Dornier Do 17


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  BOMBER, RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFTVirtual Aircraft Museum / Germany / Dornier  

Dornier Do 17

The Do 17 was less important to the Luftwaffe during World War II than other later types of medium bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, but nevertheless served in one role or another throughout the war. Although originally configured as a commercial high-performance mail and passenger-carrying aircraft for Deutsche Luft-Hansa, it was as a replacement for the stop-gap Junkers Ju 52/3m bomber/transport that the Do 17 "Flying Pencil" is best remembered, and for being the first type of German aircraft shot down by an RAF single-seat fighter during the war (a Hurricane of No 1 Squadron on 30 October 1939).

The first prototype Do 17 made its maiden flight in 1934 and this and later prototypes were tested by Lufthansa, which rejected them because of their cramped accommodation. Following evaluation and development as a bomber, Dornier put the aircraft into production for the Luftwaffe as the Do 17E bomber and F reconnaissance aircraft, each powered by two BMW VI engines and becoming operational from 1937. Within a year both models were flying missions in Spain.

The E and F were followed into production by the Do 17M bomber and P reconnaissance developments with Bramo 323A-1 and BMW 132N engines respectively. A number of Do 17P were sent to Spain to supplement the slower and more vulnerable Do 17F flying with Nationalist forces. A Do 17 version (essentially similar to the Do 17M) was also exported to Yugoslavia. Following small numbers of Do 17S reconnaissance and Do 17U pathfinder aircraft with Daimler-Benz DB600A engines, the final version appeared as the Do 17Z powered by Bramo 323.

At the outbreak of World War II the Luftwaffe had about 550 Do 17 in operational condition and the type was immediately used in attacking Poland. On 3 September 1939 the Luftwaffe lost 22 aircraft (four of which were Do 17), but the overwhelming superiority of the German forces brought a swift end to the campaign. During the Battle of France, French fighters gained a number of important victories over escorted Do 17, but it was during the Battle of Britain that the Dornier's lack of armour and fire-power was most clearly demonstrated. Although engaged on the Eastern Front, by 1942 most Luftwaffe bomber units had given up their Do 17 and many were thereafter employed on other duties including glider-towing.

Dornier Do 17

 ENGINE2 x BMW "Bramo 323P", 770kW
  Take-off weight8890 kg19599 lb
  Empty weight5230 kg11530 lb
  Wingspan18.0 m59 ft 1 in
  Length15.8 m52 ft 10 in
  Height4.6 m15 ft 1 in
  Wing area55.0 m2592.01 sq ft
  Max. speed410 km/h255 mph
  Cruise speed376 km/h234 mph
  Ceiling9000 m29550 ft
  Range w/max.fuel2000 km1243 miles
 ARMAMENT4 x 7.9mm machine-guns, 1000kg of bombs

Dornier Do 17A three-view drawing (1658 x 1148)

changmarin, e-mail, 30.03.2012 21:21

There is a beautiful b /w photo of Do-17's flying over Greece in a Reader's Digest collection of three books about WWII. I always remember that pic, beatiful odd looking plane.


baxie, 20.06.2011 05:49

I have only the profile No 164 of the Do 17 but it is the only specific book on the aircraft


Joseph Balitza Jr., e-mail, 11.04.2011 04:43

4 /10 /11 NY Post reports a Dornier 17 was found of the cost of England when a fishing crews net was entangled. Plane was shot down over 70 years ago.


wlkriessmann, e-mail, 26.09.2010 09:00

After I have seen the "Flying Pencil" at the Reichsparteitag Sept 1938 in Nuernberg I flew the first one (DD+MB) on May 6th 1940 at C Schule Ko;llberg /Ostsee and from then on Kampffliegerschule Thorn / Weichsel 14.July 1940(KJ+XR),Blindflugschule Koenigsberg-Devau,Sept,29 (TB+AJ), LDK 1 Berlin DO17M(RD+MF)Jan 15 1941 and the last one DO17U(CJ+BC) on June 23 1941 from Leipzig - Berlin /Rangsdorg Allways fun.


Al, e-mail, 07.09.2010 05:02

what was the final destination of Do17ZR1787 ?


Barry, 12.01.2010 11:58

15 Dornier Do17Z were supplied to Finland in January 1942, most of which were lost during the course of the war but of the surviving four the last (Werk Nr 2905 5K+DV Finnish Reg DN58) ceased flying on the 13th September 1948.


peter.v.n, e-mail, 01.03.2008 13:27

This plane is a very much produced in WWII in Polish,Itay,French,Russia,Bulgaria and athore countrys.


john challingsworth, e-mail, 06.07.2007 17:06

why can i not find books about the Dornier 17 . I have only the profile No 164 of the Do 17 but it is the only specific book on the aircraft


Carmel John Attard, e-mail, 26.12.2006 09:27

I have built a model to a scale of 1 /72 of the Dornier Do-17M /P in Bulgarian Air Force markings after these were supplied by the Luftwaffe to Bulgaria during WWII. I can supply picturtes of the model if asked.


Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -