Entirely developed and produced by the Swedish aeronautical industry, the J.22 fighter was the result of an emergency program launched in order to overcome the embargo placed on the export of aeronautical products by the United States in October 1940. At the time, Sweden had ordered a total of 292 combat planes (consisting of fighters and fighter-bombers) from the North American aeronautical industry. The fact that these were not delivered literally caused a crisis in the country's air force (Svenska Flygvapnet), which was urgently in need of reinforcements. Founded in 1926, the aircraft which it had in service were mainly British and Italian in origin.

An emergency programme was established to design and build a single-seat fighter relying upon domestic industry and talent. The project (designation P.22) for the J.22 was entrusted to a group of technicians led by Bo Lundberg and a special centre, the FFVS (Flygförvaltningens Verkstad, or Aeronautical Studies Workshop), was created to supervise and run the industrial program. The production programme involved over 500 sub-contractors, hardly any with experience of aircraft construction. Lundberg had as a primary objective simplicity of manufacture and in this he succeeded. Studies for the new aircraft began on 1 January 1941, and the first of two J22 prototypes, built by Flygtekniska Försöksanstalten (FFA) near Bromma, flew for the first time on 21 September 1942, from Bromma airport, where the final assembly plant had been set up in a hanger. Both prototypes crashed, one probably due to oxygen starvation of the pilot, the other due to engine failure during landing.

The J.22 was a slender single-seater monoplane, whose lines recalled those of the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190, built following the simplest construction techniques possible. In fact, its airframe was a mixture of wood and metal, while the fuselage consisted of steel tubes covered in plywood. The forward landing gear receded into the fuselage, and the tail wheel was also retractable. It was powered by an SFA STWC3-G radial engine, which was simply a 1,065 hp (794 kW) Pratt & Whitney SC3-G Twin Wasp produced on license by the Swedish aeronautical industry.

The cycle of tests and evaluations did not bring to light any serious faults, and the program went ahead on the basis of an initial order for 60 production series aircraft issued prior to the prototype's maiden flight. The first production series aircraft was tested in September 1943, and the units began to receive the new fighter in October. Deliveries went ahead gradually and the J.22 could be considered fully operative in 1944. By the end of the year, 75 had been built and they gradually replaced the various Fiat CR.42s, Reggiane Re. 2000s, and Gloster Gladiators still in service. In all, up till April 1946, 198 J.22s were completed in two versions. These differed from each other solely in their armament. The J.22A was provided with two 7.9 mm (0.31 in) and two 13.2 mm (0.52 in) machine guns, while the J.22B had four 13.2 mm (0.52 in) weapons.

This fighter, which remained in service until the 1950s, was used mainly by the units of the Swedish air force based (F3 and F9 wings of the Swedish air arm), based at Malmslätt and Gotenburg. In service, the J.22 proved to have a good overall performance and, above all, to be extremely manoeuvrable. Its only weak point was its lack of visibility while taxiing on the ground. Experience gained in building the J.22 proved invaluable in establishing Sweden's postwar aviation industry.

Specifications (FFVS J.22B)

Type: Single Seat Fighter

Design: FFVS Design Team led by Bo Lundberg

Manufacturer: Flygförvaltningens Verkstad (Aeronautical Studies Workshop) in Stockholm

Powerplant: One 1,065 hp (794 kW) SFA STWC3-G 14-cylinder radial engine.

Performance: Maximum speed 357 mph (575 km/h) at 11,485 ft (3500 m); service ceiling 30,510 ft (9300 m).

Range: 789 miles (1270 km) on internal fuel.

Weight: Empty equipped 4,453 lbs (2020 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 6,250 lbs (2835 kg).

Dimensions: Span 32 ft 9 3/4 in (10.00 m); length 25 ft 7 in (7.80 m); height 8 ft 6 1/4 in (2.60 m); wing area 172.23 sq ft (16.00 sq m).

Armament: (J.22A) Two 7.9 mm (0.31 in) machine guns and two 13.2 mm (0.52 in) machine guns. (J.22B) Four 13.2 mm (0.52 in) machine guns.

Variants: J.22A, J.22B (See Armament), S.22 (nine J.22A aircraft converted to reconnaissance). In 1945 J.22A was redesignated J.22-1, J.22B into J.22-2 and S.22 became S.22-3. In 1947 the nine S.22-3 aircraft were converted back into fighters.

Avionics: None.

History: First flight (prototype) 21 September 1942; first deliveries October 1943; last delivery April 1946; retired from service 1952.

Operators: Sweden (Flygvapnet).