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Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow)


Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Heavy Fighter Aircraft (1945)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Jump-to: Specifications

The twin-engined Dornier Do 335 Arrow would have made for one outstanding Luftwaffe fighter and interceptor had it been ready before the end of World War 2.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/12/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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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.

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.

Specifications



Service Year
1945

Origin
Nazi Germany national flag graphic
Nazi Germany

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
1

Production
37
UNITS


Dornier Flugzeugwerke - Germany
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Interception
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.


SYNCHRONIZED / INTERRUPTOR GEAR
Automatic weapons are synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades via special mechanical gear arrangement.
MULTI-ENGINE
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
PUSHER-PROP
Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.
RUGGED AIRFRAME
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
INTERNAL BAY
Fuselage volume includes space for internally-held weapons or special-mission equipment.
HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
HIGH-ALTITUDE PERFORMANCE
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
SUPER PERFORMANCE
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
BAILOUT PROCESS
Manual process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to exit in the event of an airborne emergency.
ENCLOSED CREWSPACE(S)
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
RETRACTABLE UNDERCARRIAGE
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.


Length
45.4 ft
(13.85 m)
Width/Span
45.3 ft
(13.80 m)
Height
14.9 ft
(4.55 m)
Empty Wgt
16,314 lb
(7,400 kg)
MTOW
21,164 lb
(9,600 kg)
Wgt Diff
+4,850 lb
(+2,200 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow) production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Monoplane
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Low-Mounted
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
Straight
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertains to the Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow) production variant)
Installed: 1 x Daimler-Benz DB 603E/MW50 liquid-cooled 12-cylinder inverted inline engine developing 1,750 horsepower driving three-bladed propeller unit in puller arrangement; 1 x Daimler-Benz DB 603E/MW50 liquid-cooled 12-cylinder inverted inline engine developing 1,750 horsepower driving three-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement.
Max Speed
477 mph
(768 kph | 415 kts)
Ceiling
37,402 ft
(11,400 m | 7 mi)
Range
868 mi
(1,397 km | 2,587 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
1,750 ft/min
(533 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow) production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
STANDARD:
1 x 30mm MG 103 automatic cannon firing through the propeller hub.
2 x 15mm MG 151 automatic cannons in upper engine cowling.

OPTIONAL:
Total of 2,200 lb conventional drop bombs or air-to-surface rockets at two underwing hardpoints (one to a wing member) and internal bomb bay.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 2
Mounting Points




X

-
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
-
HARDPOINT(S) KEY:
X

15
13
11
9
7
5
3
1
2
4
6
8
10
12
14


COLOR KEY:
Fuselage Centerline
Fuselage Port/Wingroot
Fuselage Starboard/Wingroot
Wing/Underwing
Wingtip Mount(s)
Internal Bay(s)
Not Used

Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).


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


Cockpit image of the Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow)
(Cockpit image represents the Dornier Do 335 production model)


General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
Overall Rating
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
78
Rating is out of a possible 100 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
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Dornier Do 335 A-0 Pfeil (Arrow) operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Design Balance
The 3 qualities we look at for a balanced aircraft design are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Pie graph section
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (37)
37
36183
44000
This entry's total production compared against the most-produced military and civilian aircraft types in history (Ilyushin IL-2 and Cessna 172, respectively).
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