The SAAB 91D four-seat civil and military primary trainer was the fourth basic version of the
SAAB 91 Safir that flew for the first time on 20 November 1945. The initial model, the SAAB 91A, was powered by a 145 hp Gipsy Major
X engine. The SAAB 91B, which appeared in 1951, differed primarily in having a 190 hp Lycoming
O-435-A engine. This model was ordered by the Swedish Air Force and was
largely built by "de Schelde" in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, as the SAAB
factories were fully committed at that time. Safir production returned to
Sweden in 1954 and the company announced the Model 91C which had been
modified to include a fourth seat. In 1957, the SAAB 91D with
the smaller 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A1A four-cylinder air-cooled engine followed
and joined the 91C at the production line. A total of 323 Safirs were built of which 120
under licence by de Schelde in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
The RLS, based at the airfield Eelde near Groningen in the Netherlands
operated 23 Saab 91D aircraft over the years. In 1950 the Rijksluchtvaartdienst purchased eight
SAAB 91A Safir for the RLS. The SAAB 91A in service with the Rijksluchtvaartschool
was replaced in 1959 by the SAAB 91D with the smaller but more powerful engine and more space.
SAAB 91D Safir PH-RLD was registered on 16 October 1959. Registration PH-RLD was cancelled
on 7 July 1982, after the aircraft was withdrawn from use. SAAB PH-RLD was stored for several years.
On 23 February 1999, the aircraft was restored to the register as PH-RLD. SAAB 91D
Safir PH-RLD was photographed at
the static display of the Airshow Eelde 2005.