|This page is about the Swedish fighter J21A-1. For other versions, see J21 (Family).|
The J21A-1 is a rank III Swedish fighter with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB) and 3.0 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.95 "Northern Wind" along with the rest of the Swedish air tree.
The J21 series is arguably the most iconic propeller-engined aircraft to ever come out of Sweden. Its distinctive twin-boom, rear-engined facia is easy to recognize and its performance is nothing to scoff at either. Its high speed, excellent energy retention and reasonable acceleration along with surprising agility allows a single J21 to dictate the flow of the battle. One might think that the excellent performance comes at the cost of weaponry or ammunition, but they would be sorely mistaken when assuming that is the case for the J21. The Akan m/39A's are some of the most effective non-cannon aircraft weaponry in the game, boasting superior aspects to even the famed M2 Browning - Specifically in terms of raw stopping power and muzzle velocity - and their Akan m/41A is quite powerful as well. Underestimating a J21 will result in a burning plane and a free trip back to the hangar.
All-in-All, the J21A-1 is a very effective platform when used to its strengths, able to reliably beat most things it comes across.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,300 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
Survivability and armour
- 10 mm steel - Firewall armour plate
- 10 mm steel - Firewall cover armour plate
- 10 mm steel - Pilot's back armour plate
- 60 mm bulletproof glass
The J21A-1 is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm Akan m/41A cannon, nose-mounted (140 rpg)
- 2 x 13.2 mm Akan m/39A machine guns, nose-mounted (350 rpg = 700 total)
- 2 x 13.2 mm Akan m/39A machine guns, wing-mounted (325 rpg = 650 total)
The automatkanon m/41A is essentially a slower firing Hispano 404 with more ammunition, with all the advantages and disadvantages that come with it. While one might think that the slower firing speed is a disadvantage, it is just high enough to still be effective and is very beneficial for conserving ammunition. It is important to note that when stock, the cannon is very inaccurate and overheats quickly, but becomes quite accurate after modifications.
The complimentary automatkanon m/39A heavy machine guns are, as mentioned previously, arguably the best non-cannon weapons in the game. Their high muzzle velocity, VERY high fire rate and reasonable accuracy allow them to saturate the sky with lead. The higher calibre of 13.2 mm allows for more stopping power than the typical 12.7 mm, and turns them from a nuisance to a threat. It is interesting to note that due to their HEF-T rounds, they technically fall under the category of "cannon", as normally exploding rounds typically start at 20 mm.
Usage in battles
For lack of a better term, the J21 series are very good face-punchers; they are excellent aircraft when it comes to head-to-head combat as they are able to reliably take down enemy aircraft from a distance and dodge returning fire thanks to its solid roll rate and agility. Alternatively, they can be employed as quite effective energy fighters as a result of their solid climb rate and ample energy retention, but one must take care as the common stall-fighting exposes the pilot's engine to damage. Another possible flying style is as a bomber interceptor, as your reasonable climb rate and solid performance at bomber altitudes will allow you to catch them quickly and your excellent guns will shred them quite easily. When attacking a bomber, make sure to focus on the wings and engines, or try to head-on it so you can snipe the pilot.
Your ideal altitude should be around 4,000 m ~ 6,000 m as this altitude allows you to pick your fights reliably and offers the best performance for the aircraft.
Specific Enemies Worth Noting:
- P-47D-25/28: The high-speed Thunderbolts are a menace in any game mode. They are some of the fastest things in the bracket and sport an octet of the late M2 Brownings that will set you ablaze in a few short bursts. While they are already quick at medium altitudes, they become even faster at high altitudes, easily blitzing past the poor J21. However, they turn incredibly poorly and climb just as bad. The go-to tactic versus a P-47 is to turn with it in order to get on its tail then melt it with your guns.
- M.B.157: The 157 is one of the worst enemies you can come across as it is basically a Thunderbolt that can turn and climb. Its ludicrous speed along with excellent climb rate and its above-average manoeuvrability make for an enemy that you cannot face in a 1-on-1. Your best bet is to try to head-on it if you can manage to do so. The one Achilles heel of the 157 is its low ammunition count, so try to get it to waste as much ammo as possible before it needs to disengage. At this point, you can either try to gun it down or attempt to regain altitude so you may catch it later.
- Bf 109 F series: The F series of 109's are noteworthy adversaries whose strengths change with the model. The F-1 and F-2 will turn better than you and climb quite well but you are quite a bit faster than them, but the F-4 is almost a hard counter depending on if it runs gunpods. Without gunpods, the F-4 out-speeds, outclimbs, outturns and out-accelerates the J21, outclassing it in every way. But since most F-4's run gunpods, their decreased performance helps even the odds. Boom-n-Zoom the F-1 and F-2, head on the F-4.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Auto control available
Auto control available
Auto control available
|Separate|| Not controllable
|I||Fuselage repair||Radiator||Offensive 20 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||Offensive 13 mm|
|III||Wings repair||Engine||New 20 mm cannons|
|IV||Engine injection||Cover||New 13 mm MGs|
Pros and cons
- Very stable, does not stall in level flight even with the throttle set to zero
- Engine protected from head-on attacks
- Highly effective and accurate armament layout that will tear through enemies like paper
- High speed and excellent energy retention makes it a beast at using BnZ tactics
- Can take quite a few hits and still fly reasonably well
- Solid climbing rate
- Very high energy retention
- Easy to land thanks to its tricycle landing gear
- Rear-mounted engine makes head-ons safer (can't be hit during head-on)
- Pusher aircraft, engine mounted facing rear, can be hit by tailing aircraft
- Required to set convergence due to wing-mounted machine guns
- Despite above-average agility, it will still be unable to turn with many of the fighters it comes across
- High repair cost for its battle rating
- Engine can overheat very quickly in RB
The SAAB 21 is a twin-boom pusher fighter and attacker designed by the famed Swedish engineer Frid Wänström (pronounced "Vanstrom"), who also worked on the SAAB 29 Tunnan, 32 Lansen, 35 Draken and 37 Viggen. In the anticipation and wake of World War 2, Sweden was concerned over its neutrality policy coming under threat by the other European countries, specifically hostile ones such as Nazi Germany. In order to deter belligerent forces and potential aggressors, the Swedish Air Force created a major plan to modernize their fleet, which included the import of foreign models such as the Italian CR.42 and Re.2000 as a stopgap measure.
Meanwhile, Swedish corporation SAAB began studying designs for the possible development of a new, high-performance fighter aircraft. Most of the designs were based around the Bristol Taurus two-row 14 cylinder radial engine developing around 1,000~1,100 horsepower. The most promising design was a twin-boom pusher layout and made use of many new features unfamiliar to the SAAB technicians and engineers at the time, but was able to compete with the other fighter aircraft at the time while also maintaining several advantages such as a heavy amount of nose-mounted armament and superior pilot visibility, along with ease of maintenance. The design was kept dormant until 41, as Sweden was beginning to see that it would not be able to procure improved foreign models as a result of the war, they started another rearmament program to adopt advanced indigenous fighter aircraft.
Accordingly, SAAB blew the dust off of their old twin-boom design and set to work. Earlier on, it was decided to replace the Bristol Taurus with an American Pratt-&-Whitney Twin Wasp, but this was changed when the engine manufacturer Svenska was requested to provide an alternative engine, which was difficult due to the time constraints. Thus, they decided that a licensed engine would be the best course of action. The legendary German Daimler-Benz DB 605 that powered many famous designs was chosen and modified to fit Swedish needs. Three prototypes were completed and its maiden flight was completed in 1942.
The type was delivered in 1945, and a total of 300 models were produced.
- Related development
|SAAB - Svenska AeroplanAktieBolaget, "AB" (Swedish Aeroplane Company Limited, "Ltd.")|
|Fighters||J21A-1 · J21A-2 · A21A-3|
|Jet Fighters||A21RB · J21RA · J29A · J/A29B · J29D · J29F · A32A · J32B · J35D|
|Bombers||B17A · B17B|
|Dive-bombers||B3C · B18A · B18B · T18B-1 · T18B-2|
|Saab||J21A-1 · J21A-2 · A21A-3|
|FFVS||J22-A · J22-B|
|(Finland) VL||Mörkö-Morane · Pyörremyrsky|
|Foreign Import||J8A · Iacobi's J8A · J11 · J20 · J26|