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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Dornier Do 18 flying boat

Photos

  • Dornier Do 18 flying boat
  • Dornier Do 18 flying boat
  • Dornier Do 18 flying boat
  • Dornier Do 18 flying boat
  • Dornier Do 18 flying boat
  • Dornier Do 18 flying boat
  • Dornier Do 18K flying boat
  • Dornier Do 18K flying boat

Design

The Dornier Do 18 was based on the prewar Dornier "Wal" flying boat that was used by Deutsche Luft Hansa as a trans Atlantic mail carrier.3,4,6

The Do 18 had a wide hull and sponsons which made it very stable in the water.1 There were watertight compartments internally that helped prevent it from sinking.1 Stümmel (sponsons) were mounted on the fuselage sides.1

The engines were placed back to back over the centerline of the wing which allowed for them to keep out of the water.1 Struts braced the tailplane.1 The tail section was elevated to help avoid salt spray.1

For navigation a loop aerial was mounted in the rear top of the fuselage which served as radio directing finding equipment.1

Prototype

The Dornier Do 18V1 prototype first flew on March 15, 1935.1,2,3

Production

  • Prototypes: 33
  • Dornier Do 18D, Dornier Do 18E, Dornier Do 18F: 783
    • Produced by Dornier and Weser.3
  • Dornier Do 18G: 702,7
    • 1940: 497
  • Dornier Do 18G, Dornier Do 18H: 713
  • Total: <1007, 1002, 1523
    • Manufacturer: Dornier Werke GmbH4

Variants

  • Dornier Do 18V1: Prototype.2
  • Dornier Do 18C:
  • Dornier Do 18D: Entered service in 19361 / September 19382,4. Had two 7.9 mm machine guns.1
  • Dornier Do 18D-1: Powered by Jumo 205C engines.2 Two 7.92 mm machine guns, one in bow, one midship.2
  • Dornier Do 18D-2: Powered by Jumo 205C engines.2 Two 7.92 mm machine guns, one in bow, one midship.2
  • Dornier Do 18E: Civilian variant.3,6 Loaded weight of 22,000 lb / 10,000 kg.6
  • Dornier Do 18F: Civilian varient.3,6 Wing span was larger.3 Loaded weight of 24,200 lb / 11,000 kg.6
  • Dornier Do 18G: Increased armament to 20 mm cannon and 13 mm MG.1,2,3 Had two Junkers Jumo 205D engines (700 HP).3
  • Dornier Do 18H: Trainer.2,3,7 Conversion of Do 18G to have dual controls.2,7 Had two Junkers Jumo 205D engines (700 HP).3
  • Dornier Do 18L: Converted from Do 18F.3 Had BMW 132 engines (865 HP).3
  • Dornier Do 18N: In 1941 conversions of Do 18G to air-sea rescue craft.1,2,3,7 Had two Junkers Jumo 205D engines (700 HP).3

Usage

Lufthansa

It's southern Atlantic mail route used four Do 18Es.1 Between 1935 and 1937 six Do 18s were used as mail planes going across the Atlantic.4

In March 1938 Lufthansa used a Do 18F to break a distance record for seaplanes.1,4 It was catapult launched from the tender Westfalen and flew 5,213 miles / 5,250 miles4 / 8,390 km in 43 hours.1

Coastal Groups

The Do 18s were assigned to Kistenfliegergruppen (coastal reconnaissance groups) to be used over the Baltic and North Sea.2,7

Air Sea Rescue Squadrons

The Do 18Ns were assigned to Seenotstaffeln that were stationed in Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Norway.2

Some were seen painted all white with red crosses.3

Poland and Norwegian campaigns

Do 18Ds were used by reconnaissance units.1

Battle of Britain

Used as air-sea rescue craft.1

Specifications

  Dornier Do 18
Type Maritime patrol3, Air sea rescue3,6, Reconnaissance6
Crew 4 - 53
Pilot, radio operator, navigator6
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 2056
Cylinders 66
Cooling Water6
HP 6006
Propeller blades 2: 3 blade6
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"3,6
23.7 m3,6
Length 63' 1"6, 63' 7"3
19.25 m6, 19.38 m3
Height 17' 9"3,6
5.41 m3, 5.45 m6
Wing area 1,054.5 sq ft6
98 sq m6
Weight  
Empty 12,265 lb6
5,575 kg6
Loaded 22,000 lb6
10,000 kg6
Performance  
Speed 145 mph6
248 kph6
Service ceiling 17,400'6
5,310 m6
Range at 110 mph /
176 kph
2,640 miles6
4,225 km6
Armament  
Nose 1: MG6
Dorsal 1: MG6
Under wing racks 1,100 lb3
500 kg3
  Dornier Do 18D, Dornier Do 18D-1
Type Reconniassance4
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 205C diesel3,4,7
Cylinders 63, Inline 64, Inline7
Cooling Liquid4
HP 6003,4,7
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"4
Length 63' 2"4
Height 17' 5"4
Weight  
Loaded 22,050 lb4
Performance  
Speed 162 mph4
Service ceiling 13,780'4
Range 2,174 miles4
Armament 2: MG4
Bow 1: 7.92 mm MG3
Mid upper position 1: 7.92 mm MG3
Bombs 220 lb4
  Dornier Do 18G-1
Type Reconnaissance flying boat1,2,7
Crew 41,2,7
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 205D1,2,3,7
Cylinders Inline2, Inline 61, Inline 127
Cooling Water7
HP 7003, 8807
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"1,2, 77' 9.25"7
23.7 m1,2,7
Length 63' 2"2, 63' 7"1,7
19.25 m2, 19.37 m7, 19.38 m1
Height 17' 5"1, 17' 5.5"2,7
5.32 m1,2,7
Wing area 1,049 ft2 2, 1,054.86 sq ft7, 1,055 ft2 1
97.5 m2 2, 98 m2 1,7
Weight  
Empty 12,900 lb2, 13,180 lb3,7, 13,184 lb1
5,850 kg2, 5,978 kg3, 5,980 kg1,7
Loaded 22,046 lb2, 23,800 lb1,3, 23,8107
10,000 kg2, 10,795 kg1,3, 10,800 kg7
Performance  
Speed at sea level 162 mph2
260 kph2
Speed at 6,560' /
2,000 m
165 mph7, 166 mph3
266 kph7, 267 kph3
Speed at 6,562' /
2,000 m
166 mph1
267 kph1
Cruising speed 142 mph3
228 kph3
Patrol speed 106 mph3
170 kph3
Climb in 7' 48" 3,280'1
1,000 m1
Climb to 3,280' /
1,000 m
7 minutes 48 seconds7, 7.8 minutes3, 7.9 minutes2
Service ceiling 13,780'1,2, 13,800'7, 17,200'3
4,200 m1,2,7, 5,240 m3
Range 2,174 miles2, 2,175 miles1,3,7
3,500 km1,2,3,7
Armament  
Bow 1: 13 mm MG1,3
1: 13 mm MG 1312,7
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm1,3
1: 20 mm MG 1512,7
Bombs 4: 110 lb7
2: 110 lb1
4: 50 kg7
2: 50 kg1
  Dornier Do 18K
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 132N5
HP 865 each5
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"5
Length 63' 1"5
Height 18'5
Weight  
Loaded 30,000 lb5
Performance  
Speed 185 mph5
Range 2,700 miles5
Armament  
Fuselage top 1: MG5
Nose 1: MG5

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  7. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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