The Saab 91 Safir (English:"Sapphire") is a three (91A, B, B-2) or four (91C, D) seater, single engine trainer aircraft. The Safir was built by Saab in Linköping, Sweden, (203 aircraft) and by De Schelde in Dordrecht, Netherlands (120 aircraft).
The Safir's first flight on 20 November 1945. The all-metal Safir was designed by Anders J. Andersson, who had previously worked for Bücker, where he designed the all-wood Bücker Bü 181 "Bestmann". The Safir thus shared many conceptual features of its design with the Bestmann.
The Bücker Bü 181 Bestmann (Best Man) was a two seater, single engine trainer aircraft built by Bücker Flugzeugbau GmbH in Johannisthal, Berlin and extensively used by the Luftwaffe in World War II.
The Saab 91A is powered by a 125 hp four cylinder de Havilland Gipsy Major 2c piston engine, or a 145 hp Gipsy Major 10 piston engine. The 91B, B-2 and C have a six cylinder Lycoming O-435A engine with 190 hp. The 91D has a four cylinder Lycoming O-360-A1A engine with 180 hp.
The "Safir" was later used as a platform to test at low speeds the new swept wing for the Saab 29 Tunnan jet fighter.
323 units were built in 5 versions (A, B, B-2, C and D). The Safir was used by the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Austrian, Tunisian and Ethiopean air forces as a trainer aircraft, and a single aircraft was used by the Japan Defense Agency as an STOL test platform.
Major civilian users were Air France, Lufthansa and the Dutch Rijksluchtvaartschool (RLS) in Eelde, near Groningen.
Photo Source: Towpilot