- The German Army  1657-1945

Dornier Do 335 Pfeil

Dornier Do 335
Author: Prussian Military Editors
Editor: Prussian Militar Editors
First Published:  March 2012
The origins of the Do 335 trace back to World War I when Claudius Dornier  designed a number of flying boats featuring remotely-driven propellers and later, due to problems with the drive shafts, tandem engines. Tandem engines were used on most of the multi-engine Dornier flying boats that followed, including the highly successful Do J Wal and the gigantic Do X. The remote propeller drive, intended to eliminate parasitic drag from the engine entirely, was tried in the innovative but unsuccessful Do 14, and elongated drive shafts as later used in the Do 335 saw use in the rear engines of the four-engined, twinned tandem-layout Do 26 flying boat.
There are many advantages to this design over the more traditional system of placing one engine on each wing, the most important being power from two engines with the frontal area (and thus drag) of a single-engine design, allowing for higher performance. It also keeps the weight of the twin powerplants near, or on, the aircraft centerline, increasing the roll rate compared to a traditional twin. In addition, a single engine failure does not lead to asymmetric thrust, and in normal flight there is no net torque so the plane is easy to handle. The choice of a full "four-surface" set of cruciform tail surfaces in the Do 335's rear fuselage design, included a ventral vertical fin–rudder assembly to project downwards from the extreme rear of the fuselage, in order to protect the rear propeller from an accidental ground strike on takeoff.

Interwar Era
After the end of the war in November 1918, Zeppelin-Lindau, headed by Dornier, continued to work on aeroplane design, taking over the old Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen GmbH factory at Manzell. A small batch of 19 Dornier C Us were produced here for the Swiss Air Force. Meanwhile Dornier turned his attention to commercial aviation, although this was technically in violation of the terms of the Armistice. His first design was the Gs I six-passenger flying boat powered by two 270 hp Maybach engines again arranged in tandem. A feature of the aircraft, which was to become a characteristic of most Dornier flying boats, was the provision of stubby auxiliary wings or Stummel in place of the more conventional outrigger floats. Despite its success, the Gs I had to be sunk off Kiel on 25 April 1920, rather than let it fall into the hands of the Allied Control Commission.
To avoid the repetition of such a mishap, the company's next aircraft, the single-engine Cs 2 Delphin (Dolphin) was assembled across the Bodensee (Lake Constance) at Rohrschach in neutral Switzerland. This five-passenger flying boat was flown for the first time on 24 November 1920, and was followed, in 1921 by a landplane version, the C 3 Komet (Comet) and a two-seat flying boat, the Do A Libelle (Dragonfly) I. Both of the latter were carefully tailored to fit within the  Control Commission's strict weight and performance limits.
In 1922, the Dornier design office, which had moved to Seemoos between Manzell and Friedrichshafen in 1916, was briefly closed by the Control Commission. Later in the same year the company's name was changed to the Dornier Metallbauten GmbH and its offices moved to Friedrichshafen. The next four years were important years for the Dornier company. commercially, domestically and militarily. Although military development was forbidden by the Control Commission until 1926, this did not prevent Dornier from establishing a subsidiary at Marina ci Pisa in Italy as the Sotieta di Construzioni Meccaniche Aeronautiche (CMASA). This was intended specifically to build a development of the prohibited Gs II flying boat. Later known as the Dornier J Wal (whale), the CMASA-built prototype flew on 6 November 1922, and proved such a success that the majority of the shares in the Italian subsidiary •were transferred to an Italian syndicate to finance immediate tooling for its series production. No fewer than 20 world records were set by the Wai. It also extended Dornier's influence on to a global stage, remaining in production in Italy until 1932. The Wal was also manufactured under "licence in Japan, the Netherlands and Spain. Two CMASA-built Wals were used by the famous explorer Roald Amundsen in an attempt to fly to the North Pole in 1925. Both reached 87° 43' North, but one had to be abandoned, the remaining   aircraft returning safely.

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