This day has switched between hope and despair, but ended in euphoria. The pictures have been edited in a quick fashion, so please bear with me for some imperfections like tilting horizons and such. Rather than just posting 3-4 images I decided to try to visualize the entire event...
Everything seemed like smooth sailing for a first flight after lunch. The Swedish Transport Agency (STA) was to perform the last checks before signing the appropriate papers declaring this rather powerful civial airplane airworthy.
That was before the main office of STA (some 350kms away from F7 Såtenäs) was evacuated due to a bomb scare. Things looked so bleak so I started packing my car for the 250km trip home, using a lot of cursing words about this being a rather expensive daytrip (6 hours behind the wheel). Driving out of the base I look over my shoulder and can see the AJS 37 being towed out of the hangar, hit the brakes and perform a u-turn in front of a rather surprised guard. Back to my holding are and tring to find some information: "Yes there is still hope, but we´re pushing it timewise....either it will happen now or we´ll have to wait until friday"
I head out to the tarmac were there is a growing crowd of people. The Viggen is there, and also its intended chase plane/photo ship: a J 32 Lansen.
Note the registration under the base of the fin:
Everyone was waiting for the final go ahead, but time was running out. 16:00 had come and gone and some were just about to leave when a phone rang and there was a cheer....let´s go!
That might have been premature though because there was once Stellan (the pilot) had entered the cockpit, more anxious waiting ensued, do we need another signature,somewhere?...until....another phone call:
Gentlemen, start your engines!
Viggen heading out to runway 19:
Starting take off roll, at about 16:35
How about that! Aviation photography is often about getting close, using every millimetre of the zoom lens...but sometimes, an iconic profile against a blue afternoon sky is enough....more than enough
Part 2 coming soon!