T 18B - SAAB 18 (1947-1958)

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Swedish Air Force Torpedo Bomber SAAB T 18B of Wing F 17 at Kallinge / Ronneby.

The SAAB 18 design had two purposes. The B 3 (Junkers Ju 86K) needed to be replaced and the Air Force needed an aircraft for strategic reconnaissance. The first of the two prototypes flew in July 1942 by SAAB’s test pilot Claes Smith. Contrary to most other aircraft designs, the SAAB 18 flew without problems from the beginning. The Air Force designated the bomber version B 18A (Twin Wasp engines) and  B 18B (Daimler-Benz engines) and the reconnaissance version S 18A. Later a torpedo bomber version, T 18B, was ordered.  

62 T 18Bs were built and delivered to the Torpedo Bomber Wing F 17 at Ronneby in 1947-1948. Trials with torpedo launching were problematical and were cancelled in 1947. In the same year, F 17 became a Bomber Wing. The T 18Bs never served as torpedo aircraft. Instead,  it was adapted to carry the huge 57 mm Bofors L/50 automatic gun in the bomb/torpedo bay. Total length of the gun was 5,3 m and the weight 735 kg. The magazine had room for 40 four kg shells. Alternatively ordinary bombs could be carried. The aircraft was also fitted with two 20 mm fixed automatic gun in the nose.
To make space for the 57 mm gun, the crew was reduced to two, compared with three in the early SAAB 18 aircraft. The cockpit was asymmetrically placed to the left of centerline of  the rather narrow fuselage. Ejection seats were now installed. The navigator’s seat was facing backwards.  

The T 18B played an important role during the development of the sea target missile RB 04.

The aircraft was powered by two Daimler-Benz DB 605 engines, delivering 1.475 hp each.

Length: 13,23 m. Span: 17,04 m. MTOW: 9.272 kg. Max. speed: 595 km/h.  

Photo above: A T 18B of Wing F 17, as easily can been seen by the numerals on the fuselage. Code "N" as "Niklas".


Swedish Air Force Torpedo Bomber SAAB T 18B of Wing F 17 at Kallinge / Ronneby.
  Another T 18B of Wing F 17. Code  "A" as "Adam".l  

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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-03-01

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