measurement, Airfield Condition Reporting and Environmental Monitoring solutions.

Source: Trade Wind Scientific

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4 Responses to “The Saab Friction Tester Program”

  1. Christer Olsson

    24. Feb, 2008

    Your are so wrong about Sarsys, the Company who bougth the patent from SAAB is ASFT and is in Ystad.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Saab History

    24. Feb, 2008


    Thanks for your comment! This is great to hear you setting the record straight. Can you provide some real material to back this up, along with some website addresses and other such information?

    Saab History was created amongst other reasons, to set the record straight, separating truth from fiction.

    Please help me do that with this posting.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Fredrik

    26. Feb, 2008

    To Whom it May Concern

    Of course Trade Wind Scientific would publish something like that. I am not suprised that they are not more professional. The truth is catching up!

    SARSYS as a company is first of all a fairly new company and have not been working with friction testers for more then a few years. They have copied the Saab Friction Testing concept from us, but with major design flaws.

    We have since May 20th, 1991 manufactured the original Saab CFME. The owner of ASFT was at that time, approached by Saab Automobile AB and General Motors (GM) to manufacture and market the Saab CFME. This is also around the time when GM acquired Saab car division. Saab friction tester was simply to small of division to be of interest for GM to keep.

    For more information about ASFT please visit

    Reply to this comment
  4. ryanoe9000

    27. Feb, 2008


    Thank you for this information. Could you please e-mail me ALL photographs of the Saab Friction Testers since the first one you built until present?

    I could not find any gallery of Saab FT’s on your website in which to share with us here.



    Reply to this comment

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