Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow) Fighter-Bomber / Heavy Fighter Aircraft
The twin-engined Dornier Do 335 Arrow would have made for one outstanding Luftwaffe fighter and interceptor had it been ready in time.
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The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (or "Arrow") was one of the more interesting examples of a twin prop-driven heavy fighter design seen during World War 2 (1939-1945). The aircraft was developed towards the end of the conflict and promised exceptional performance from its unique inline twin-engine arrangement - which sat one engine in the nose in the usual way (as a "puller" mounting) and the second engine in a compartment at the rear of the fuselage (as a "pusher" mounting). In this fashion, the streamlined, rounded fuselage could benefit from the output power of two engines without the inherent drag seen in wartime designs like the Lockheed P-38 Lightning of the Americans and the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito of the British. The Do 335 was designed (and patented) by one Doctor Claudius Dornier as early as 1937. A low-wing monoplane planform was chosen that featured straight wing mainplane appendages. The inline twin-engine arrangement was intended to do away with thrust design flaws encountered by single engine fighters in the same class.
The aircraft was piloted by a sole person sitting under a glazed canopy which offered restricted vision due to heavy framing, the long nose assembly forward and the raised fuselage spine aft. A rather modern retractable tricycle landing gear was reinforced to accommodate the weight of the two engines and airframe. The landing gear arrangement also made the aircraft sit rather high when at rest but this was done to accommodate the clearance of the large-diameter propeller systems - primarily the rear one during take-off when the aircraft tipped rearwards. The powerplants in play were 2 x Daimler-Benz DB603 liquid-cooled 12-cylinder inverted in-line engines. The empennage was capped by a cruciform tail wing arrangement mounted forward of the rear engine propeller. Standard armament was 1 x 30mm MG 103 cannon and 2 x 15mm MG 151 cannons and an optional external load of cannon pods, bombs or drop tanks could be fitted as needed.
During its trial run the Do 335 recorded speeds upwards of 470 miles per hour with both engines running and a respectable 350 miles per hour when powered by only one. Its rate-of-climb was approximately 1,750 feet per minute.