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Dornier Do17



The Dornier 17 was designed as a Scnellbomber (fast bomber) and was derived from a civilian prototype, a fast mail plane. The Dornier entered service with the Luftwaffe in 1934, at which time it could have outpaced any fighter sent to try and intercept it. Two years later, the Dornier was blooded in the Spanish Civil war when it's thin fuselage earned it the name “Flying Pencil”.

Although the original Flying Pencil remained in service at the beginning of World War II, it was the Do17Z and later the 215 which saw most of the action during the air fighting over Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain. These types were more heavily armed than the original version and were powered by more powerful engines. However, even with a defensive armament of six machine guns the new Dorniers were still vulnerable to attack by RAF Spitfire and Hurricane fighters and suffered heavy losses between May and October 1940. Even so they remained relatively popular with their crews due to their ruggedness, manoeuvrability and reliability.

The introduction of the JU88 effectively made the Dornier obsolete, even so, later versions were supplied to Germany's allies and as well as continuing in use for reconnaissance also proved to be effective night fighters and low level night intruders.

Details below are for the Dornier Do 17Z.

Type: Light Bomber/Reconnaissance
Crew: 3 (pilot, navigator/bombardier and radio operator)
Powerplant: 2 x 1,000 hp Bramo Fafnir 323 Radials
Maximum Speed: 263 mph
Service Ceiling: 26,740 feet
Range: c 710 miles half loaded
Armament: 6 x 7.92mm MG 15 machine guns in assorted cockpit and gondolier locations
1,000 Kg bomb load carried internally




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