Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Thor's Thunderbolt ("Viggen"). Before the Gripen, the mighty Viggen ruled the skies over Sweden, coming into service in 1971 at the height of the Cold War. 329 were built in AJ (attack), SF (reconnaissance), SH (maritime patrol) and SK (two seat trainer) variants; this one depicts the ultimate "JA37DI" interceptor version. This thing was fast and powerful, the ingenious Swedes converted a civil turbofan (American JT8D) by adding a huge afterburner, producing the first canard-equipped turbofan fighter with reverse thrust. With 26,000 lbs of thrust, it was supersonic at low altitude and could do Mach 2 at high altitude. Like all delta fighters, it was good in one turn fights. It was also equipped with an automatic radar guidance system for its 30mm Oerlikon cannon, which, by all accounts, could be a wild ride as the system would whip the nose around to find its target with its gun. In fact, tactics allowed the gun to be used where Sidewinders might have been used and imparted a close-range all aspect capability to this fighter. It was also said to have flown an intercepting Soviet Su-15 Flagon into the Baltic Sea during a recce run when the Soviet pilot unwisely tried to follow the Viggen during a low altitude barrel roll. The last Viggen left Swedish service in 2005.
Engine start, taxi and takeoff: Fairly straightforward, use approximately one half unit nose up trim (1/2 notch down) on takeoff, full power and pull back on the stick. The aircraft will pitch up as the gear retracts, but easily controlled by neutralizing the trim.
Landing: Come in on a shallow glidepath, 220-230 mph, approximately 10% throttle. Watch flare as she likes to balloon. Upon touchdown, stick forward for nosegear traction and brakes to stop.
AG1 - Position lights and beacon
AG2 - Landing lights
AG3 - Formation lights
AG4 - Jettison external tank