Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024) Special Forces
Aviation / Aerospace

DFS 230

Towed Transport Glider Aircraft [ 1938 ]

The DFS 230 was the principle assault glider of the German Luftwaffe during all of World War II - over 1,500 being built for action.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/26/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The DFS 230 was a multi-role troop transport / assault / resupply glider developed by Germany during the interwar period between the two world wars. It was the principle glider utilized by German forces from 1939 onward and took part in major operations with airborne and ground forces into 1945. Over 1,600 examples of this simple, yet effective, design was ultimately realized for the Luftwaffe with design attributed to one Hans Jacobs.

Formally known as the "Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fur Segelflug" - or "DFS" - this German institute was arranged for the further development of unpowered glider and sailplane related flight and began its work through the DFS Model 6 of 1936 which coincided with the active German rearmament period preceding World War II (1939-1945).

The general arrangement of this unpowered aircraft was conventional as the operating crew were seated at the nose. Mainplanes were positioned ahead of midships and mounted high along the sides of the fuselage, braced through struts joined to the lower portion of the aircraft. The fuselage was lined with a horizontal set of rectangular windows for the passengers within. The empennage tapered towards the rear to which a simple rudder fin was affixed. Horizontal planes sat along the front line of the rudder near its base. While wheels were used to support the forward section of the aircraft when on the ground prior to flight, a tail skid was added under the tail. A single side door at the fuselage allowed for entry / exit of the vehicle.

As the aircraft was inherently unpowered, it was towed into the air by a "mothership" via tow lines (at which point it lost its main landing gear wheels) and released over the intended drop zone. The glider pilot then managed the aircraft from there, gliding it down to the landing area and landing on the integrated skid assembly under the belly of the aircraft. A parachute braking system retarded the speed and fall of the aircraft when on the descend. The versatility of the system was such that it could be towed by nearly any German "twin" of the period as well as some of the more famous single engine mounts including the Bf 109 fighter and the Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bomber.

Variants in the DFS 230 line included the initial nine-man DFS 230 "A-1" followed by the dual-control "A-2". The "B-1" added a braking chute and provision to be outfitted with an MG34 machine gun for self-defense. From this came the "B-2" with a dual-control scheme and the "C-1" followed as a late-production model based in the B-1 but with nose-braking rockets added. The "D-1" was based in the C-1, also with nose braking rocket, but only a single prototype - V6 - was built. The "F-1" was another one-off prototype (V7) and made to a larger dimension to ferry up fifteen combat-ready personnel into battle.

The DFS 203 was a "Zwilling" (twin) attempt and joining two DFS 230 glider fuselages along a center section plane to haul more men and equipment into battle. However, this never made it beyond the wind tunnel testing stage. The Fa 225 by Focke-Achelis attempted to modify the DFS 230 glider into a gyro-copter type design complete with three-bladed main rotor assembly over the fuselage. However, the modified prototype did not materialize beyond some active testing.

Production of DFS 230 gliders ended in 1943.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fur Segelflug (DFS) - Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Operators National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany
Service Year
Nazi Germany
National Origin
Project Status

36.9 ft
(11.24 meters)
72.1 ft
(21.98 meters)
9.0 ft
(2.74 meters)
1,896 lb
(860 kilograms)
Empty Weight
4,630 lb
(2,100 kilograms)
Maximum Take-Off Weight
+2,734 lb
(+1,240 kg)
Weight Difference
monoplane / shoulder-mounted / straight
Mainplane Arrangement
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper section of the fuselage, generally at the imaginary line intersecting the pilot's shoulders.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.

None. This is a towed glider aircraft aided into the air by a mothership / lead ship.
130 mph
(210 kph | 113 knots)
Max Speed
78 mph
(125 kph | 67 knots)
Cruise Speed
+53 mph
(+85 kph | 46 knots)
Speed Difference

MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

1 x 7.92mm MG 15 machine gun in cockpit rear.
2 x 7.92mm MG 34 machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mounts along forward fuselage sides.


DFS 230 - Base Series Designation
DFS 230 A-1 - Initial production model; seating for nine infantry.
DFS 230 A-2 - A-1 with dual-control scheme.
DFS 230 B-1 - Provision for MG34 machine gun(s); braking chute to retard speed / fall.
DFS 230 B-2 - B-1 production models with dual-control scheme.
DFS 230 C-1 - B-1 model with nose braking rockets added.
DFS 230 D-1 - One-off prototype (V6) of C-1 airframe with improved nose braking rocket system.
DFS 230 F-1 - Dimensionally larger variant with seating for fifteen infantry; single prototype (V7) completed, not serially produced.
DFS 203 Zilling - Twin DFS 230 fuselages joined by center-section plane; wind tunnel tested only.
Fa 225 - Modified DFS 230 glider to gyro-copter form by Focke-Achgelis; actively tested but not adopted.

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 Special Forces
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
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


1 / 1
Image of the DFS 230
Image courtesy of the German Federal Archives.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)