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Dornier Do 417

Twin-Engine Medium Fast Bomber

Nazi Germany | 1943

"Much worked against the Dornier Do 417 medium bomber proposal of 1942 - so much so that the Junkers Ju 188 eventually took its place."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Dornier Do 417 Twin-Engine Medium Fast Bomber.
2 x BMW 801G air-cooled piston engines developing 1,770 horsepower each driving three-bladed propeller units.
373 mph
600 kph | 324 kts
Max Speed
31,168 ft
9,500 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,118 miles
1,800 km | 972 nm
Operational Range
1,000 ft/min
305 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Dornier Do 417 Twin-Engine Medium Fast Bomber.
48.4 ft
14.75 m
O/A Length
68.9 ft
(21.00 m)
O/A Width
15.3 ft
(4.65 m)
O/A Height
30,865 lb
(14,000 kg)
Empty Weight
47,917 lb
(21,735 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Dornier Do 417 Twin-Engine Medium Fast Bomber provided across 4 hardpoints.
2 x 13mm heavy machine guns at dorsal turret.
2 x 13mm heavy machine guns at ventral turret (possibly remote-controlled).
2 x 13mm heavy machine guns at flexible tail position.

Internal bomb bay for conventional drop bombs, aerial torpedoes or similar. External hardpoints planned for air-launched air-to-ground missiles.


Hardpoints Key:

Not Used
Notable series variants as part of the Dornier Do 417 family line.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/28/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Envisioned as the Luftwaffe's next standard twin-engine medium bomber during the World War 2 period (1939-1945), the Dornier Do 417 of 1942 did not evolve beyond the paper stage. The service, instead, chose to go the route of the Junkers Ju 188 (which originated as the "Ju 88E") which left the Dornier attempt as nothing more than a footnote in wartime aviation history. Other competing designs by Blohm & Voss (promoting their "Bv P.163") and Heinkel (the "He P.1065") also ended up by the wayside during this same competition.

The Do 417 was to be powered by a pair of BMW 801G series air-cooled piston engines developing 1,770 horsepower each, these used to drive three-bladed propeller units in a conventional arrangement. The whole of the aircraft was rather traditional by mid-war standards with a rounded-edge, slab-sided fuselage, straight mainplane wings, and conventional single-finned rudder tail unit. The mainplanes were shoulder-mounted along the fuselage sides, positioned ahead of midships, and each held an engine nacelle which protruded from the leading edges, terminating just aft of the trailing edges. The wings were capped by rounded tips, a design quality carried across to each of the three tailplanes appendages. A "tail-dragger" undercarriage was to be featured for ground running with all three legs retracting into the aircraft - the main legs at each engine nacelle and the tailwheel under the empennage.

The cockpit was integrated to the fuselage (as in the later production forms of the Heinkel He 111) as opposed to stepped (as in the Focke-Wulf Fw 200). This allowed for exceptional vision out-of-the-cockpit due to the extensive windowed greenhouse framing proposed. Armament positions were planned at the dorsal fuselage line, the ventral fuselage line, and the tail - all emplacements being enclosed. The dorsal and ventral stations were to be fully-fledged turrets (the ventral position possible being remote-controlled) with 360-degree traversal while the tail emplacement would have a pair of flexible gun mountings to thwart attacks originating from the vulnerable rear of the aircraft. In all, the proposed bomber would have been defended by two guns at the dorsal positions, two guns ventrally, and two guns at the tail - for a total of six automatic-firing weapons in any one direction, giving near-complete coverage.

Though technically conceived of for the medium-bomber role, the airframe was to be able to fulfill a variety of over-battlefield roles including fast-reconnaissance at both medium and long ranges, torpedo bombing, and possible as a missile carrier - in essence a multirole design.

Solutions such as torpedoes would have been held in an internal bomb bay with missiles carried externally. For the reconnaissance role, the bomb bay would have been converted to carry a bevy of camera equipment.

While no fixed performance stats of the bomber were recorded (due to it never being built and flown), it was estimated with a top speed of 373 miles-per-hour by its creators.

German authorities thought enough of the promising Do 417 that it selected the Dornier design ahead of the others before the end of 1942. The intent was to construct and test a prototype (the Do 417 V1) at-speed and have the specimen flying as early as August of 1943. The first prototype was to carry BMW 801G engines with the second (V2) to be powered through the proven Daimler-Benz DB 603A type. Barring any catastrophic delays, the aircraft would then enter serial production as soon as April 1944 in an effort to ensure a German victory.

However, all of this came to naught when it was reasoned that an evolved form of an existing design made more sense against the backdrop of a stressful war situation for Germany. The financial and production commitment required to bring about an all-new bomber design held little hope within the confines of Total War. As such, the Junkers Ju 88E took its place and subsequent work on this aircraft begat the Ju 188 (detailed elsewhere on this site).

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Dornier Do 417. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Dornier - Nazi Germany
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany

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Going Further...
The Dornier Do 417 Twin-Engine Medium Fast Bomber appears in the following collections:
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