Friday, May 18, 2012

Flashback Friday: Dornier Do 335

     This is the first of hopefully many Flashback Fridays, and this week the subject is the Dornier Do 335 "Arrow". The Do 335 was a propeller-driven fighter developed in the closing weeks of WWII. What makes the Do 335 standout from so many WWII fighters is it's push-pull engine configuration, and the lower drag of the in-line engine alignment.
      The Arrow had an armament of 1 30mm cannon and 2 20mm cannons, and could carry 1000kg of bombs. The Arrow had a range of roughly 1400km, and a max speed of 770kmh.  The Arrow was powered by 2 Diamler-Benz liquid-cooled, 12 cylinder in-line engines generating 1,750 horsepower apiece.
      The Arrow was unable to be deployed in large numbers due to delays in engine deliveries, and the fact that the U.S. overran the factory were it was being produced. However, eleven Arrows were delivered to the Luftwaffe, with at least one seeing combat. French ace Pierre Clostermann encountered a single Arrow on a fighter sweep while flying a Hawker Tempest in April of 1945. When he and his flight of 4 other Tempests pursued the Arrow it was able it outrun them, and escape. Besides this one encounter, there are no there confirmed instances of the Do 335 seeing combat.
     The Do 335 had a great deal of potential with it's ability to outrun most allied fighters, and had it been mass produced a year earlier it could have changed the course of the war. However, due to delays and the lack of resources it was unable to see a great of combat. As of 2012 one Do 335 survives, it resides at the National Air & Space Musuem. With so many promising projects being developed in Germany at the end of WWII, one wonders how long the war would have dragged on if Hitler had started WWII in 1946 like he had planned.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment