Aviation of Word War II

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Night Bomber



Do-217K-1 began to roll off the assembly line around October 1942. It was similar to the later E series and was also intended as a night bomber. The only significant changes were the BMW 80ID engines, which provided a maximum power of 1,268 kW (1,700 hp) and a new front fuselage design.

And although the original Do 17Z / 215 / 217E cockpit did not cause much criticism, the Dornier, influenced by the Junkers development for the Ju 88B / 188, designed a bow similar to the He 177: with a glazed front part passing into the upper part of the fuselage. This design had a slight drawback - the pilot had to look ahead through a distant Plexiglass, which distorted the image, especially when the panels reflected illuminated parts of the cockpit. Initially, the K-1 had coaxial 7.92 mm MG 81Z machine guns in the nose, two MG 81 machine guns for side-to-back firing, an MG 131 machine gun in the dorsal turret, and another MG 131 in the rear ventral hatch. Later, two more MG 81s were added for side firing. With the R19 kit, it was possible to install one or two pairs of MG 81Z machine guns for firing backwards from the tail cone, but the R25 kit, a brake parachute used in dive bombing, was more common. Several K-1s were built, and at least one of them was equipped with wing bomb racks for at least four LT F5b torpedoes.

Do-217K-2 was the heaviest of all production Do 217s, weighing 16,850 kg. It was specially designed to carry the FX 1400 heavy radio-controlled bomb after the He 111H was found unsuitable for the task. The massive bombs, also known as "Fritz X", were suspended from special holders under the mid-wing. An additional fuel tank with a capacity of 1160 liters was placed in the front bomb bay. To withstand the significantly increased load, the wingspan was increased from 19 to 24.8 m. The controllability and general characteristics of the aircraft remained satisfactory. Almost all K-2s were equipped with the R19 kit, which consisted of two coaxial MG 81Z machine guns (four in total) in the tail section, and some even had MG 81Z rear-firing guns mounted behind each engine nacelle.

A great day for K-2 was September 9, 1943. III / KG 100 under the command of Major Bernhard Jope, based in Istress, launched a coordinated attack on the Italian fleet, which was heading to join the Allies. As a result of two direct hits, the largest battleship Roma exploded and sank in a matter of minutes. The same ship “Italy” barely made it to Malta with 726 tons of water on board. Later, powerful bombs, each weighing 1,570 kg, damaged or sunk many other ships.

Do-217K-3 . Some of the bombs were dropped from Do 217K-3 aircraft, which, instead of the FuG 203a Kel I / FuG 230a Strasbourg guidance equipment, had a FuG 203c or 203d Kel IV transmitter, with which the bombardier could aim either an FX 1400 bomb or a smaller one. the size of the Hs 293A cruise missile.

Do217K-1 Do217M-1 Do217J-2 Do217N-1
Length, m 17.12 17.12 17.67* 17.67*
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 - 9065 8730 10270
Loaded weight - 16790 13180 13200
Engine (two) BMW 801D DB603A BMW 801ML DB603A
Power, hp takeoff 1700 1750 1580 1750
at alt 1440 1620 1380 1850
m 5700 5700 4600 2100
Max speed, km/h at alt 515 560 489 515
m 4000 5700 5500 6000
Cruise speed, km/h at alt - 400 465 470
m -     5400
Rate of climb min - 6.7 3.5 9
to alt, m - 2000 1000 4000
Ceiling, m - 7350 9000 8900
Range, km - 2150 2050 1755
7.92-mm machine guns 3** 3** 4 4
13-mm machine guns 2/3 2/3 2 2
15/20-mm cannon no no 4 4
Internal bomb load, kg 2500 2500 no 400
Bombs, kg 4000 4000 no 400

* - without radar antennas.

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

- no data


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