IXO Models IXJP014 German Dornier Do 335A-1 "Pfeil" Fighter - Dornier Aircraft Factory, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, April 22nd, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
The Do 335 traces its origins back to World War I when Claude Dornier designed a number of flying boats featuring tandem engines. The same system was also used on the very successful post-war Wal and Do 18. In a tandem layout the engines are mounted back-to-back in pairs, the front engine 'pulling' and the rear one 'pushing' the aircraft. There are many advantages to this design over the more traditional system of placing one engine on each wing. With a tandem-engine layout the frontal area (and thus drag) of a single engine design is minimized, allowing for higher speeds. It also keeps the weight near the centerline, so the plane can roll faster than a traditional twin-engine plane. Moreover an engine failure doesn't lead to asymmetric thrust, and even in normal flight there is no net torque so the plane is easy to handle.
In 1939 Dornier was busy working on the P.59 high speed bomber project, which featured the tandem engine layout. Work on the P.59 was stopped in early 1940 when Hermann Goring ordered the cancellation of all work which could not be complete within a year.
In May 1942, Dornier submitted an updated version known as the P.231 with a 1,000kg bombload, in response to a requirement for a single seat high speed bomber/intruder. The P.231 was selected as the winner after beating rival designs from Arado and Junkers, and a development contract was awarded, thus creating the renamed Do 335. In the autumn of 1942, Dornier was told that the Do 335 was no longer required, and instead a multi-role fighter based on the same general layout would be accepted. This delayed the delivery of the prototype delivery so that modifications could be made.
Fitted with the Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines which could deliver 1,750hp at take-off, the first prototype flew in October 1943. The pilots were surprised at the speed, acceleration, turning ability and general handling characteristics of the new aircraft noting it flew like a single-engine fighter. The only failings of the design was its poor rearward visibility and weak landing gear. The V2 and V3 incorporated several minor changes; the oil cooler under the nose incorporated into the annular engine cowling, blisters were added to the canopy with small rear view mirrors, and the main undercarriage doors were redesigned.
Wingspan: 7.25 inches
Length: 7 inches
Release Date: June 2006
Historical Account: "Pushme-Pullme" - On May 23rd, 1944, Hitler ordered maximum priority be given to Do 335 production. The main production line was intended to be at Manzel, but a bombing raid in March destroyed the tooling and forced Dornier to set up a new line at Oberpfaffenhofen. The decision was made to cancel the Heinkel He 219 and use its production facilities for the Do 335. However, Ernst Heinkel managed to delay, and eventually ignore, its implementation.
The first ten Do 335A-0's were delivered for testing in May. By late 1944 the Do 335A-1 was on the production line.
This was similar to the A-0 but featured uprated DB 603E-1 engines and two underwing hard points for additional bombs or drop tanks. Capable of a maximum speed of 474mph at 21,325 feet with MW 50 boost, or 426mph without boost, and able to climb to 26,250 feet in under 15 minutes, the Do 335A-1 could easily outrun any Allied fighters it encountered. Even with one engine out it could reach 350mph, allowing it to escape combat fairly easily.
Delivery commenced in January 1945. When the US Army overran the Oberpfaffenhofen factory in late April 1945, only eleven Do 335A-1 single seat fighter-bombers and two Do 335A-12 conversion trainers had been completed.