Republic Seabees in Sweden

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SE-IIO

SE-IIO (s/n 120)
Photo: © courtesy Stefan Sjögren

 

Sweden have had, and still has, the largest number of Seabees in any country outside USA and Canada.  When studying the geography of Sweden, this should come as no surprise.   Sweden is a country with a very long coast line, thousands of islands and thousands of lakes - and a very low density of population.  The Seabee therefore quickly became one of the most popular bush airplanes in Sweden from 1947, together with Norseman and Cessna seaplanes.

In Northern Sweden the Seabees would be the perfect transportation to remote Lapp populations.  On the coast the Seabees would fly people, mail, supplies, etc. to islands.  From inland lakes and rivers, the Seabees would fly delicious fish to the town markets.  In remote areas the Seabees would be the life saving ambulance transportation for emergencies.

Photo: Gösta Rengefors

Seabees SE-AXU and SE-BXA on a foggy summer day!
Sweden
25 June 1950
Photo: © courtesy Gösta Rengefors

The success of the Republic Seabee amphibians in Sweden was closely connected the company AB Hans Osterman, then a well known distributor of American automobiles and trucks in Sweden.  During WW2 Osterman turned their attention to aviation  business.  Late fall 1945 president of company, Mr. Lennart Osterman, and two of Osterman's senior executives; Mr. Olof Sefeldt and Mr. K. H. Björngård, visited the USA to see several aircraft manufacturers, including Republic Aviation and Bell Helicopters in New York.

Executives from AB Hans Osterman check out the Seabee prototype
at Republic Aviation Corporation in New York, USA.
Osterman CEO Lennart Osterman in cockpit.
Fall 1945
Photo: © courtesy Nils-Olof Andersson

In November 1945 Republic announced that AB Hans Ostermans had been appointed Seabee distributor for all Sweden.  The first Seabee destined for Sweden, s/n 109, was officially delivered from Republic Aviation on 7 November 1946 and shipped from New York by ship in January 1947.  The Osterman Seabees were shipped in crates to Göteborg Harbor, from where they were transported by road to Torslanda Airport, where they were assembled in "Blå Hangaren" ("The Blue Hangar").  In 1948 Osterman ended their activities at Torlanda Airport and moved to Stockholm.  "BFFS Bröderna Fredriksson Flyg Service"  took over the maintenance shop in "Blå Hangaren".

SE-AXA - first Seabee to Sweden.
Photo: © Ostermans Aero AB (via Dan Akerman)

After WW2, the aviation branch of Osterman was called AB Aero Service.  In addition to Republic Seabee, the company also became the Swedish sales representative for a number of other aircraft manufacturers, including Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopters.  Actually, Ostermans became the sole European distributor for Bell helicopters, and imported some of the first Bell helicopters to Europe in 1946. In August 1946 AB Aero Service changed name to Ostermans Aero AB.

Advert by AB Aero Service
"Flyg" Magazine, 08/1946
Photo: © courtesy  http://lae.blogg.se/

Ostermans would also become one of the largest aircraft operators in Sweden, flying air taxi and ambulances with helicopters and Seabee amphibians.  

SE-AXY (s/n 830)
Photo: © Ostermans Aero AB

Most Seabees in Sweden were originally operated by small commercial 'bushplane' operators.  Some of the Seabee operators included Eskiltunaflyg, Fiskflyg, Jämtlands Aero, Lapplandsflyg and Ostermans Aero.  These operations were formed by, or fostered, legendary 'busplane' pilots like Gunnar 'Spökis' Andersson, Sten Grahn, Arne Gundersen, Gösta Göras, Knut Hedström, Bertil Johansson, Martin Lundkvist, Sten Lundkvist, Sören Lundkvist, Björn Thunborg and many more.

SE-AXT (Photo via Heikki Sten)

SE-AXT (s/n 724)
Photo: © via Heikki Sten

SE-AXR (Photo: BFFS via Peter Fredriksson/Nils-Olof Andersson)

SE-AXR
Olle Fredrisksson, famous female pilot Vera Strodl and "Aros-flyg" CEO(?)
Torslanda (ESGB), Göteborg/Gothenburg, Sweden
1947
Photo: © BFFS via Peter Fredriksson/Nils-Olof Andersson ( www.esgb.se )

It is believed that there currently are 3 Seabees under rebuild and restoration in Sweden; SE-AXG, SE-AXM and SE-KRR.  All these Seabee will be rebuilt under Swedish 'Experimental' category.  In June 2004 beautiful Seabee SE-IIO (top) was back in the air after a long-time restoration by owners Mr. Björn Ek and Mr. Åke Jansson!

In July 2004, Mr. David Pajus reported that his Seabee SE-AXR (s/n 270 ex LN-IKK) was almost finished after a restoration and repaint!  Mr. Pajus purchased s/n 270 from Norway in July 2003.  LN-IKK was cancelled from Norwegian Register on 17 September 2004 and was officially registered SE-AXR on 11 November 2004.  On 6 December 2004 Mr. Pajus made the first test flight of SE-AXR after the restoration.  The Seabee is based at Malmslätt AFB outside Linköping, where Mr. Pajus lives.

SE-AXR (s/n 270)
Photo: © Stefan Sjögren

Summer 2004 an 'Experimental' building permit has also been issued to Mr. Sten Karlsson by EAA Chapter 222 for the restoration and rebuild of Seabee s/n 592.  S/n 592 was stored at Fiskflyg AB, Porjus, for several years, after being purchased from Germany for spares in the 1970s.  The Seabee was operated as D-ELPO in Germany from 1961 to 1971, when she was damaged in a water landing accident.  When the restoration is finished, s/n 592 will be registered SE-AXF.  Mr. Sten Karlsson is also the owner of beautiful SE-AXY.

SE-AXF (s/n 592) ex D-ELPO
Porjus 
20 July 1999
Photo: © Steinar Saevdal

Thank you very much for your kind help; Dan Akerman, Ostermans Aero AB, Nils-Olof Andersson, Vidar Blom, Paul R. Compton, Björn Ek, Ulf Engström, Minette Eriksson (Fiskflyg AB), Kay Hagby, Benny G. Karlsson, Sten Karlsson, Fredric Lagerquist, Peter Liander, Hans-Olov Lundkvist, Lars E. Lundin, David Pajus, Gösta Rengefors, Lars Sundin, Len-Eric Åslund, Heikki Sten, Andreas Viklund, Curt Wallin!

Special thanks to Swedish Seabee experts Lars E. Lundin, Benny G. Karlsson and Paul R. Compton, who kindly have shared their most detailed information on Swedish Seabees!!!  Thank you so much, Lars, Benny and Paul!

SE-BXB (Photo: Rolf Liland)

SE-BXB
Operated by "Air Tour Lapland"
Jäckvik, Sweden
17 June 2007
Photo: © Rolf Liland

SE-AXE

SE-AXE
Ture Wage and Thorsten Gustafsson
Photo: © Ture Wage courtesy of Nils-Olof Andersson
S Photo: Reg: S/N: Reg. Years: Remarks:
C SE-AXA SE-AXA 109 1947 - 1967 Crashed 1965-06-18.
F SE-AXB SE-AXB 268 1947 - Flying.
C SE-AXC 269 1947 - 1962 Crashed 1956-06-26.
D SE-AXD 411 1947 Damaged at delivery 1947-05.
C SE-AXE SE-AXE 412 1947 - 1949 Crashed 1949-02-27, South Rhodesia, Africa.
R SE-AXF SE-AXF 592 2004 - Ex D-ELPO.  Under restoration.
Displayed at Västerås Flygmuesum.
R SE-AXG 399 1947 - Under restoration.
C SE-AXH SE-AXH 368 1947 - 1948 Crashed 1948-04-06.
C SE-AXI SE-AXI 400 1947 - 1964 Crashed 1963-08-03.
C SE-AXK SE-AXK 401 1947 - 1951 Crashed 1949-09-01.
C SE-AXL 402 1947 - 1949 Crashed 1947-10-09.
R SE-AXM SE-AXM 467 1947 - Under restoration.
C SE-AXN 469 1947 - 1951 Crashed 1951-05-21.
C SE-AXO 470 1947 - 1967 Crashed 1963-07-14.
D SE-AXP SE-AXP 491 1947 - 1976 C of A expired 1966.
Stored?
F SE-AXR SE-AXR 270 1947 - 1955
1962 - 1966
2004 -
To LN-IKK.
Ex LN-IKK. Flying.
C SE-AXT SE-AXT 724 1947 - 1960 Crashed 1959-07-30.
C SE-AXU SE-AXU 726 1950 - 1959 Crashed 1958-07-08.
C SE-AXW SE-AXW 823 1947 - 1953 Crashed 1952-06-15.
F SE-AXX SE-AXX 829 1947 - 1953
1980 -
To LN-TVV.
Ex LN-TVV. Flying.
F SE-AXY SE-AXY 830 1948 - Flying.
E SE-BXA SE-BXA 202 1950 - 1957 Ex LN-MAF. To LN-BDT.
F SE-BXB SE-BXB 953 1950 -  Ex LN-MAL. Flying.
C SE-BXB SE-BXC 203 1952 - 1960
1967 - 2006
Ex CS-AHA.
Crashed 1989-09-22.
Destroyed by fire.
E SE-BXD 723 1951 - 1952 Ex CS-AHB. To JA3010. Crashed.
U SE-CBW SE-CBW 742 1956 - 1966 Ex XB-DEL, LN-OAW.  C of A expired 1963.
C SE-CHF SE-CHF 646 1959 - Ex LN-PAF. Crashed 1961-06-23.
C SE-CMM 865 1962 - 1965 Ex LN-PAK. Crashed 1964-08-15.
X SE-COC 687 1960 - 1972 Ex N6437K, LN-TSM. C of A expired 1969.
F SE-ERT SE-ERT 846 1979 - Ex N6573K.
F SE-IIO SE-IIO 120 1981 - Ex N87558, N14R.  Crashed. Under restoration.
R SE-KRR 653 1990 - Ex N6409K, N1CD.  Damaged by fire. Under restoration.
R N6055K N6055K 230 1999 - Imported to Sweden in July 1991.  Engine with mufflers.
  Crashed (C) / Scrapped/Destroyed (D)
  Confirmed flying (F)
  Unknown (U)/ Restoration (R) / Exported (E) / Cancelled (X)

C of R # Date C of A # Date Reg # C/N Delivery RAC Remarks
603 1947-07-16 694 1947-07-16 SE-AXC 269 1947-02-04 SS "Cabe Cumberland"
608 1947-06-03 702 1947-06-03 SE-AXA 109 1946-11-07 SS "Stegeholm"
609 1947-06-02 703 1947-06-02 SE-AXB 268 1947-02-04 SS "Cabe Cumberland"
611 1947-06-06 705 1947-06-06 SE-AXE 412 1947-02-28 SS "Mormacpenn"
617 1947-07-16 711 1947-07-16 SE-AXL 402 1947-02-26 SS "Mormacpenn"
618 1947-07-30 712 1947-07-30 SE-AXN 469 1947-03-12 SS "Hunter Victory"
619 1947-07-16 713 1947-07-16 SE-AXO 470 1947-03-12 SS "???"
620 1947-07-30 714 1947-07-30 SE-AXK 401 1947-02-26 SS "Mormacpenn"
621 1947-07-05 715 1947-07-05 SE-AXP 491 1947-03-19 SS "Hunter Victory"
622 1947-07-16 716 1947-07-16 SE-AXH 368 1947-03-19 SS "???"
623 1947-07-16 717 1947-07-16 SE-AXM 467 1947-03-12 SS "Hunter Victory"
624 1947-07-16 718 1947-07-16 SE-AXR 270 1947-02-14 SS "Mormacpenn"?
625 1947-07-16 719 1947-07-16 SE-AXG 399 1947-03-21 SS "???"
634 1947-07-29 728 1947-07-16 SE-AXT 724 1947-05-28 SS "???"
662 1947-09-03 756 1947-09-03 SE-AXW 823 1947-05-26 SS "???"
672 1947-09-17 771 1947-09-17 SE-AXX 829 1947-05-28 SS "???"
749 1948-07-26 857 1948-08-12 SE-AXY 830 1947-05-28 SS "???"
816 1950-06-29 925 1950-06-29 SE-BXA 202 1947-01-13 Ex LN-MAF
817 1950-06-29 926 1950-06-29 SE-AXU 726 1947-04-30 SS "Mathilda Thoren"
818 1950-08-15 927 1950-08-15 SE-BXB 953 1947-06-03 Ex LN-MAL
859 1951-06-22 969 1951-06-22 SE-BXD 723 1947-04-29 Ex CS-AHB
887 1952-05-20 997 1952-05-20 SE-BXC 203 1947-01-13 Ex CS-AHA
888 1952-05-21     SE-AXA 109 1946-11-07 SS "Stegeholm"
976 1953-08-14 1086 1953-08-14 SE-AXI 400 1947-03-04 SS "Hunter Victory"
1105 1956-08-02 1217 1956-08-17 SE-CBW 742 1947-05-23 Ex LN-OAW
1308 1959-07-31 1428 1959-07-31 SE-CHF 646 1947-04-22 Ex LN-PAF
1499 1961-07-08 1610 1961-07-08 SE-COC 687 1947-04-29 Ex NC6437K, LN-TSM
1911 1964-08-14 2021 1964-08-14 SE-CMM 865 1947-05-23 Ex LN-PAK
2267 1967-06-05 2377 1967-06-05 SE-BXC 203 1947-01-13 Ex CS-AHA
3894 1979-05-17 n/a n/a SE-ERT 846 1947-05-20 Ex N6573K
3996 1980-03-10 n/a n/a SE-AXX 829 1947-05-28 Ex LN-TVV
4197 1981-07-02 n/a n/a SE-IIO 120 1946-10-31 Ex NC87558, N14R
5837 1990-09-04 n/a n/a SE-KRR 653 1947-04-11 Ex N6409K, N1CD
7860 2004-11-11 n/a n/a SE-AXR 270 1947-02-14 Ex SE-AXR, LN-IKK

Current Seabees

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Updated 2015-05-20

© 2004-2015 Steinar Saevdal