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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Dornier Do 217 heavy bomber

Photos

  • Dornier Do 217 bomber
  • Dornier Do 217E bomber
  • Dornier Do 217E bomber
  • Dornier Do 217E2 bomber
  • Dornier Do 217E2 bomber

Design

The Dornier Do 217 was a larger and faster version of the Dornier Do 17.1,3 It had better aerodynamics with a wider and longer fuselage.3

A requirement for the Do 217 was that it should be able to act as a dive bomber and some had large air brakes in the tail.2 This requirement was eventually withdrawn.2

Do 217K and Do 217M

In early 1942 the Do 217K and Do 217M were being developed and produced at the same time.2 The were basically the same except for the engines.2 The nose was enlarged and glazed.2

Do 217J and Do 217N

Night fighters that were converted on the production line.2 They had a stepped windscreen and solid noses containing the primary armament.2

Prototype

The Do 217V1 prototype first flew in August 1938.1,2,3,6 The prototype had problems with directional stability and controls that were sluggish.2 It crashed after having only flown a few flights.2,6

Production

  • Prototypes: 152
  • Dornier Do 217A: 82
  • Dornier Do 217C: 52
  • Dornier Do 217E-0, Dornier Do 217E-1, Dornier Do 217E-2: ~2002
  • Dornier Do 217E-3: 1002
  • Dornier Do 217E-4: ~5002
  • Dornier Do 217J: 1572
  • Dornier Do 217K, Dornier Do 217M: ~5202
  • Dornier Do 217N: 2072
  • Dornier Do 217P: 62
  • Dornier Do 217R: 52
  • Total: 1,7301,2, 1,9053
    • Manufacturer: Dornier Werke GmbH3

Variants

  • Dornier Do 217V1: Prototype.1 Two Daimler-Benz DB 601A inline engines (1,075 HP/1,100 HP2).1
  • Dornier Do 217V9: First flew in early 1940.2 Was powered by two BMW 801 engines.2 Fuselage was deeper.2,3
  • Dornier Do 217A: Reconnaissance.6
  • Dornier Do 217A-0: Had larger tail surfaces.1 Joined the Luftwaffe in 1940 as a reconnaissance aircraft.1 Used in over flights of Soviet Union before the out break of war in Russia.1
  • Dornier Do 217C: Bomber.6
  • Dornier Do 217E-1: Anti shipping and bomber.2 Production model.1 Entered service in late 1940.2,3
  • Dornier Do 217E-2: Bomber.2 Dive bomber.4 Added dorsal turret with 13 mm gun.1,2,3,5
  • Dornier Do 217E-2/R2: Torpedo bomber.3
  • Dornier Do 217E-2/R-10: Navy patrol plane with two 2 ton bombs under the wings.3
  • Dornier Do 217E-3: Added additional armor.1,2 Increased armament.2
  • Dornier Do 217E-4: Had balloon cable cutters on the leading edge of the wings.2
  • Dornier Do 217E-5: Carried two Henschel HS 293 anti ship missiles.1,3,5 Converted from earlier models in 1943.2
  • Dornier Do 217J: Night fighter.1,3,5 Based on the Do 217E airframe.2,5 Had FuG 202 radar.1 The nose carried two 20 mm and four 7.92 mm guns.1 Joined the Luftwaffe in 1942.1,2
  • Dornier Do 217J-1: Night fighter.2 Kept bomb bay which could carry an intruder missile.2 Relegated to training.2 Four 20 mm and four machine guns.3
  • Dornier Do 217J-2: Night fighter.2 Used FuG Lichenstein radar.2
  • Dornier Do 217K: Could carry HS 293 or Fritz X missiles.1 Carried eight machine guns.3
  • Dornier Do 217K-1: Night bomber.2
  • Dornier Do 217K-2: Longer wings to carry two Fritz X radio controlled missiles.2,3
  • Dornier Do 217K-3: Longer wings to carry two Fritz X or two Hs 293 radio controlled missiles.2
  • Dornier Do 217M: Used two Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines (1,750 HP).1
  • Dornier Do 217M-5: Prototype for carrying missiles.2
  • Dornier Do 217M-11: Prototype for carrying missiles.2
  • Dornier Do 217N: Night fighter.1 Based on the Do 217M airframe.2 Two Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines.1,3 In the nose were four 20 mm, four 7.92 mm, and two 20 mm (upward firing Schäge Musik) guns.1
  • Dornier Do 217N-2: Night fighter.2 Upgraded radar.2 Removed from service in early 1944.2
  • Dornier Do 217P: High altitude bomber.2 Pressurized cabin.2 In the fuselage was a Daimler-Benz DB605 (1,475 HP) engine that was used to supercharge the two main engines.2 Could reach 50,000' / 15,240 m altitude.2
  • Dornier Do 217R: Designation for five Do 317 prototypes.2 These were converted to missile carriers.2

Usage

The Dornier Do 217 was operated by Italy (Do 217J) and Germany.2

First Unit

The II/KG 40 first received the Do217E in March 1941 to be used for anti-shipping over the Atlantic Ocean.6

Raids on Britain

The Do 217E was used in the Baedecker raids on British cities in 1942.2

France

The Do 217E-1s were stationed in France with the II./KG 40 in March 1941.1

Anti Shipping

In 1943 Do 217K-2 armed with Fritz X missiles struck several Allied ships operating in the Mediterranean.2 The cruiser HMS Spartan, destroyer HMS Janus, and Italian battleship Roma were sunk by the missiles.2

Specifications

  Dornier Do 217
Type Heavy Bomber5
Crew 45
Pilot, bombardier, radio operator, rear gunner5
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603A5
Cylinders Inverted V 125
Cooling Water5
Propeller blades 3 blade feathered5
Dimensions  
Span 62' 5"5
19 m5
Length 56' 6"5
17 m5
Wing area 610 sq ft5
56.6 sq m5
Weight  
Loaded 35,000 lb5
15,890 kg5
Performance  
Speed at Sea Level 290 mph5
464 kph5
Speed at 22,000' /
6,710 m
330 mph5
528 kph5
Service ceiling 24,000'5
7,320 m5
Range 2,400 miles5
3,840 km5
Armament  
Nose 1: MG 815
Dorsal Turret 1: MG 1315
Rear 1: MG 1315
Lateral 2: MG 815
Bombs 5,550 lb5
  Dornier Do 217E
Type Medium / heavy bomber2, Reconniassance4
Crew 42
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 8014, BMW 801MA6
Cylinders Radial6
HP 1,320 each4, 1,550 each6
Dimensions  
Span 62' 4"2, 72'4
19 m2
Length 59' 8.5"2, 63' 5"4
18.2 m2
Height 16' 4"2
4.98 m2
Weight  
Loaded 30,800 lb4
Performance  
Speed 290 mph4
Armament 4: MG4
Nose 1: 15 mm4
  Dornier Do 217E-1
Type Bomber3,5, Dive Bomber5
Crew 43, 4 or 51,6
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801 MA3, BMW 801 A1,5
Cylinders Radial 143
Cooling Air3
HP 1,550 each1, 1,580 each3
Dimensions  
Span 62' 4"3
Length 59' 8"3
Height 16' 6"3
Weight  
Loaded 33,070 lb3
Performance  
Speed @ 17,000' 320 mph3
Service ceiling 24,600'3
Range 1,430 miles3
Armament 5: MG3
5: MG 156
1: 15 mm3
1: 15 mm MG 1516
Nose 1: MG 1515
1: MG 151/205
Dorsal 1: MG 1315
Rear 1: MG 1315
Lateral 2: MG 1315
Bombs - total 4,409 lb1,6, 4,410 lb3
2,000 kg1,6
  Dornier Do 217E-2
Type Medium / heavy bomber2, Dive bomber4
Crew 42
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801ML2, BMW 8024, BMW 801A5
Cylinders Radial4, Radial 142
HP 1,580 each2
Propeller blades 3 each2
Dimensions  
Span 62' 5"4
Length 56' 6"4
Weight  
Empty 19,522 lb2
8,855 kg2
Loaded 33,070 lb2, 33,7004
15,000 kg2
Maximum load 36,299 lb2
16,465 kg2
Performance  
Speed 325 mph4
Speed at sea level 273 mph2
439 kph2
Speed @ 17,060' /
5,200 m
320 mph2
515 kph2
Cruising speed 245 mph2
394 kph2
Climb - full load 710'/minute2
216 m/minute2
Service ceiling 24,600'2
7,500 m2
Range 1,430 miles2
2,300 km2
Maximum range 1,740 miles2
2,800 km2
Armament 2: 13 mm MG2
3: 7.9 mm MG2
Top cockpit turret 2: MG4
Forward firing 4: Cannon4
Nose 1: 15 mm2
1: MG 1515
1: MG 151/205
Dorsal Turret 1: MG 1315
Rear 1: MG 1315
Lateral 2: MG4
2: MG 1315
Bottom 1: MG4
Bombs - total 6,600 lb4, 8,818 lb2
4,000 kg2
  Dornier Do 217K
Type Medium / heavy bomber2
Crew 42
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 810D1,2,6
Cylinders Radial6, Radial 142
HP 1,700 each1,2,6
Propeller blades 3 each2
Dimensions  
Span 62' 4"2
19 m2
Length 55' 9.25"2
17 m2
Height 16' 4"2
4.98 m2
  Dornier Do 217K-2
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 8015
Cylinders Radial5
Cooling Air5
Dimensions  
Span 80'5, 81' 4"2
24.4 m5, 24.8 m2
Armament  
Under wing 2: FX 1400 Fritz X missiles2,5
Rear 4: MG 815
  Dornier Do 217K-3
Dimensions  
Span 81' 4"2
24.8 m2
Armament  
Under wing 2: FX 1400 or Hs 293 missiles2
  Dornier Do 217M
Type Medium / heavy bomber2
Crew 42
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB603A2,6, DB 6035
Cylinders Inverted V 122,6
Cooling Water5
HP 1,750 each2,6
Propeller blades 3 each2
  Dornier Do 217M-1
Type Heavy bomber1
Medium / heavy bomber2
Crew 41,2,6
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603A piston1,6
Cylinders Inline1, Inverted V 126
HP 1,750 each1,2
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 62' 4"1,6
19 m1,6
Length 55' 9.25"6, 58' 4.5"1
17 m6, 17.79 m1
Height 16' 3.5"6, 16' 6"1
4.96 m6, 5.03 m1
Wing area 613.54 ft2 1,6
57 m2 1,6
Weight  
Empty 19,845 lb1, 19,985 lb2,6
9,000 kg1, 9,065 kg2,6
Maximum load 36,817 lb1,2,6
16,700 kg1,2,6
Performance  
Speed at sea level 294 mph2
473 kph2
Speed @ 18,700' /
5,700 m
348 mph1,2,6
560 kph1,2,6
Cruising speed 248 mph2
399 kph2
Climb 688'/minute1, 690'/minute2,6
210 m/minute1,2,6
Service ceiling 24,170'2, 31,170'1, 31,180'6
7,367 m2, 9,500 m1,6
Range 1,335 miles1, 1,335 - 1,550 miles2, 1,555 miles6
2,150 km1, 2,148 km - 2,495 km2, 2,500 km6
Armament 2: 13 mm MG1,2
4: 7.9 mm MG2
6: 7.92 mm1
8: 7.92 mm MG 816
2: 13 mm MG 1316
Bombs - internal 5,511 lb1
2,500 kg1
Bombs - total 8,818 lb1,2,6
4,000 kg1,2,6

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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