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« Video: November 11, 1956 - The Sexiest Jet (Ever) Makes Her First Flight! (B-58 Hustler) | Main | CoolPix: 1970's Reno Biplane Racer Sorceress At The Udvar-Hazy Center »

1944 Dornier Do 335: A Really Big Push/Pull Speedster From WWII (+ Video)

(click pic to enlarge)  WWII German Dornier Do 335 at the NASM Udvar-Hazy Center

 The recent AirPigz National Air and Space Museum MeetUp was more than just a great time with historic aircraft and great avgeek friends, it was also a good time for me to develop a new obsession: the World War II German Dornier Do 335. This rather large (about 20,000 pound max takeoff weight) and very fast single seat aircraft is one that I honestly knew pretty much nothing about. It has slipped thru the cracks of my avgeek upbringing somehow, but now it has found its very own room in my mind and I am quite happy about that.

 The short story on the airplane is that only around 40 were built toward the end of WWII, and none ever entered actual combat related service. This unique push/pull arrangement meant that the Do 335 sits high on the gear to allow for good ground clearance for the rear prop. It sits so high that the average man can walk under that wing! Powered by two centerline mounted Daimler-Benz DB 603A inverted 12-cylinder engines making 1,750 hp each, the Do 335 appears to have been the fastest piston engine aircraft from the war. I haven't done the deep research, but it seems it was capable of 475 mph in level flight! Can you imagine what a clipped, streamlined and lightened Do 335 would do on the race course at Reno! However, since this example on display at the Udvar-Hazy is the only example that remains, racing one at Reno just isn't gonna happen.

(click pic to enlarge)  Closer view of the beastly Do 335 and its push/pull power

 The Do 335 was envisioned in several different roles: fighter/bomber; night fighter, reconnaissance and trainer (in a special two-seat configuration as seen in the video below), but with the aircraft being developed near the end of the war, it never made it into service with the Luftwaffe. Because of the rear mounted propeller, the Do 335 included an ejection seat for the pilot along with the ability to jettison the vertical tail and rear prop to add greater safety to an ejection. There are many more interesting and unique features of the 335 but I'll cover that later when I do an in-depth post on it... for now, I just wanted to take the uninitiated (like I was before last Friday) and open up your mind to a very interesting WWII aircraft.

(click pic to enlarge) Dornier Do 335 cutaway available for purchase from Flightglobal

Fascinating video (in German) of the Dornier Do 335

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks! Nice job. One of my favorite "unknowns" of WW 2. All major combatants had some unique aircraft I've always loved. For example Japans Kawanishi J7W1 'Shinden' canard or Americas McDonnel XP-67. The model in the post war interview is the old Monogram 1/48 scale kit with single or dual seat options. There also was a 1/72 scale single seat kit by Lindberg Models. I look forward to your future efforts. Karl ^..^

May 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKarl Townsend

One very interesting aircraft! I have the 1/48 scale Monogram model, unbuilt, and am now building the 1/72 scale Lindberg kit. This little kit has many accuracy issues, especially the lack of cockpit detail, no guns at all, and incorrect decals. It is supposed to represent the existing aircraft at the Udvar-Hazy Center. I do have decals in my files that will be correct.

July 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLee Revell

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