Dornier Do 17

The Dornier Do 17, sometimes referred to as the Fliegender Bleistift (Flying Pencil), was a World War II German light bomber produced by Claudius Dornier's company, Dornier Flugzeugwerke. It was designed as a Schnellbomber (fast bomber), a light bomber which, in theory, would be so fast that it could outrun defending fighter aircraft. The Dornier was popular among its crews due to its manoeuvrable handling at low altitude, which made the Dornier capable of surprise bombing attacks. Its sleek and thin airframe made it harder to hit than other German bombers, as it presented less of a target. A series of new models introduced the new enlarged nose, greatly increasing defensive firepower, finally settling on the Z models, which were widely available by 1939. During the first phase of World War II, the Do 17, along with the He 111, formed the backbone of the Luftwaffe's Kampfgruppen. During the Polish campaign, the Do 17Z could use its 427 km/h (265 mph) maximum speed to stay away from most enemy fighters, and its light armament was effective. It also fought with success during the Battle of France and losses were relatively light, although when facing modern fighters like the Hawker Hurricane, the bomber proved slow in comparison and more vulnerable. When it faced British fighters during the Battle of Britain, it was shown that fast, well-armed monoplane fighters had changed the balance between bomber and fighter decidedly in favour of the latter. The Do 17 suffered in early raids. The limitations of the Dornier reemerged on the Eastern Front, namely its limited bomb capacity and its range. The vastness of this new theatre meant its usage declined. As 1941 wore on, the Dornier was phased out of the bomber role. Surviving aircraft were used as test beds for new technologies and training schools, while many others were handed off to allied nations over the next two years. Info: Wikipedia Profiles: Wings Palette Fighting Aircraft of World War II Published by Salamander Books.

Dornier Do 17
Roelf, Aug 6, 2011
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