This Saab J35 Draken Made the Soviets Think Twice Before Messing With Sweden, Now For Sale

Saab as an automaker is sadly no longer with us. Thanks a lot for that, GM. You bunch of accountants and pencil pushers you. But let's be honest, Saab's bread and butter have always been airplanes. This J35 Draken comes from a time when the Swedes built some of the world's best jet fighters.
Saab Draken 11 photos
Photo: Raptor Aviation Inc
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It's been over 15 years since the last Saab Draken was retired from services with the Austrian Air Force. But all that means is these timeless classics of Swedish aviation are starting to creep their way into the civilian market. Let's take a look at one of the very first of these civilian Drakens we've come across so far.

Rolling off a Swedish assembly plant back in 1964, this Draken is not the oldest nor the youngest in the fleet. Official data corresponding to its civilian market listing indicate this warbird only has 788 hours of flight time under its belt since the mid-1960s. Or, to put it in automotive terms, it's something like a certified pre-owned vehicle with a double-delta wing and powerful enough to fly at twice the speed of sound.

With the airplane listed as ready to fly and under 24-hour indoor storage when not in use, there's every reason to suspect this Draken is as fresh today as it was when the type was retired from the Air Forces of Sweden, Finland, Austria, and Denmark back in 2005. It also comes complete with a full suite of electronic navigation, communication, and avionics. Including a KX 155 Nav/Comm suite from King and a Garmin GTX 330 Transponder.

A cursory cross-reference of this Draken's serial number reveals it only received temporary FAA certification credentials a mere three years ago, back in August 2019. This implies one of two things. Either the Jet had never flown domestically in the United States, or perhaps it spent most of its life in the skies over Scandinavia and Northern Europe instead. Judging that this is a Saab, both are likely true to an extent.

Saab Draken
Photo: Raptor Aviation Inc
However, the new owner will have the headache of re-applying for new certifications once its current paperwork expires on August 31st of this year. Frankly, it's a task worth the labor if you're a wealthy eccentric aviator. Powering this Draken alongside all of its brethren is a special license-built copy of an all-time great British axial flow jet engine.

Based on the Rolls Royce Avon that powered the Hawker Hunter and English Electric Lightning, the Svenska Flygmotor RM6C is an absolute powerhouse. As much as 56.5 kN (12,700 lbf) of thrust could be mustered with this engine at full throttle and with full afterburner engaged.

In its day, the J35 Draken, in all its many forms, was equipped with all manner of high-tech and state-of-the-art weaponry. Everything from licensed copies of American Aim-9 Sidewinder, Aim-4 Falcon, and even the super long-range Aim-54 Phoenix all found their way onto the Draken lineage.

There were also six underwing mounting points for everything from 75 mm air-to-ground rocket pods, 1000-lb unguided bombs, or clusters of up to 12x135 mm rockets. Of course, don't expect any of that nonsense to find its way onto this particular Draken. Unless you were to fly it to Cypress where you could do it on the sneak, we suppose.

Saab Draken
Photo: Raptor Aviation Inc
As for how much this plane is worth? Well, it's not like they give out such info to anyone who isn't serious about taking it home. But considering a contemporary of the Draken, the American McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II recently sold for over $3.2 million; chances are good it will at least sell for that figure. Anything less would be an absolute steal.
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