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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.

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

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

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

Prototype

The Dornier Do 18V1 prototype first flew on March 15, 1935.

Production

  • Prototypes: 3
  • Dornier Do 18D, Dornier Do 18E, Dornier Do 18F: 78
    • Produced by Dornier and Weser.
  • Dornier Do 18G: 70
    • 1940: 49
  • Dornier Do 18G, Dornier Do 18H: 71
  • Total: <100, 100, 152
    • Manufacturer: Dornier Werke GmbH

Variants

  • Dornier Do 18V1: Prototype.
  • Dornier Do 18C:
  • Dornier Do 18D: Entered service in 1936 / September 1938. Had two 7.9 mm machine guns.
  • Dornier Do 18D-1: Powered by Jumo 205C engines. Two 7.92 mm machine guns, one in bow, one midship.
  • Dornier Do 18D-2: Powered by Jumo 205C engines. Two 7.92 mm machine guns, one in bow, one midship.
  • Dornier Do 18E: Civilian variant. Loaded weight of 22,000 lb / 10,000 kg.
  • Dornier Do 18F: Civilian varient. Wing span was larger. Loaded weight of 24,200 lb / 11,000 kg.
  • Dornier Do 18G: Increased armament to 20 mm cannon and 13 mm MG. Had two Junkers Jumo 205D engines (700 HP).
  • Dornier Do 18H: Trainer. Conversion of Do 18G to have dual controls. Had two Junkers Jumo 205D engines (700 HP).
  • Dornier Do 18L: Converted from Do 18F. Had BMW 132 engines (865 HP).
  • Dornier Do 18N: In 1941 conversions of Do 18G to air-sea rescue craft. Had two Junkers Jumo 205D engines (700 HP).

Usage

Lufthansa

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

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

Coastal Groups

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

Air Sea Rescue Squadrons

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

Some were seen painted all white with red crosses.

Poland and Norwegian campaigns

Do 18Ds were used by reconnaissance units.

Battle of Britain

Used as air-sea rescue craft.

Specifications

  Dornier Do 18
Type Maritime patrol, Air sea rescue, Reconnaissance
Crew 4 - 5
Pilot, radio operator, navigator
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 205
Cylinders 6
Cooling Water
HP 600
Propeller blades 2: 3 blade
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"
23.7 m
Length 63' 1", 63' 7"
19.25 m, 19.38 m
Height 17' 9"
5.41 m, 5.45 m
Wing area 1,054.5 sq ft
98 sq m
Weight  
Empty 12,265 lb
5,575 kg
Loaded 22,000 lb
10,000 kg
Performance  
Speed 145 mph
248 kph
Service ceiling 17,400'
5,310 m
Range at 110 mph / 176 kph 2,640 miles
4,225 km
Armament  
Nose 1: MG
Dorsal 1: MG
Under wing racks 1,100 lb
500 kg
  Dornier Do 18D, Dornier Do 18D-1
Type Reconniassance
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 205C diesel
Cylinders 6, Inline 6, Inline
Cooling Liquid
HP 600
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"
Length 63' 2"
Height 17' 5"
Weight  
Loaded 22,050 lb
Performance  
Speed 162 mph
Service ceiling 13,780'
Range 2,174 miles
Armament 2: MG
Bow 1: 7.92 mm MG
Mid upper position 1: 7.92 mm MG
Bombs 220 lb
  Dornier Do 18G-1
Type Reconnaissance flying boat
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 205D
Cylinders Inline, Inline 6, Inline 12
Cooling Water
HP 700, 880
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9", 77' 9.25"
23.7 m
Length 63' 2", 63' 7"
19.25 m, 19.37 m, 19.38 m
Height 17' 5", 17' 5.5"
5.32 m
Wing area 1,049 ft2 , 1,054.86 sq ft, 1,055 ft2
97.5 m2 , 98 m2
Weight  
Empty 12,900 lb, 13,180 lb, 13,184 lb
5,850 kg, 5,978 kg, 5,980 kg
Loaded 22,046 lb, 23,800 lb, 23,810
10,000 kg, 10,795 kg, 10,800 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 162 mph
260 kph
Speed at 6,560' / 2,000 m 165 mph, 166 mph
266 kph, 267 kph
Speed at 6,562' / 2,000 m 166 mph
267 kph
Cruising speed 142 mph
228 kph
Patrol speed 106 mph
170 kph
Climb in 7' 48" 3,280'
1,000 m
Climb to 3,280' / 1,000 m 7 minutes 48 seconds, 7.8 minutes, 7.9 minutes
Service ceiling 13,780', 13,800', 17,200'
4,200 m, 5,240 m
Range 2,174 miles, 2,175 miles
3,500 km
Armament  
Bow 1: 13 mm MG
1: 13 mm MG 131
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm
1: 20 mm MG 151
Bombs 4: 110 lb
2: 110 lb
4: 50 kg
2: 50 kg
  Dornier Do 18K
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 132N
HP 865 each
Dimensions  
Span 77' 9"
Length 63' 1"
Height 18'
Weight  
Loaded 30,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 185 mph
Range 2,700 miles
Armament  
Fuselage top 1: MG
Nose 1: MG

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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