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Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow)

Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Fighter-Bomber / Heavy Fighter Aircraft

Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow)

Single-Seat, Twin-Engine 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 for World War 2.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Nazi Germany
YEAR: 1945
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Dornier Flugzeugwerke - Germany
OPERATORS: Nazi Germany

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 45.44 feet (13.85 meters)
WIDTH: 45.28 feet (13.8 meters)
HEIGHT: 14.93 feet (4.55 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 16,314 pounds (7,400 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 21,164 pounds (9,600 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Daimler-Benz DB 603E/MW50 liquid-cooled 12-cylinder inverted in-line engines developing 1,750 horsepower each driving three-bladed propeller units, one at the nose and the other at the tail.
SPEED (MAX): 477 miles-per-hour (768 kilometers-per-hour; 415 knots)
RANGE: 868 miles (1,397 kilometers; 754 nautical miles)
CEILING: 37,402 feet (11,400 meters; 7.08 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,750 feet-per-minute (533 meters-per-minute)

1 x 30mm MG 103 cannon
2 x 15mm MG 151 cannons

Total of 2,200 lb in externally-held conventional drop ordnance or air-to-surface rockets.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model 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


Detailing the development and operational history of the Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow) Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Fighter-Bomber / Heavy Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/25/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
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.

The Do 335 project was led by the Goppingen Go 9 research aircraft of 1939, the aircraft later put through trials and accepted as a Do P.231 type high-speed bomber. Though development was nearing its final stages, the entire project came to naught until later resurrected as a high-speed interceptor when the need arose for such a platform to serve the beleaguered Luftwaffe under constant attack from Allied bombers. The initial Do 335 was prototyped in no fewer than fourteen examples before late 1943 and ten preproduction Do 335A-0 aircraft followed in 1944. The D0 335A-1 marked eleven production-quality aircraft that followed but never fielded due to the end of the war in Europe during May of 1945. More specifically, the endeavor ended with the arrival of U.S. Army elements at the Oberpfaffenhofen factory of the Do 335 in April. The United States took on two surviving Do 335's at the end of the war and these were reviewed and tested at length.

While the aircraft never saw notable combat service, it featured some interesting design elements and solutions. Because of its two-engine arrangement, the exit process for the pilot was complicated by the rear-mounted engine. For ejecting from the Do 335 aircraft, the process was reworked to jettison both the tail fin and rear propeller via controlled explosives within the rear of the fuselage. This would give the pilot the needed safety to roll off of his aircraft with parachute in tow without concern for any protrusions endangering his exit from the falling fighter.

There were several additional variants planned for the Do 335 airframe that included a twin-seat Do 335A-2 trainer but only two of these designs were ever completed. Additional models proposed were a two-seat night-fighter (Do 435), a long-range reconnaissance model (Do 635) and a fighter model with turbojet propulsion in place of the piston engines (Do 535).

The Do 335 would have proven quite the adversary had it flown in the numbers required (delays in receiving the Daimler-Benz engines hurt the program considerably). The dual-engine layout offered up a top speed to best even that of the famous North American P-51 Mustang by a considerable margin. Couple this quality with the concentrated firepower of large-caliber cannons and the Do 335 had very little to stand in its way besides the age of the jet fighter itself. For the one Allied claim of encountering an airborne Do 335 during the war, the French-piloted Hawker Tempest aircraft was not even able to achieve an effective engagement range to fire its guns upon the fleeing Do 335 - such was its performance.

Indeed, the Do 335 is regarded as the fastest German propeller-driven aircraft of the entire war.


General Assessment

Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating
The MF Power Rating takes into account over sixty individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (477mph).

Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (37)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
In the Cockpit...
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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