Aviation of World War II

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Medium Bomber and Reconnaissance Aircraft



The Do-217 was designed by Dornier according to the terms of reference of 1937 as a long-range combat aircraft, heavy and dive bomber. The Do-217 became an enlarged version of the Do-215, which in turn was a variant of the Do-17. The first flight of the new machine took place in August 1938.

The first production model was the Do-217E; 800 of these aircraft were produced in variants from Do-217E-0 to Do-217E-4 and were equipped with BMW-801 radial engines. Then 950 Do-217K night bombers were manufactured.

In order to insure itself in case of non-delivery of BMW engines, Dornier adapted the K model to DB 603A engines, releasing the Do-217M variant. Both aircraft showed close characteristics and were produced in parallel.

In addition, prototypes and pre-production machines of the Do-217C bomber were created high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft Do-217P and missile carrier aircraft Do-217R. Part of the Do-217E and Do-217K models carried Hs-293 ​​anti-ship missiles and Fritz-X "gliding" bombs.

In terms of its performance characteristics, the Do-217 was superior to the He-111.

A total of 1541 bombers and 346 reconnaissance aircraft were produced. The Dornier company developed and produced about forty modifications and variants of the Do-217, the main of which are listed below.

Do217E-1/3 Do217E-2 Do217K-1 Do217M-1
Length, m 17.25 17.25* 17.12 17.12
Wing span, m 19.0
Wing area without a fus., m² 48.5
Wing area,including a fus., m² 56.7
Height in line of flight, m 4.8
Weight, kg:
Empty weight, kg 8590 8855 - 9065
Loaded weight 15290 16465 - 16790
Engine (two) BMW 801MA BMW 801ML BMW 801D DB603A
Power, hp takeoff 1580 1580 1700 1750
at alt 1460 1380 1440 1620
m 5000 4600 5700 5700
Max speed, km/h at alt 497 515 515 560
m 5600 5200 4000 5700
Cruising speed, km/h at alt 410 415 - 400
m 5200 5200
Rate of climb min - - - 6.7
to alt, m - - - 2000
Ceiling, m 7000 7500 - 7350
Range, km 2400 2300 - 2150
7.92-mm machine guns 5-7 3 3** 3**
13-mm machine guns no 2 2/3 2/3
15/20-mm cannon 1 1 no no
Internal bomb load, kg 2500 2500 2500 2500
Bombs, kg 3000 4000 4000 4000

* - without a tail air brake.

** - the nose 7.9-mm twin MG 81Z machine gun was quite often replaced with 13-mm MG 131.

- no data

Do 217E-2 Do 217E-4

High Altitude Bomber

Do 317

In the summer of 1944, five Dornier bombers appeared, designated Do 217R. The aircraft entered the III group KG 100, located in Orleans-Brisy, for field testing. Despite the designation, these bombers were in fact not just another modification of the Do 217, but five of the six prototypes of the new Do 317A heavy high-altitude bomber. During the tests preceding this event, the Do 317 VI revealed the unsuitability of pressurized cabins, and they decided to abandon them, turning the aircraft into a conventional carrier of Hs 293A radio-controlled cruise bombs. The aircraft could carry two such bombs under the wing. But in August 1944, III / KG 100 was withdrawn from combat, and its personnel were sent for retraining to fighters. Therefore, it is unlikely that the Do 217R managed to take part in the hostilities.

The development of the Do 317 went in parallel with the creation of the Do 217. Therefore, the aircraft did not differ much from each other. In 1940, it became clear that preference was given to the Arado bomber prototype, and work on the 317th bomber ceased. But Dornier's efforts were not in vain. Many of the technical and design solutions of the original Do 317 project were later used to create the Do 217P high-altitude reconnaissance bomber. In 1941, the Dornier designers returned to the abandoned project. But now the Do 317 was presented as a more advanced replacement for the serial Do 217. In 1943, a prototype of the future bomber Do 317V-1 (onboard designation VK + IY) was built and began flight tests..

Do 317V-1

And soon the first experimental series of five Do 317A appeared. Outwardly, the new aircraft differed little from its theoretical predecessors (because practically the Do 317 arose simultaneously with the Do 217). A notable difference was the triangular-shaped keel "washers" and a thickened fuselage. The rest of the "innovations" were inside the aircraft. First of all, it was a pressurized cabin, the installation of which made changes to the structure of defensive weapons. On the next modification of the Do 317B, its main part will already be placed in remotely controlled installations. In the meantime, on the Do 317A, the electromechanical turret with a 13-mm machine gun MG 131 was moved to the roof of the cabin. Everything else was left in the same places, but adapted to maintain the tightness of the cabin at high altitudes. Most likely, the weapon was simply removed from the embrasures and did not work, as it was on the Do 217Р. In the rear of the cockpit, one movable MG 131 was installed at the top and bottom. A fixed 15-mm MG 151 cannon and a movable twin 7.9-mm MG 81 machine gun were installed in front under the pilot's feet, which passed through the right half of the nose glazing.

Do 317A
Crew 4
Wingspan, m 26,00
Length, m 16,80
Height, m 5,45
Empty, kg 11770
Maximum takeoff, kg 24000
2 × PE Daimler-Benz DB-610А/В, h p 2 × 2870
Max Speed, km/h 665
Cruise Speed, km/h 536
Service Range, km 4000
Service Ceiling, m 10500

Armament Do 317A. One front turret with two 13 mm MG-131 machine guns, one remote controlled turret in the front lower fuselage with 2 7.9 mm MG-81 machine guns, one remote controlled turret in the rear upper position with a pair of MG-131 and remotely controlled installation MG-151/20 in the tail cone; bomb load of 5600 kg in the bomb bay in combinations: 4 × 1400 kg, 2 × 1800 kg, 2 × 1400 kg + 1600-l tank in the front of the bomb bay.

Drawings Do 317


  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/