Aviation Historian 24
L.Andersson - Sweden's ghost rocket
Blondie was originally on strength with F 11 Wing at Nykoping, but was later transferred to F 1 Wing at Vasteras before moving again to F 8 Wing at Barkarby, near Stockholm. The aircraft wore minimal markings, bearing only its name on the forward fuselage beneath the cockpit and a standard Flygvapnet roundel either side of the rear fuselage. It was later given the fin code number “50”, when based at Bromma.
During 1936-58 some 56 Junkers Ju 86Ks saw service with Flygvapnet, which designated the type B 3 (B for Bombflygplan - bomber aircraft), 16 of which were licence-produced by Saab. One example, serial 150, seen here, was used by Sweden’s FOA and FRA agencies to investigate the 1946 spate of “ghost rocket” sightings.
The aircraft used for SIGINT/ELINT missions in 1946 was B 3A (Ju 86K-4) serial 150, named Blondie, powered by a pair of 820 h.p. Nohab My III (licence-built Bristol Pegasus III) radial engines. The cylindrical excrescence on the underside of the fuselage just aft of the mainwheels is the radome for its crucial AN/APS-15 navigation radar.
A poor-quality but extremely rare photograph of Blondie’s crew in 1946, with the B 3A in the background. From left to right: Stig Lindberg, pilot; Ulf Mide, observer; Sven-Uno Palmqvist (radio operator); unknown, and SIGINT/ELINT specialist Sture Risberg.