Dornier Do 17
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2 x 1,000 h.p. ea.
6 x 7.92 mm
51 ft. 10 in.
59 ft. 1 in.
The Dornier Do 17 originated in 1932 in answer to a request from the German government for a twin engine medium bomber. Because Germany was prohibited from developing weapons of war by treaty, the project was disguised as a cargo transport and mail plane.
Two prototypes were built. One for the public as a cargo transport, and the other as a bomber. The aircraft first took to the sky in November of 1934.
At the 1937 Swiss International Air Show its superior speed received a great deal of notice by countries around the world. It was capable of faster speeds than many front line fighter aircraft of the day.
As with many Luftwaffe aircraft of the time, the Do 17 first saw action during the Spanish Civil War. A long range reconnaissance version was also utilized that carried extra fuel and had cameras in its bomb bay.
The aircraft continued to evolve, primarily by receiving more powerful engines. The ultimate model Z used the most powerful engines, the BMW Bramo 323 A-1's. The aircraft also received additional streamlining. Production of the aircraft continued through March of 1940.
During the early years of World War Two, the Do 17 played a major role over Belgium, France, Poland, Norway and the Netherlands.
Although when originally introduced, the Do 17 could out run many fighter aircraft, this changed as more modern aircraft became available. Some 10 Do 17 aircraft were used as night fighters until early 1942.
As did other Luftwaffe bombers, the Do 17 had heavy losses during the Battle of Britain.
Nevertheless, it continued to serve on front lines until its numbers were too depleted to serve at group strength. Thereafter it was used as a utility aircraft through the end of the war.
A total of over 2,100 Do 17 aircraft of all types were produced.