There were a number of questions regarding the weather for the Safir & MFI meeting. Most of all it was the prognosticated weather for the Sunday that could prevent the travel back home from the meeting. It resulted in that some guests could not attend the meeting and some preferred arriving by car instead of using their Safir or MFI.
The weather gods were however friendly this time and finally there were five Safir and a number of other aircraft parked outside Linköping Flying Club facilities at Saab airport. The most long range visitors arrived from Belgium in a Safir and from Germany in a Bonanza.
On Friday evening the first guests started to arrive. MVFK had fired up the Barbecue and grilled Hamburgers were on the menu. One or maybe two beers were downed together with the burgers.
On Saturday the official technical meeting were held. A number of topics were on the agenda. It was decided to start a number of investigations that shall be reported to all Safir users via MVFK homepage.
- Propellers. Are there any possibilities to manufacture new propellers of the existing type to B/C Safirs? Is there a possibility to use other types of more efficient propellers?
- Engines. Are there any possible replacements for the existing B/C Safir engines? There are users in South Africa and Australia that have modified their Safirs.
- Create a list of useful contacts for different subjects
After the lunch Kjell Franzen held a presentation of upcoming new rules regarding Annex 1 (formerly known as annex 2) aircraft in Sweden. The Swedish rules will be more synchronized with the EASA rules. This affects among other things formation training, advanced flying training etc. ECAC are working on list of experimental aircraft that are permitted to fly freely withing Europe. To be on the safe side it is recommended to check with the nations that you are planning to visit to be sure that the agreement covers your type of aircraft! Lastly Kjell reminded us to sent our comments to the planned changes in fees for aircraft related activities.
During the afternoon there was a bus ride to The Swedish Air Force Museum for a guided tour in the storage hangar where a number of aircraft are stored. Among those the prototype to MFI-15, a MFI-9 that was still in Swedish Air Force colors since the evaluation of a new type 1 trainer and also a shiny metal clean Saab 91A Safir.
During the evening there was a hangar party with food, beer and wine. Two Safirs were positioned outside the hangar to create a nice view during the dinner. MVFK took the opportunity to say ”thank you” to Mats Dahlgren who will retire soon from Saab AB. Mats have during the years been a good supporter of both Linköpings Flying Club and MVFK. All good things have an end and the pilots who were planning to leave early on Sunday morning had to return to their hotels.
On Sunday morning the visitors from Belgium and Germany and Västerås started in the direction of their respective home airfield. The rest of us attended some nice briefings.
Eric von Rosen told us about his father Carl Gustaf von Rosen record flight from Bromma in Sweden to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia in a Saab 91A Safir. The aircraft was modified with the support from Saab. The Fuel quantity was increased from 175 L to 947 L. The oil quantity was increased from 8 to 45 L (A Gipsy Major with inverted cylinders consumed approximately 1 L of oil per hour). In total the take off weight was increased from 995 kg to 1500 kg! One of the major challenges was to get a permission from the Soviet Union to fly above east block territories.
Carl Gustaf took off from Bromma in Stockholm at 0503 May 9, 1947. At sun set he entered IMC conditions over North Africa. This was worsened by a a sand storm that affected the compass. After almost 10 hours of flying in these conditions he was finally VMC and on the track! Finally he landed in Addis Ababa at 1105 may 10. Sadly the trip was not recognized by FAI as a world record since FAI had not been officially notified that this would be a record attempt!
However…the major result of the trip was that the Saab Safir was recognized as a great aircraft and was later used by many Air Forces and companies around the world.
The next briefing was held by Thomas Lilja to recognize that the first flight of MFI-15 was performed July 11, 1969. MFI-15 was designed as a possible replacement of the Safir used by the Swedish Air Force as a basic trainer. However, this competition was won by the Scottish Aviation ”Bulldog”. Maybe because the smaller MFI-9 was used during the evaluation and the instructors at F 5 Wing in Ljungbyhed did not like that aircraft. Instead the MFI-15 was to become Saab most exported civilian aircraft with approximately 610 aircraft manufactured over the years. Saab 29 ”Tunnan” is still the aircraft that Saab has built in the greatest number (665 including 4 test aircraft).
Two very good briefings concluded this years meeting. Now it is time to start planning for next year Safir & MFI meeting. Hopefully there will be more Safir/MFI owners attending the meeting. MVFK will at least do our best to bring our own newly restored B-Safir, SE-KUB to that meeting!
Many thanks to Saab AB for sponsoring the meeting! Saab AB is the holder of the type certificate for Saab Safir and MFI-9/15.