Author Topic: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'  (Read 2165 times)

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Offline kitbasher

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IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« on: December 09, 2018, 12:12:20 pm »
The SAAB J-29 entered service with the Svenska Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force) in May 1951, initial operational deliveries of production aircraft were received by F13 Wing at Norrköping.  661 Tunnans were produced in five variants, the J 29A, J 29B and J 29E fighter, the S 29C reconnaissance version, and the afterburner-equipped J 29F fighter. The lack of a two-seat, dual control Tunnan trainer variant meant that Swedish fighter pilots had to be trained on two-seat de Havilland Vampire T.55s (aka J-28C) before going solo in a Tunnan.

The Tunnan was the first Swedish jet aircraft to perform combat operations. In September 1961, in response to an appeal by the United Nations (UN) for military support, an initial force of five J 29Bs were stationed in the Republic of Congo as a contribution to the United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNOC), organized as the F22 Wing.  It was subsequently reinforced by four more J 29Bs and two S 29Cs in 1962. The J 29s were the only combat aircraft at the disposal of the UN.

Meanwhile in Ireland, the jet age had arrived on 30 June 1956 when the Irish Air Corps (IAC) took delivery of de Havilland Vampire T.55s to equip the Fighter Squadron.  Four years later the Irish Army's first large deployment to the UNOC force took place.  Ireland’s contribution was limited to ground forces until May 1962, when the Irish Government offered a small number of Vampire pilots to bolster the Swedish J-29.  This offer was accepted by the Swedes, and in January 1963, IAC Captains, Padhraic Kelleher, Paul Kennedy and Paddy Nolan were sent to Sweden to train to become J-29 pilots ahead of deployment to UNOC.

The Irish pilots’ stay in the Congo was to be a brief one; UNOC was withdrawn in 1964 but the J-29 had made a big impact on the Irish aviators.  Their successful lobbying of the General Officer Commanding the Air Corps led to an approach to Sweden for six Tunnans. The Swedes, appreciative of the professionalism of the Irish ‘Kongoförstärkningar’ (‘Congo reinforcements’), were in the process of replacing the J-29 with the J-35 Draken.  There was no need for Ireland to buy the J-29s it wanted, Sweden gifted them the six they were after.  So it was that, in February 1965, the IAC took delivery of its Tunnans (or ‘SAABs’, as they were always known locally).  This led to the Fighter Squadron dividing into two new units – 1 Squadron received the J-29s, while the Vampire T-55s formed 2 Squadron.

The J-29s provided the IAC with a limited air defence force.  In concert with the Vampires they also offered a ground attack capability and were frequently used to train with Irish Army units as the latter prepared for deployment on UN peacekeeping duties around the world.  This was done with quiet efficiency – and without loss – until July 1975, when the J-29s and Vampire T.55s were replaced by ten BAC Strikemaster Mk 85s, thus rendering the SAABs the only single-seat jet aircraft to enter IAC service.

SAAB J-29F 198, 1 FIGHTER SQUADRON, IRISH AIR CORPS, BALDONNELL AUGUST 1967



The Model:
OOB Matchbox SAAB J29F.  IAC roundels from the sheet given away with the July 1981 Scale Aircraft Modelling , stencils from the still usable parts of the kit decal sheet, serial numbers from a Modeldecal RAF serial number sheet.  Squadron marking is a home-made effort, image taken from Wikipedia and shrunk to size.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 01:01:24 pm by kitbasher »
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 12:44:11 pm »
What's this doing here? I'm sure some of the Irish IPMS guys mentioned their SAAB J-29s when I was chatting to them at Telford.  :o

It's a cracking job, no matter its level of Whiffness.  ;) :thumbsup:
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Offline Weaver

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 12:58:41 pm »
Presumably it had a good roll-out ceremony... ;)

Nice one, and very credible too. :thumbsup:
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Offline kitbasher

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 01:07:30 pm »
Presumably it had a good roll-out ceremony... ;)

Nice one, and very credible too. :thumbsup:

Tee hee!

You joke but the Irish didn't entirely avoid barrel references.  In the run-in to retirement by the IAC, a pair of SAABs acquired white-tipped black fins Emblazoned with the golden harp of a well-known Dublin brewery.
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Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 06:13:46 pm »
Very good!! I love to see Irish stuff.
-Sprues McDuck-

Offline kitbasher

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2018, 10:21:08 pm »
Thanks for the generous comments, chaps.
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Offline TomZ

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2018, 10:27:01 pm »
Lovely

TomZ
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Offline zenrat

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 01:55:34 am »
Cool.
 :thumbsup:
Fred

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Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

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Offline NARSES2

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 06:18:35 am »
Does look good in that scheme  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2018, 06:41:38 am »
Nice! Wonder how it would lokk like in a camouflage paint scheme?

Offline chrisonord

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2018, 08:04:53 am »
Cool, I have a soft spot for the tunnan, and I could see them in service with the Irish too.
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Offline Doug K

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2018, 08:22:15 am »
I do like that

Offline major

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2018, 05:20:26 pm »

Very nice! :thumbsup:
Would love to see the black fin and harp.

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2018, 07:08:43 pm »
Faith an' begorrah she's a foin bit o' work!  :thumbsup:
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Offline AS.12

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Re: IRISH AIR CORPS 'BARREL'
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2018, 12:37:25 am »
Nice! Wonder how it would lokk like in a camouflage paint scheme?

Or overall Air Corps bronze-green!

I wonder what would have succeeded the Irish Tunnans, perhaps Lansens?