Dags för mer rensning i bloggskafferiet. Följande text är saxat från en artikel som publicerades i en sydafrikansk flygtidning för cirka 15 år sedan. Den fanns förr på webben men verkar nu vara borta. För några år sedan la jag ner en del research i ämnet Safirer i Sydafrika, alltså de som kommit dit från Etiopien i slutet av 90-talet. Minns även inlägget Safir i Sydafrika i våras - kolla gärna i det för mer bakgrundsinfo och länkar etc. Nu till den sydafrikanska artikeln skriven av Athol Franz...
Safir SAAB 91
The model 91 Safir was created by the designer of the Bucker Bestman, Anders J. Andersson, and was first flown on 20 November 1945. This example of the SAAB Safir is owned by Christo Schoeman, a well-known Johannesburg attorney, who answers to the nickname ‘Captain Chaos’.
Text and Photography by Athol Franz
The initial S91 was an all-metal low-wing monoplane with three seats and a retractable tricycle undercarriage produced as a civil and military trainer. The prototype of the original batch of S91 As, were powered by a 145 hp de Havilland Gipsy Major in-line engine, but the S91 B, built in the largest numbers, had a 190 hp Lycoming O-435-A and the D used a 180 hp Lycoming O-360 AIA. From the S91 C onwards, the Safir had a four-seat cabin that was entered through a full-length side-hinged half canopy and a higher gross weight. Of the total of 323 Safirs, 120 S 91 Bs were built in Holland by de Scheldt. Customers included the air forces of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Austria. The Dutch Rijksluchtvaartschool, the Lufthansa and Air France training units also utilised the Safir. Today about 90 Safirs, mostly released by military users, are active with private owners in Sweden, Norway, Austria as well as elsewhere in Europe.
SAFIRS COME TO SOUTH AFRICA
This elegant air force trainer was acquired by John Sayers as part of a parcel of the remains of many western aircraft from the Ethiopian government several years ago. Airframes, wings, engines and spares were shipped out of Ethiopia in an assortment of containers and stored on an agricultural smallholding near the Northgate Dome where certain aircraft underwent restoration to the point of regaining command of the air. Altogether seventeen SAAB Safirs were brought into South Africa, but at this point in time only a handful have ever been restored to flying condition.
SAAB SAFIR ZU-BSG
This particular example of the Safir was originally built in 1948, was never flown and stood for thirty years under awnings. The aircraft were dismantled, loaded into containers as well as open trucks and driven more than a thousand kilometres to the coastal port of Mombassa from where they were shipped to South Africa. During this epic journey most of the damage to the airframes and wings occurred. After a considerable re-build the Safir was re-assembled at Lanseria International Airport and the first test flight was conducted by Russell Langley, then a SA CAA approved test pilot. Other early test pilots were Bob Ewing, who tested the aerobatic capability of the type. A new differential braking system was installed as a modification due to the poor performance of the free-castering nose wheel.
FLYING THE SAAB SAFIR
This particular aircraft is owned by Christo Schoeman who these days only flies the machine together with Dr. Theunis de Bruin. Theunis flew the SAAB for this particular photographic session together with his co-pilot Dewald Pienaar who is a PPL with about 300 hours. Theunis is a Designated Aviation Medical Doctor who is also a Grade II instructor with about 3 500 hours of flying experience. As a highly experienced pilot, Theunis has about 80 different types on his licence including two turbine types being the King Air B200 and Cessna twin Caravan C406. At the time of writing, his total flying experience on the SAAB Safir amounts to about 400 hours of which 150 hours are flying aerobatics in the type. In his own words, Theunis describes the SAAB Safir, “She is an absolute delight to fly due to her predictable and forgiving nature. This aircraft does exactly what the pilot expects in all manoeuvres required for gentleman’s aerobatics and also performs well when flying certain advanced aerobatics manoeuvres.
With the new Continental IO 540 300hp engine, the SAAB Safir takes off at Krugersdorp (altitude 5 500 feet) in less than 600 metres on a hot summers day and climbs away at 80 knots with a climb rate of 800 feet/min. The cruise speed, at a little over 65% power, is an incredible 165 knots and with a VNE of 185 knots the SAAB Safir has a comfortable flight envelope. Approach speed for landing is 70 knots using the aircraft’s split flaps. The undercarriage is completely manual and Theunis says it is hard work to raise and lower the tricycle gear. The aircraft is stressed to -3 g and +7 g and is an ideal aerobatics trainer. The front two seats in the cockpit are spacious but as a three seat aircraft the single rear seat is rather cramped and is really only used for luggage. The new engine installation of this particular aircraft was undertaken by Des Nel who is also well-renowned for re-building one of the finest SAAB Safirs in South Africa. He owns ZU-DES which has received several EAA South Africa awards for fine restoration and workmanship.
Wing span 10.59 m (34ft 9in)
Length 7.8 m (25ft 7in)
Height 2.21m (7ft 3in)
Max take off 1 241 kg (2 736lbs)
Useful load 511 kg (1 126lbs)
Max speed 185 knots
Cruising speed 165 knots
Range 1 045 km (568 nm)
ZU-BSG kom tyvärr att haverera den 14 juni 2014 vid landning Krugersdorp (FAKR). Dessa bilder på vraket är taget i september samma år...
Så här skrev den dåvarande ägaren av ZU-BSG, Christo Schoeman, till mig i ett brev våren 2009 när jag frågat om motorkonverteringen:
The conversion was done by Des Nel a few years ago and we were not sure of the results. In the meantime we sorted out all the little problems. There was a fuel pump that had nothing to do with the conversion but the end result of replacing it with a new one was the aeroplane performed exceptionally well. We had a three blade propeller on for that extra thrust. At the high altitude of Johannesburg 5500 feet above sea level we have a climb rate of 200 per minute after take off with the SAAB. The Saab speed increased to a block cruise speed of 160 knots instead of the 130 we used to have on the old engine.
Avslutar med den video som gjordes i försäljningssyfte 2011.