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The Dornier Do 215 was a light bomber, aerial reconnaissance aircraft and later a night fighter, produced

Do215 2

by Dornier originally for export, but in the event all except two served in the Luftwaffe. Like its predecessor, the Dornier Do 17, it inherited the title "The Flying Pencil" because of its slim fuselage. The successor of the Do 215 was the Do 217.

Design and development[]

The Do 17 fast bomber elicited renewed interest from foreign air forces (after the initial Do 17K series production). In July 1937, Dornier therefore prepared a pre-series Do 17 Z-0 as a demonstrator for export customers. It was given the civil registration D-AAIV. While this aircraft was essentially identical to the production Do 17Z, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium assigned the designation Do 215 to the export version. The V1 prototype retained the 9-cylinder Bramo 323 Fafnir radial engine of the Do 17Z.

The second prototype (Do 215 V2) was equipped with Gnome-Rhône 14-NO radial engines. It safely completed testing, but did not attract export orders because it did not offer a notable performance increase over the Do 17Z. Dornier therefore equipped the V3 prototype with the 1,175 PS (1,159 hp) Daimler-Benz DB 601Ba inline engines. much like the 1937 fitment of the earlier DB 600 powerplants to the Do 17L and M subtypes. The V3, which first flew in the spring of 1939, showed

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a noticeable improvement in flight performance compared to the earlier prototypes.

Series production of the Do 215 A-1 began in 1939. The order, intended for the Swedish Air Force, was stopped in August 1939 due to the political situation. The 18 extant aircraft were embargoed and pressed into Luftwaffe service upon the outbreak of World War II.

Some modifications were made and the resulting aircraft were redesignated Do 215B. This was the standard production version. According to official figures 105 Do 215s were produced between 1939 and 1941 by Dornier in their factory at Oberpfaffenhofen.


General characteristics[]

  • Crew: 4 (pilot, bomb aimer/gunner, two gunners)
  • Length: 15.79 m (51 ft 9⅔ in)
  • Wingspan: 18 m (59 ft 0⅔ in)
  • Height: 4.56 m (14 ft 11½ in)
  • Wing area: 55 m² (592 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 5,780 kg (12,743 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 8,800 kg (19,401 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Daimler-Benz DB 601 Ba V-12-cylinder inline engines, 1,175 PS (1,159 hp, 864 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 470 km/h (254 kn, 292 mph) at 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
  • Range: 2,450 km (1,323 nmi, 1,522 mi)normal
  • Service ceiling: 9,000 m (29,500 ft)
  • Wing loading: 105.1 kg/m² (32.78 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 184 W/kg (0.113 hp/lb)