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Farewell to Viggen

n by Andreas Samuelsson


The Last AJS 37 Viggen of F 10

As JAS 39 Gripen is being delivered to frontline units of the Swedish Air Force, time has come for the Viggen to leave the scene. Next unit in line for re-armament is the 1st Squadron of the F 10 Scania wing. 

On tuesday, 11th April, 2000 a public ceremony of last flight of the SAAB Viggen in squadron colours took place in Ängelholm. The attraction of the day was AJS 37 no. 57 repainted for the occasion in a striking red livery. Red is the unit colour of Johan Röd,  the 1st Squadron of the wing. 

The Viggen display scheme continues a tradition of colorful "lasts" in the Swedish Air Force. The Johan Blå Squadron of F10 had previously flown an all-blue Draken during the latter's phase-out in 1998. A word of explanation for the unititiated: F 10 squadrons are code-named  Johan because J is the tenth letter of the alphabet. Red and blue are traditional colours of the 1st and 2nd squadrons, respectively.

The remaining Viggens will continue to fly with F 21 in northern Sweden for a few more years. The Johan Röd unit will initiate it's education and re-armament programme during the summer. The operational status with JAS 39 will be achieved in spring 2001.

This photo collection takes a look at the red Viggen, which undoubtedly will serve as an inspiration of many future modelling projects.

"The Show Must Go On"
 




This is how no. 57 looked like at the day. The finish is glossy, very clean and... red. What a difference from operational aircraft! 
 

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 




The individual number on the fin is yellow and smaller in size than usual. The white ghost symbol originates form Johan Röd squadron badge.  It serves as a replacement of national inignia and occurs in six positions - above and below the wings and on both sides of the fin.
 

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 


Overwing insignia were quite difficult to catch with the camera. Here's the best view I could manage...
 

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 




Port side of the nose. Features another instance of the ghost symbol in white ring with black outline and yellow lettering.

Note that all operationaln stencils and decals (even the triangular  FARA> marks on engine air intakes) have been removed. 
 

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 


The inscription on the upper fuselage. The Show Must Go On is a squadron motto.
Note that the letters follow a curved path.
 

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 


The similar - but not identical - lettering on the starboard side.
 

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 

Starboard side of the nose features a 1st Squadron unit badge in a more traditional form.

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 


The ghost logo found it's way even to the hub of the forward port wheel...

...but has not been repeated on the starboard side!
 

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 


The painters' attention to detail is noteworthy, as evidenced by these three crowns on the back-end of the centerline tank!
  

Photo: Andreas Samuelsson

 

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