Dornier Do 22 Reconnaissance / Bomber / Torpedo Floatplane Aircraft
Despite its production in Germany, the Dornier Do 22 never flew for the Luftwaffe.
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The Dornier Do 22 was a German-designed and produced three-man floatplane. It was produced in Germany and Switzerland for the export market despite the fact that the aircraft proved a winning design for the Germans. The Do 22 appeared in limited numbers and was fielded by a handful of nations during the war with many being lost to German actions or flown by Allied forces until spare parts forced their disuse.
The Do 22 was under development through the early and middle part of the 1930's, seeing first flight in prototype form by 1935 and eventual production in 1938. Though Dornier would become a major producer of Luftwaffe aircraft for the duration of the Second World War, the Do 22 was relegated to export orders and, as such, none of the production Do 22 systems flew for the Luftwaffe in the whole course of the war.
The crew of three consisted of a pilot, radio operator and a gunner. Self-defense armament amounted to 4 x 7.92mm MG 15 machine guns in nose, ventral and tail positions. Offensive armament could be made up of either a single 1,764lb torpedo for anti-shipping duty or 4 x 110lb bombs.
The single Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs inline piston engine delivered 860 horsepower. Performance amounted to a top speed of over 215 miles per hour (at nearly 10,000 feet) with a reported range of 1,428 miles and operational ceiling limit of nearly 30,000 feet. By all accounts, performance for the aircraft proved exceptional for this type of aircraft making the fact that the system was only produced for export that much more interesting.
All Greek-owned Dornier Do 22's were lost to the Germans in their invasion of the Balkans. Only eight of the twelve Yugoslavian Do 22's made it safely to Egypt (once there falling under RAF control). Finland remained the third customer with its purchase of four Do 22's. Designations for the export Do 22 systems were Do 22Kg (Greece), Do 22Kj (Yugoslavia) and Do 22Kl (Finland).
A single land-based prototype was tested featuring a conventional undercarriage. This model was given the designation of Do 22L.