This book tells the story of the first fighter aircraft from Sweden’s SAAB. The unconventional, pusher propeller, twin boomed SAAB J-21 and its jet powered development, the J-21R As one who has a fondness for unusual aircraft I am really grateful to finally have a book that covers this aircraft.
The book begins with the development of the aircraft and its related systems. Of special importance was the development of an ejection seat so that the pilot could exit and clear the pusher propeller in an emergency. This is followed by operational histories of its use with the various squadrons. The coverage of the propeller driven J-21 concludes with 25 pages of color photos of the two surviving J-21s presented in a “walk-around” style. In addition to many fine exterior shots, there is extensive photo coverage of the cockpit. Lastly, we are treated to six pages of color profiles of various operational J-21s
The second half of the book follows the same format as the first, except now it tells the story of the jet powered J-21R variant. This was the first jet to serve in the Swedish Air Force. After the developmental and operational histories we are again treated to a wonderful photo coverage section of the sole remaining J-21R. This aircraft is actually a J-21 that was converted over to jet power just as the original J-21R prototype. Again we finish up with 30 plus pages of color photos and 8 color profiles. Like the similar section covering the J-21, every detail is covered in beautiful full color.
Also included in the book are 1/72 and 1/48 scale drawings of both aircraft types. I can only hope that these drawing and the wonderful detail photographs will lead to one of the Czech or other model companies to release a new 1/72 and first ever 1/48 scale kits of both versions!!!
This book will be of interest to the modeler, aviation enthusiast/historian alike. I can recommend it to all that like the subject or have, as I do a passion for unconventional aircraft. The book is available now and may be ordered directly from Mushroom Model Publications or their North American distributor, Casemate Publishing at http://www.casematepublishers.com . I wish to offer my thanks to IPMS-USA for the opportunity to review this book and our thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for this review copy.