Archive for 'Linköping, Sweden'

The Sixteen Fifteen SAAB Aircraft Engineers

Posted on 28. Jan, 2009 by .



This past August of last year, I asked you who the original sixteen SAAB aircraft engineers were that created the first SAAB Automobile prototype in 1946. This SAAB prototype was the 92001 touted as “Ursaab”, was originally designed and fabricated by these engineers in Linköping, Sweden just prior to moving to the current home of Saab Automobile in Trollhättan, Sweden.

In my quest to determine who each of these original sixteen aircraft engineers were, I have gathered nine names so far, after scanning through both the Saab History video and book archives.

Today, I got a nice comment from a Berth Olofsson involved in with SAAB back then telling us all of the details and the fact that it was not 16 aircraft engineers, but 15 in addition to the following information:

Furthermore, Mr. Olofssson is going to be writing a book on the most anonymous of all aircraft engineers, Hugo Möller as he put it. I can’t wait to read it!

Here are his complete updates to the list of aircraft engineers below:

‘Ursaab’ is new name.
The workname was ‘Ettan’ which in English is ‘The One’ or ‘Number One’.
The number of engineers were aproximately fifteen, depending on how much you consider their involvment.

1) Gunnar Ljungström, SAAB’s chief engineer, was at the same time responsible for the construction of
the wings for the fighter air craft J 29 so he was working part time on the
2) Sixten Sason, SAAB Chief designer was a designer consultant on a shared time basis.
3) Rolf Mellde was not one of them, four prototypes were already completed and the fifth on the way when he was employed in Trollhättan
4) Olof Landbu, Chief Test Engineer, was not involved in the construction and assambly of the prototypes but responsible for the tests when they were ready built
5) Svante Holm, Chief Engineer, worked at Fläktfabriken in Jönköping when the prototypes were
built but at the same time confidentially project leader for the prototypes
and later on the manager for the plant in Trollhättan.
6) Hugo Möller, was working full time from the start on the 7th of January,
1946. and was responsible for tool construction and assambly and the only person working full time on the prototypes.
7) Olle Lindgren, not Lindqvist, was engine specialist.
8) Tore Svenson – chassis.
9) Tage Flodén
10) Hans Osquar Gustavsson – hood and front.
11) Erik Storerkers – body.
12) Nils Lidro – geometric
13) Bertil Baerendz?
14) Bror Bjurströmer
15) Hermansson?

I have more names but not available right now about exhaust system, wheels and axels, floor, wheel houses etc.

Continue Reading

Saab History Interviews Sten Wennlo

Posted on 27. Aug, 2008 by .


On Sunday, August 24th, the final day of the 2008 Saab Owners Convention, I had the esteemed pleasure and opportunity to interview Mr. Sten Wennlo who presented two days earlier, Friday, August 22nd, 2008.

Sten Wennlo began his career as a journalist for both a newspaper and a radio station in Southern Sweden until he took a job writing with ANA in Nyköping, Sweden in 1957, about 1 hour South of Stockholm on the coast. By 1960, ANA was bought by Saab to become SAAB-ANA where he continued his work and shortly thereafter met with Tryggve Holm, SAAB’s President to be head of Public Relations & Promotions.

Sten Wennlo had numerous accomplishments under his belt, namely working out how he could sell the two-stroke SAAB, with the help of a young Erik Carlsson. Mr. Wennlo was convinced that Erik Carlsson would be better suited for a position in the newly established competition department instead of the test development department. This decision later helped with the production and development of the new SAAB engines, SAAB 96, selling more SAABs to an increasingly younger market and bringing a huge increase in global exposure for SAAB at the time.

Another significant accomplishement during Sten Wennlo’s career at the Saab Car Division of SAAB-SCANIA, was the work along with colleague, Per Gillbrand, and the folks at the SCANIA factory in Södertälje, Sweden to adapt a turbocharged engine for the new Saab 99 model by 1977 to be introduced as a production model in 1978.

In 1979, Sten Wennlo convinced Bob Sinclair to rejoin Saab, and as a result we now have a Saab Convertible.

In 1980, Sten Wennlo got Bjorn Borg & Stig Blomqvist together to create a public relations campaign called the “Super Swedes” which was an instant success.

Three years before his retirement in 1989, he saw global sales reach 144,000 vehicles, where last year (2007), we saw roughly 125,000.

Upon his retirement, he wrote a book “Mitt Live Med Saab” in Swedish to tell us about his story working with Saab.

I was very thankful for this opportunity to meet with Sten Wennlo, and thanked him for his time to give us an interview so that his story could be preserved for generations to come here on Saab History.

Continue Reading

SAAB Aircraft Launches 70th Anniversary Promo Film

Posted on 24. Apr, 2008 by .


Film Credit: SAAB Group

SAAB Aircraft Group Launches 70th Anniversary Promo Film

This promotional film that was produced last year for the 70th Anniversary Festival, recently showed up on SAAB Group’s media site. The film showcases SAAB’s 70 years since 1937 which covers all of their milestones including some incredible footage of SAAB as well as SAAB-SCANIA automobiles!

This timeline approach to a promotional film does a great job in showing the advancements over the years of SAAB of Linkoping, Sweden.

I highly recommend that all of the history buffs out there watch this film, it is very educational!

Continue Reading

SAAB JAS 39 Gripen Jet Receives Upgrade

Posted on 24. Apr, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Peter Karlsson, Svarteld form & foto AB

SAAB Group’s Gripen fighter jet gets new equipment. Read the press release below.

Saab displays new flying test platform for Gripen
[2008-04-23 8:00]

Gripen Demo, a new flying development platform for current and future generations of Gripen, is unvealed today for the first time. One of the new features is a completely new radar, that Saab is developing in collaboration with the French company Thales.

“We have equipped this aircraft with a new stronger engine and a completely new modular avionics system. The aircraft will have a greater payload and a longer range. In addition, Saab, together with Thales, will develop a completely new type of radar. The development will mean that Gripen will be able to maintain its position at the cutting edge of development for the next 30 – 40 years. Gripen Demo will fly for the first time during 2008,” says Ã…ke Svensson, CEO of Saab.

The flying test platform, Gripen Demo, will be used to introduce new technology and functions to Gripen. The new capabilities could be the basis for a totally new version and will be completely or partially integrated into current versions of Gripen.

The development of Gripen is done in collaboration with some of the world´s leading companies within the aircraft industry: General Electric, Volvo Aero, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, APPH, Terma, Martin-Baker and Meggitt. The latest in the line is Thales, which means that two of the world´s leading radar developers are now collaborating to equip Gripen with the most advanced AESA radar technology (Active Electronically Scanned Array).

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers´ changing needs.

Continue Reading

SAAB Aircraft Announce First Quarter Earnings

Posted on 24. Apr, 2008 by .



Saab Automobile’s longtime colleagues, SAAB Group, the makers of the aircraft have just released their latest 1st quarter findings which were up 1%.

This release, available in PDF was announced today in Linkoping, Sweden by CEO Ake Svensson at 9:30am.

It looks like the aircraft industry is doing better than the automobile industry at this point.

Saab’s first quarterly report 2008 will be presented on the 23rd April

Åke Svensson, CEO and Lars Granlöf, CFO will present Saab AB’s first quarterly report for 2008 at a press conference in Linköping on Wednesday 23rd April. The report will be available on the same day from 06.30 (CET).

Time: Wednesday 23rd April 09.30 (CET).
Location: Infocenter, Saab’s facilities in Linköping, entry via Å;tvidaberg gate.

The press conference will be webcast directly on

The quarterly report will be available on from 06.30 (CET) Wednesday 23rd April.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

Continue Reading

SAAB 70th Anniversary Celebration – Linköping, Sweden

Posted on 25. Sep, 2007 by .


SAAB Aircraft celebrated their 70th anniversary at their home of Linköping, Sweden at the end of August and I have just received their press release and photographs that describe this celebration.

It is important to note that while all SAAB aircraft were present during the celebration, there was one exception which was the SAAB Scandia 90 commercial airliner. The last remaining SAAB Scandia 90 resides at a museum in Bebedouro, Brazil, South America. SAAB tried to buy this for their 50th anniversary in 1987, their 60th in 1997 as well as their recent 70th anniversary this year, but the owners continue to ask for a figure that is deemed unreasonably high time and time again.

Aside from the airplanes, the Saab Performance Team as well as legendary rally champion, Erik “On The Roof” Carlsson were also present amongst other notables for this very special event as you will see in the photographs above.

Here is a press release that describes a segment of this 70th anniversary celebration.

Guests celebrated Saab’s 70th anniversary

A flyby of Saab’s aircraft started the customer day that is part of Saab’s 70th anniversary. Around 700 customers, partners, suppliers, analysts and media came to join the celebrations.

The VIP day took place at the Saab compound in Linköping, Sweden, on Friday August 31. Åke Svensson, President and CEO of Saab wished everyone a warm welcome.

“It is fantastic to have you here today. I am so proud of this company” he said by way of introduction. A short film about the history of Saab was shown and Åke Svensson spoke about Saab’s development from 1937 to the present day.

”Focus has changed. Previously the emphasis was on one large Swedish customer, today we have broadened our horizons and the internationalisation has increased.”

Saab in the future

The emphasis of the seminar that followed was on the future and what Saab might be working on at the time of the 100th anniversary in 2037. The seminar discussed what the future might hold within civil security and air (unmanned aircraft), sea (naval command and control systems) and land areas (multistatic radar).

Lennart Sindahl, business unit manager for Saab Aerosystems, and Michael Franzén, project manager for UAV operations in the business unit, spoke about the possibilities of unmanned aircraft. In their vision of the future we will be flying with unmanned passenger aircraft several years before Saab celebrates 100 years.

Lars Tossman, business unit manager for Saab Underwater Systems, and Richard Colling, point of contact Sea, spoke about the importance of flexible, autonomous underwater vehicles in the future.

Air show with all still flying Saab planes

The day was rounded off with a flying display featuring nearly all Saab’s aircraft that are still flying: Saab B17, Saab 32 Lansen, Saab 91 Safir, SK60, Saab 35 Draken, Saab 37 Viggen, Saab 39 Gripen and Saab 2000.

Continue Reading

SAAB welcomes Estonian Airlines as new 340 customer

Posted on 06. Apr, 2007 by .


Photo Credit: Saab Aircraft

Saab welcomes Estonian Airlines as new Saab 340 customer

Estonian Airlines, the national carrier of the Republic of Estonia and part of the SAS Group, has signed a contract with Saab Aircraft Leasing for the lease of two Saab 340s. The aircraft will join its fleet in May and September to commence scheduled flights from the airline’s Tallinn Airport base.

The Saab 340s will replace Estonian Airlines larger 50-seat Fokker 50s and become the mainstay complement to the airline’s six-strong Boeing 737-500 fleet.

“Estonia has a number of new regional routes to develop, and currently we are studying up to 23 destinations. St Petersburg will be the first market to be developed, historically a significant market for the country” said Estonian Airlines Managing Director Börge Thornbech.

Welcoming Estonian as a customer, Saab Aircraft Leasing’s Senior Vice President Dag Waldenstrom commented: “We very much look forward to delivering these aircraft into Estonia and working closely with Börge and his team. We are especially pleased Estonian will be flying the Saab 340 to Stockholm Arlanda Airport with a new link from Saaremaa in the Baltic Islands.

Last year Estonian Airlines carried some 689,800 passengers to a total of 17 destinations and held a 45% market share at its Tallinn Airport base.

Saab Aircraft Leasing manages a portfolio of about 200 Saab 340 and Saab 2000 aircraft leased to 25 airlines around the world. With 35 employees, its head-office is in Washington, DC and regional offices in Stockholm Sweden and Tokyo Japan.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts
and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

For further information, please contact:
Michael Magnusson, President and CEO, Saab Aircraft Leasing
Telephone: +1 703 406 7220

Continue Reading

Saab Designer Profile – Sixten Sason

Posted on 02. Apr, 2007 by .


sixten_small.jpgSixten Sason, was born in Sweden in 1912. By 1939, a self-taught illustrator notable for being responsible for designs with Hasselblad, Electrolux and Husqvarna from everything from cameras, refridgerators, waffle-irons, power-saws to even an early plan for a bridge across the Öresund to link Sweden to Denmark, now known as the Öresund Bridge completed in 2000, began work with SAAB.

Some of the first work that Sixten Sason was responsible for included the drawing of airplanes and other material during the Second World War while employed at SAAB. When the War was coming to an end, the company began shifting their strategies with the addition of automobile manufacturing. During this time of transition for the company, Sixten Sason was asked to contribute to the “Project 92″, that was introduced in 1947 as the first prototype for SAAB, the automobile manufacturer. This Prototype was known officially as the 92001 and later production model “92″ ,were inspired by the SAAB J21 plane. Sixten Sason contributed to a number of projects over the years including the 93, 94, 95, 96 and finally the 99 in 1967 until he passed away later that year.

The Saab 99 model went onto become a classic which saw the introduction to a number of industry leading technologies and design features including the wrap-around windshield, disc brakes, heated seats, introduction of the turbocharger and the first installment of the hatchback feature.

Sixten Sason is historically referred to as Saab Automobile’s first designer and had a major impact with his career at SAAB by the design elements that he first implemented that have now become key to Saab’s uniqueness in an increasingly complex and fast-paced industry.

Continue Reading

Production Concept