2012 saw the return of the thunderous SAAB Viggen to the skies over Europe. Sweden has long been home to some very exciting jets such the Tunnan, Lansen and Draken. The Viggen shares a trait of all SAAB jet designs, that of looking way ahead of its time. It is extraordinary to think that this shape has been retired from service as it still looks futuristic.

2012 was a big year for aviation in Sweden; SAAB was celebrating its 75th anniversary and held a big airshow at its base at Linköping. The SAAB JA37 Viggen was the star of that show having just been certificated in time and bringing back to life one of the world’s most exciting fighter jets. The aircraft went on to be the main attraction at a number of events around Sweden and Norway during the Summer.

However, it was not until September that it made the journey South for its UK display debut at the Jersey International Air Display. In many ways, it was no surprise that the Viggen flew its first show in Jersey as the show organisers led by Mike Higgins always seem to attract something new and very different. The Viggen appeared alongside the SAAB J29 Tunnan and SAAB Sk60 that have been popular items at previous editions of the JIAD and all three made a formation flypast during the display.

The Viggen and other SAAB jets went on to perform at the International Sanicole Airshow in Belgium after Jersey where it also proved to be the star of the show. We hope it is not too long before the mighty Viggen returns to UK skies.