Do215 as a heavy fighter/fighter-bomber

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that this aircraft was the ideal combination of strengths that bested the Ju88C and Bf110; it was lighter, cheaper, and faster than the Ju88 and more maneuverable, tougher, and capable of handling a heavier load than the Bf110.
    So rather than going down the Ju88C and Bf110 paths after the disasters of the BoB proving the Bf110 was not up to snuff as an escort and the Ju88C was not in production except for a handful of aircraft due to the need for every bomber version, why not use the existing Do17 capacity to build the Do215-B5 as a heavy fighter? It was a superb night fighter in the period up until the Ju88G became available and had a longer life in that role than the Bf110. It would have been a better aircraft than the Me210 turned out to be, though by late 1943/early 1944 the heavy fighter is a non-survivable aircraft over Germany. As a Jabo it would have been better than the Bf110, as it was more maneuverable at lower speeds and altitudes and could have been armored (the B-5 night fighter version was planned to be fully armored, but the idea was dropped to enhance its speed). Its performance would have increased along with the engine power, as it did with the Bf110.

    So was this a missed opportunity for the Luftwaffe?
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Not really, while it might have made a decent night fighter ( plenty of room for the black boxes) it was too big and slow for most of the other roles. It used the same engines as the smaller Bf-110 so performance was always going to be less.

    it might have been a useful fast bomber but that is what it was, a bomber and not a Jabo. While the fuselage was much smaller it's wing was nearly the size of a B-25 wing, 97%.
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Not that much heavier. Empty weights:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Bf_110#Specifications_.28Messerschmitt_Bf_110_C-4.29
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_215#Dornier_Do_215_B-1
    This is for the B1, which was heavier than the B5, which was the stripped down night fighter version.

    The extra wing area made the Do17/215 more maneuverable than the Bf110, especially at lower speeds (the Bf110 was widely regarded as a dog in flight).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operational_history_of_the_Dornier_Do_17#Battle_of_Britain
    Dornier Do-17 Depot
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    DO 215 is 28.5% heavier empty. That is a good amount when powered by the same engines.


    Maneuverable for a bomber and maneuverable for a fighter are two different standards. Please check both VNE ( MAX do not exceed speed) for dive speed and the "G" limits for the Do 17. Bf 110 is about 30-40 mph faster. Also compare climb rates and ceiling. I believe the 110 is going to handily out climb the Do 215.

    Low wing loading is only going to work if the plane structure will stand up to 5-6 "G" turns.

    British thought both the Blenheim and the Hampden were very maneuverable for bombers.

    Being hard to shoot down doesn't quite mean that the Do 17 can get it's guns onto an Allied fighter.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I have my doubts. But in any case maneuverability was not a major asset for WWII era night fighter aircraft.

    Did Do-17 have the docile landing and easy taxi characteristics which a night fighter aircraft requires?
    Was Do-17 canopy designed in such a manner that it produced minimal glare when flying through searchlights at night?
    Did Do-17 make a good gun platform?
    Did Do-17 cannon produce cockpit glare or were they positioned to eliminate this problem?
    Was Do-17 electrical system easily adaptable to the multitude of electronic equipment carried by night fighter aircraft?
    Did Do-17 have an armored cocoon to protect aircrew from small arms fire?
    Was Do-17 airframe easily adaptable to more powerful versions of DB601 and/or Jumo 211 engine?
     
  6. l'Omnivore Sobriquet

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    Keep the Do-17 for the aufklärer fleet, the tactical reconnaissance role. There you have all its qualities shining out.

    Perhaps some few adaptations for the harshier post-1940 environnement, like a minimal but usefull fixed frontal armement (say one mg-ff 20mil autogun and that's it.) A tough target and a capable military tool.

    And what a lovely VIP transport...
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Most of those are not problems or are easily solvable. What is harder to solve is the lack of power. A pair of DB 601s just don't have enough oomph for a 18,000-19,000lb airplane and by the time the DB 605s show up the bar has moved. As a night fighter it may be workable but far from ideal. In the daylight it is toast.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Need a new nose similar to other German recon aircraft such as Ju-188 and Fw-189. Certainly possible but how much money do you want to sink into further development of the relatively old Do-17 design? In this case I think Germany did the right thing by creating a recon variant of the newer Ju-88.

    ju188a1.jpg

    fw189pc_title.jpg
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I seem to recall Eric Brown's opinion being that the Bf 110 was a delight to fly. That doesn't mean it was any good in a dog fight.
     
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