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Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow) Fighter-Bomber / Heavy Fighter (1945)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/17/2015

The twin-engined Dornier Do 335 Arrow would have made for one outstanding Luftwaffe fighter and interceptor had it been ready in time.

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.


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Specifications for the
Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow)
Fighter-Bomber / Heavy Fighter


Focus Model: Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow)
Country of Origin: Nazi Germany
Manufacturer: Dornier Flugzeugwerke - Germany
Initial Year of Service: 1945
Production: 37


Crew: 1


Length: 45.44 ft (13.85 m)
Width: 45.28 ft (13.80 m)
Height: 14.93ft (4.55 m)
Weight (Empty): 16,314 lb (7,400 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 21,164 lb (9,600 kg)


Powerplant: 2 x Daimler-Benz DB 603E/MW50 liquid-cooled 12-cylinder inverted in-line engines developing 1,750 horsepower each.


Maximum Speed: 477 mph (768 kmh; 415 kts)
Maximum Range: 868 miles (1,397 km)
Service Ceiling: 37,402 ft (11,400 m; 7.1 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,750 feet-per-minute (533 m/min)


Hardpoints: 2
Armament Suite:
STANDARD:
1 x 30mm MG 103 cannon
2 x 15mm MG 151 cannons

OPTIONAL:
Total of 2,200 lb in externally-held conventional drop ordnance or air-to-surface rockets.


Variants:
Goppingen Go 9 - Research Model


Do P.59 - High-Speed Bomber Model

Do P.231 - Updated High-Speed Bomber Model

Do 335A-0 - Preproduction fighter / bombers of which ten were produced.

Do 335A-1 - First production model of which eleven were completed.

Do 335A-2 - Proposed fighter-bomber with upgraded weapons suite, uprated engines and wider wing span.

Do 335A-3 - Proposed reconnaissance version based on A-1.

Do 335A-4 - Proposed reconnaissance version with more compact camera fit; based on A-3.

Do 335A-5 - Proposed single-seat night-fighter; larger wings and uprated engines.

Do 335A-6 - Proposed two-seat night-fighter

Do 335A-7 - Proposed model based on A-6 with wider span wings.

Do 335A-8 - Proposed model based on A-4 with wider span wings.

Do 335A-9 - Proposed model based on A-4 with wider span wings; pressurized cockpit for high-altitude work; uprated engines.

Do 335B-1 - Proposed bomber destroyer / heavy fighter

Do 335B-2 - Proposed bomber destroyer; additional Mk 103 cannons in wings; additional fuel stores for increased operational ranges.

Do 335B-3 - Proposed model based on B-1 with wider span wings.

Do 335B-4 - Proposed model based on B-1 with wider span wings and uprated engines.

Do 335B-12 - Two-seat trainer; Only two examples completed by war's end.

Do 435 - Proposed two-seat night-fighter with wider span wings; not produced.

Do 535 - Proposed version powered by rear-mounted turbojet engine; passed on to Heinkel though not furthered.

Do 635 - Proposed long-range reconnaissance model; mocked up by never constructed.

Do P.256 - Proposed Turbojet-powered night-fighter


Operators:
Nazi Germany