For fans of aviation, the names J. Richard Smith and Eddie Creek are well known for their unparalleled work on Luftwaffe subjects and the detail and history they put into their efforts. Their four volumes on the Me-262 is the definitive set on the subject. And now, they give this same treatment to the Do-335 Pfeil/Arrow. I will say upfront that if there is anything you want to know about this plane, get this book and it will be there.
The hardback book is 288 pages lavishly illustrated with color and black & white photographs as well as many drawings. The table of contests lists:
- Zeppelins and the Early Dornier Years
- Hitler Takes Power and the Luftwaffe is born
- From Drawing Board to Prototypes
- Production Plans
- Night Fighters and Trainers
- Operational Use
- What Might Have Been
- “The Most Fascinating Aircraft”
- Camouflage and Markings
- Do-335- An Overview
- Dornier Do-335 A-1 Handbook
- Dornier Do-335 Production List
- Arthur Bentley Drawings
- Dornier Do-335 A-0 ‘Pfeil’ 1/32nd Scale model from Zoukei Mura
Creek and Watson cover the entire history from Dornier and its start through the war and then into production, operation, and finally its role as a war prize. There are detail photos of every section for modelers that want to super detail one of the many great kits released for this plane.
Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the chapters to get the reader a sense of the incredible scope and depth of the book. In the Chapter 7, Night Fighters and Trainers, the authors dive into the planned two-seat versions of the Do-335. Covered is the two-seat hump backed version used as a trainer and the second flush cockpit used for night fighting. Also, they cover the heavy armament version in this area with its larger cannons. These are illustrated with period pictures, profile drawings, and cut away drawings of the heavy fighter bomber version. In addition to the great visuals, the writers have interviewed the actual test pilots and people surrounded with the program before their passing, and many quotes and insights are included.
Chapter 10, Do-335-An Overview, has the kind of detail modelers long for in a reference. Multiple photos of the engines and their installation along with instrument panels, wings without their skin, the landing gear, it’s all included. There is also a comprehensive pictorial on the restored D0-335 A-0 located at the National Air and Space Museum. This is full of interesting pictures and information such as…did you know that the bottom fin and rudder had a built-in spring-loaded bumper? You do now and this book has closeup pictures of it.
Lastly, the four appendices cover everything from the pilot’s manual, production aircraft and their disposition when known, profile and top view drawings of the aircraft done by Arthur Bentley, and lastly, a pictorial of Zoukei-Mura’s beautiful Do-335 A-0.
This book is beyond recommended…it is a necessity for Luftwaffe Historians for its depiction of the start to finish of this plane. It is a necessity for anyone modeling the plane as it covers everything in detail and with great pictures. This book is a necessity, as are all Mr. Creek and Mr. Smith’s books. Go get it before its gone.
My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for the sample book, to Mr. Creek and Mr. Smith for their efforts to produce such a spectacular reference, and to IPMS for the chance to tell everyone about it.
Were the two engines connected by a drive shaft?
This is arguably the PINNACLE of prop-driven piston engine fighter/bomber design.
First, in response to Richard R. question, no - the engines turned the two props by seperate drive trains (the aft engine drive shaft was something like 3+ meters long).
The Do-335 possessed revolutionary features:
- First fighter/bomber aircraft DESIGN w/ ejection seat AND jettisonable tail/prop for pilot safety during bail-out (I think the Heinkel He-219 'Uhu' first PRODUCTION fighter aircraft w/ ejection seat - this aircraft arguably the best night fighter design of WW2).
- The centerline engine placement greatly reduced drag and enhanced safety for pilot as aircraft could takeoff, fly and land on either engine - when flying on both this design eliminated 'torque' issues as seen on single engine aircraft.
- The RLM design spec called for max speed of 800 kph/500 mph ! (actual in-flight top speed reported @ 475 mph) - Do-335 equipped w/ 2 DB 603 12 cylinder liquid cooled fuel injected inverted 'V's - combined engine max output an astounding 3600 hp !
- 3 cannon armament in the nose kept 'warm' @ altitude by forward engine heat; no gun 'freeze' issues as a result (and no gun 'jam' issues as seen w/ wing mount armament due to 'g' forces).
- Do-335 incorporated slight leading edge wing sweep for better airflow @ speed and alitude - horz. and vert. stabilizers too > see Me-262 design; horizontal stabilizer mounted above turbulent airflow from main wing to enhance control, stability.
- Do-335 equipped w/ internal bomb bay of 1000 kg load. As w/ other German designs it came too little, too late for any real impact. However I believe it would have held its own in dogfighting, certainly would have devastated Allied bomber groups.
The few 'bugs' encountered in prototypes ('porpoising' @ hi-speed, weak landing gear) were ironed out on the production aircraft - according to pilots it handled VERY well, on par w/ single engine fighters (for an aircraft that weighed almost twice as much loaded as a P-51) !! This aircraft virtually un-catchable by any Allied prop aircraft except maybe late late war P-51 H. Due to massive Allied bombing campaign, increased shortage of Av fuel and shrinkage of German land, destruction of transport facilites only 40 production planes built.
Claude Dornier patented in-line engine placement design in the '30s (an interesting side note - Heinkel Aircraft Co.. built and flew WORLDs 1st jet AND rocket powered aircraft circa 1939 !! - see He-178 and He-176) Thanks for the time for this long post !! I love this aircraft - built a Tamiya 1/48 scale kit in 2012 which has unique camoflage 'design'.
Actually both engines were independent like most two engined planes. They had separate oil and cooliing systems for each engine. They were not connected in any way
What type of airfoil did it use and what were it's specs.