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J 22
An FFVS J 22 on static display at the Swedish Air Force Museum, in the markings of Östgöta Wing (F 3), code "L".
Role Fighter
National origin Sweden
Manufacturer Kungliga Flygförvaltningens Flygverkstad i Stockholm (FFVS)
Designer Bo Lundberg
First flight 20 September 1942
Introduction October 1943
Retired 1952
Status Retired
Primary user Swedish Air Force
Produced 1942–1946
Number built 198

The FFVS J 22 was a Swedish single-engine fighter aircraft developed for the Swedish Air Force during World War II.


At the onset of World War II, the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) was equipped with largely obsolete Gloster Gladiator (J 8) biplane fighters. To augment this, Sweden ordered 120 Seversky P-35 (J 9) and 144 P-66 Vanguard (J 10) aircraft from the United States.[1][2] However, in October 1940, the United States declared an embargo against delivering the remainder of the orders to Sweden (only 60 P-35s had already been delivered).[1][2] As the result, Flygvapnet suddenly faced a shortage of modern fighters. Several other foreign alternatives were considered: the Soviet Polikarpov I-16 and I153 were considered obsolete, the Finnish VL Myrsky was rejected due to its all-wooden construction, and while Japan offered the Mitsubishi A6M, delivery from Japan was impractical.[3] A batch of Fiat CR.42 Falco (J 11) biplanes and Reggiane Re.2000 Falco (J 20) were eventually purchased but this was clearly an interim solution.[1][3]

It was decided to design a new fighter to meet Flygvapnet's needs. As Saab was running at full capacity building its single-engine Saab 17 and twin-engined Saab 18 bombers, a new organisation was set up to design and build the new aircraft, the Kungliga Flygförvaltningens Flygverkstad i Stockholm ("Royal Air Administration Aircraft Factory in Stockholm", FFVS). The design team would be led by Bo Lundberg.[4][5]

This was one of the finest aircraft that I have ever flown. The responsiveness of the controls and overall handling was exceptionally nice. It was not a high altitude fighter but up to about 5000 m (16,000 ft) it could hold its own very well. We flew mock dog fights with P-51 Mustangs and they could not catch us below 4000 m (13,000 ft) but if the fight was higher than that we had to be very careful. At altitudes above 6000 m (19,500 ft) it was getting sluggish and at 9000 m (29,000 ft) it was not much power left. Stalls in turns and straight forward were usually not a problem. If you pulled really hard in turn it would sometime flip over on its back. The first version, the 22-A, did not have much fire power, but the 22-B was better.

—Ove Müller-Hansen (pilot), [citation needed]

The new aircraft, designated J 22, was a mid-wing cantilever monoplane with a retactable undercarriage and an enclosed cockpit.[6] The narrow-track main landing gear retracted rearward entirely within the fuselage. In order to minimise the use of strategic materials, the aircraft was of mixed steel and wood construction, with a plywood-covered molybdenum steel tube fuselage structure covered by moulded plywood panels, and wings with welded steel spars and ribs covered by plywood.[1][7] Power came from a Swedish copy of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp, manufactured by Svenska Flygmotor without a license at the time, although some sources state that after the end of the war, Svenska Flygmotor volunteered to pay a licence fee, with a symbolic US$1 eventually being agreed.[2]

While the two prototypes would be built at the Flygtekniska försöksanstalten (National Aeronautical Research Institute), production aircraft would be assembled by a factory at Stockholm Bromma Airport which would be built by, and leased from the Swedish airline AB Aerotransport. Extensive use was made of sub-contractors, many of which (such as AGA, and Hägglund & Söner) were outside the aviation industry, to built sub assemblies of the J-22.[1][8]

The first prototype J 22 made its maiden flight on 20 September 1942 from Bromma airport, with the second prototype flying on 11 June 1943. While both prototypes were destroyed in crashes, on 19 June and 20 August 1943 respectively, production had already been started prior to the prototypes flying.[9][10] Deliveries of production J 22s, to the F9 air wing at Gothenburg, began in October 1943.[11] While delivery of the 198 production aircraft was planned to be completed by 1 July 1946, strike action by factory workers disrupted these plans, and the final 18 J 22s were assembled by the Flygvapnet workshops at Arboga.[9][12] The last J 22 was delivered on 6 April 1946.[9]

Operational history

The J 22 was well-liked by its pilots and possessed good manoeuvrability and responsive controls. Forward visibility on the ground left something to be desired and if the tailwheel was left unlocked and able to swivel during take-off there was the potential to ground-loop.

With 575 km/h (360 mph) from a 795 kW (1,065 hp) engine, the Swedish press called the diminutive fighter the "world's fastest in relation to the engine power". (While this was not absolutely accurate, the J 22 was in the same class as the early marks of Supermarine Spitfire and Mitsubishi A6M ("Zero").[13]) J 22 pilots tongue-in-cheek modified this to "the world's fastest in relation to track width", because of the very narrow spacing of the undercarriage.[citation needed]

J 22 18 in 1948.

In mock dogfights with P-51 Mustangs (called J 26 in Swedish service) it was able to "hold its own" up to 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) although, above 6,000 m (19,000 ft), without a good high altitude supercharger, it became sluggish.

Because of its simple systems the J 22 was also very easy to maintain and service.[14]

The J 22 was retired from service in 1952.

Surviving aircraft

Three externally examples of the J 22 have been preserved.

Two examples are owned by the Swedish Air Force Museum, at Malmen near Linköping. One of these is located at a nearby veteran airfield where it is able to taxi around under its own power. The other is on static display at the museum itself.

A third J 22 is owned by Svedinoes Bil- Och Flygmusum (Svedinoes Automobile and Aviation Museum), in Ugglarp. This aircraft is currently undergoing restoration to flying condition, by a company in France.

Two more J 22 airframes survive, although the external panelling is incomplete . One is owned by the Swedish air force museum with the other one being owned privately. They are planned to be combined with each other and restored to flying condition.[citation needed]


J 22-1 or J 22A

Originally called J 22 UBv "Ursprunglig Beväpning" (original armament). First production version, 2x 8 mm and 2x 13.2 mm machine guns, 141 built.

J 22-2 or J 22B

Originally called J 22 FBv "Förbättrad Beväpning" (improved armament). Armed with 4x 13.2 mm machine guns, 57 built.

S 22-3 or S 22

Nine J 22-1 equipped for reconnaissance in 1946, restored to fighters in 1947. Used a spaningskamera Ska4 (recce camera Ska4) in the tail.


Sweden Sweden

Specifications (J 22A)

Data from F.F.V.S. J22 Fighter Aircraft [15]

General characteristics

2,000 kg (4,409 lb) J 22A
2,760 kg (6,085 lb) J 22A
630 kW (850 hp) maximum continuous power


560 km/h (350 mph; 300 kn) at max. continuous power at 4,300 m (14,100 ft)
510 km/h (320 mph; 280 kn) at combat power at sea level
480 km/h (300 mph; 260 kn) at max. continuous power at sea level
165 km/h (103 mph; 89 kn) clean


J 22-1 / J 22A 2x 8 mm (0.315 in) ksp m/22 with 500 rpg (license-built AN/M2 machine guns) + 2x 13.2 mm (0.520 in) akan m/39A with 250 rpg

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era



  1. ^ a b c d e Billing 1979, p. 87.
  2. ^ a b c Forsgren 2023, p. 88.
  3. ^ a b Forsgren 2023, pp. 88–89.
  4. ^ Andersson 1989, pp. 182–183.
  5. ^ Forsgren 2023, p. 89.
  6. ^ Forsgren 2023, pp. 91, 93.
  7. ^ Forsgren 2023, pp. 89, 91, 93.
  8. ^ Forsgren 2023, pp. 89–90.
  9. ^ a b c Forsgren 2023, p. 90.
  10. ^ Billing 1979, p. 88.
  11. ^ Forsgren 2023, p. 94.
  12. ^ Andersson 1989, p. 186.
  13. ^ Comparison with fighters 1,000 to 1,1150 hp Archived 2010-12-22 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 22 June 2008
  14. ^ Pilot's views on J 22 Retrieved: 22 June 2008
  15. ^ Langebro, Håkan (January 2003). "F.F.V.S. J22 Fighter Aircraft  : From a technical perspective Service in the Swedish Airforce 1943-1952". Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2019.