In my last blog article I was discussing the Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen, with the main focus on the VTOL transport jet plane Dornier Do31. However, the museum contains many other interesting exhibits which I would like to share with you.
Dornier Do B Merkur: This plane was designed as a passenger plane which could pack up to 8 passengers plus a crew of 2. A BMW V1 engine with 680 PS allowed for an maximum airspeed of 175 km/h. The Dornier Merkur had a range of up to 1000 km. Its virgin flight took place on February 10th, 1925.
Dornier Do J Wal: The Dornier Wal was the most successful flying boat developed by Dornier. More than 250 pieces of this machine were built whose prototype Dornier Do Gs I virgin flight took place on July 31st, 1919. Two six zylinder Maybach Mb IVa engines with 260 PS each were used in the Dornier Do Gs I to power two propellers with a diameter of 3 m.
Due the treaty of Versailles and because the airplane had a advanced concept the allied forces demanded extradiction of the plane. In order to avoid handing over the plane it was sunk in the Baltic Sea on April 25th, 1920. To circumvent further problems with the treaty a construction office in Italy (Marina di Pisa) was founded were the successor Dornier Do J Wal was developed.
Interesting fact: On May 21st, 1925 the polar researcher Roald Amundsen started with two Dornier Wal planes from Spitzbergen towards north pole. On plane had to perform an emergency landing due to motor problems. The other plane was landing too and suffered severe damage. The researchers repaired the first plane (and a runway, which took them 3 weeks) and managed to fly out to the north coast of Spitzbergen where they were rescued by a sealer ship.
Dornier Do 28 Skyservant: The Do 28 was a reliable dual-engine plane mainly used by the german armed forces and possesed STOL capabilities. During the whole 20 years time of service within the german military only 3 planes (out of 121) were lost.
Dornier Do 29: The Dornier 29 was developed during the 1950s as an experimental platform for testing a tilting-propeller system for STOL aircrafts.
Two planes of the Do 29 were built and the virgin flight of the first prototype took place on December 12th 1958.
During testing the new aircraft concept with two tiltable pusher propellers proved highly successful and allowed for a stall speed of only 24 km/h.
Despite this great success the aircraft was not pursued further at the end of the flight test program.
Only one of the two Do 29 prototypes survived the program and is now exhibited at the Dornier museum in Friedrichshafen.
Alpha Jet: The Alpha Jet was the result of a cooperation of the Dassault Aviation (France) and Dornier. The plane was intended as a light attack jet and advanced trainer aircraft. A total of 480 planes were built and the plane was used in the air force of several countries e.g. French Air Force, Belgian Air Component, Cameroon Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force, Portugese Air Force.
Dornier Do33 KAD: The Do33 KAD was developed as a reconnaisance drone which could penetrate up to 150 km of enemy territory while flying at Mach 0,85.
Various sensor payloads could be used with the drone such as an optical camera, a infrared line scanner and a high resolution side-looking-airborne radar.
Dornier Do 34: The Dornier Do 34 Kiebitz was designed as an unmanned military reconnaissance drone.
Dornier Zieldarstellungsdrohne: The drones pictured below served to simulate a target for interceptor planes and anti-aircraft artillery.
The drone is powered by a gasoline engine and resembles modern drone designs quite eerily.
Bachem Ba349 "Natter": The Bachem 349 was a world war II german rocket powered interceptor which was designed to prevent the devastating bomber attacks of the allied forces against german industrial plants. To my best of knowledge it has no connection with Dornier and the reason behind its exhibition in the Dornier museum remain a mystery to me. However, it was great to see this very unconventional plane whose design reflect the desparate situation of the german army by the end of world war II.