Dornier Do 31

1967

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Dornier Do 31

This program goes back to the year 1959. In 1962, the German Federal Ministry of Defense awarded Dornier a design contract for the Do 31 V/STOL transport aircraft. Under this experimental program, the production program covered a small and a large hovering rig for studying design principles, an airframe for structural testing, and a systems test stand for hydraulic and electric systems.
Both prototypes flew in 1967 and were successfully tested between 1967 and 1971. The Do 31 E-1 was equipped with two engines providing power for cruising flight as well as lift during takeoff and landing via vectored nozzles. To support the cruise engines in hover flight another eight engines were installed in nacelles at the wing ends. By tilting the cruise engine nozzles, the Do 31 was accelerated to the speed of approximately 250kph required for aerodynamic horizontal flight, and the eight lift-producing engines were stopped again after 20 seconds.
The Do 31, which established several world records during its ferry flight to the 1969 Paris Air Show, was the first and so-far only vertical take-off jet transport built in the world.

Dornier Do 31

Specification 
 MODELDo 31E
 ENGINE2 x RR Bristol "Pegasus" 5-2 thrust-vectoring turbojets, 7031kg + 8 x Rolls-Royce RB 162-4D, 1996kg
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight27442 kg60500 lb
  Empty weight22453 kg49501 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan18.06 m59 ft 3 in
  Length20.88 m69 ft 6 in
  Height8.53 m28 ft 0 in
  Wing area57.0 m2613.54 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Cruise speed644 km/h400 mph
  Ceiling10515 m34500 ft

Dornier Do 31

Comments
Anti Diamond, e-mail, 25.08.2014 06:43

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BOBBY, e-mail, 18.07.2012 02:09

I DON ABIA OF OF OF

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rachman malik, e-mail, 25.06.2012 20:15

who is do-31 designer ?
is Mr.Habibie

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damazi, 20.06.2011 05:22

Drury is 85 years now and still lives Grants Pass. If you interesstet on a picture about the Award in front of the Do 31 please let me know!

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Drury Wood, e-mail, 24.04.2011 08:57

At air shows I won wagers with other pilots that I could fly it backwards. I always won. It would fly in circles, backwards and in any other direction,just not for too long. I am the only pilot to ever make a vertical takeoff and landing in it, there will never be another.

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Drury Wood, e-mail, 21.03.2010 16:09

With all ten engines going, it used a lot of fuel BUT the lift engines were used for only 15 to 20 seconds on takeoff and landing. The rate was high but the amount reasonable.

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J.M. Patton, Jr., e-mail, 15.01.2010 22:43

As a NASA research pilot,Langley Research Center, I flew the Big Hover Rig in the period 9 /26-10 /22 /69 for 8 flights and the DO-31E3 for 18 flights from 2 /6 to 4 /7 /70. R.C. Innis, research pilot, NASA Ames Research Center, flew both these aircraft the same number of flights. Drury Wood was pilot-in-command. I have great respect for what he accomplished; to my knowledge, he was pilot-in-command for all flights of this great Dornier aircraft.

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Sabine Rita Winkle, e-mail, 04.01.2010 10:18

To my person: I am a freelance journalist from Germany and wrote an article on Drury and the Do 31 for a respected German aviation magazine. Since them Drury is a wonderfull friend to me and I learned a lot about testpilots from him. Drury was very disappointed by some people of the aviation scene over here and so he ask me for help! On this subject I had the great pleasure to bring his Kincheloe Award personally to the museum where it found its final place beside Drury's Do 31!
Drury is 85 years now and still lives Grants Pass. If you interesstet on a picture about the Award in front of the Do 31 please let me know!

All the best for 2010, Sabine Rita Winkle

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kirman, e-mail, 06.05.2009 23:12

it looks very wired for a fighter air craft!!

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ahda sabila, e-mail, 25.01.2009 01:03

this plane was corrected with BJ habibie indonesian, so this plane can take off vertical...

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Gerd Naydock, e-mail, 04.04.2008 03:46

Definitely a most interesting aircraft concept. Although not VTOL, the C-130 Hercules with JATO probably comes fairly close to serving the needs which were envisioned by Dornier designers for this type of transport aircraft.

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Jim Yoder, e-mail, 17.03.2008 21:21

There are a total of three of thess in existence.
E1 the non vertical take off version reside at the deutches Mueseum in Munich.
E3 The fully capable prototype is at the museum of DOrnier (now EADS) in Oberschleissheim Germany along side the Autobahn Munich Lindau
The hover rig was scrapped back in the early 70s.

My father was part of the test program on this aircraft, and I remember vividly watching a couple of hover and flight transition tests from the edge of the tramac in 1967-68.

Think of it as two harriers strapped together with an eadditional 8 lift engines... LOUD!!!

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Martin Gomez, e-mail, 08.01.2008 16:21

That "Flash Gordon spike" is a flight test boom. It's often fitted to aircraft during their flight test phase, and is used to place the airspeed, angle of attack, and angle of sideslip sensors in undisturbed air.

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Ian, 30.12.2007 20:44

Very interesting aircraft! Why does it have the large Flash Gordon-style spike on its nose?

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Tim, e-mail, 08.08.2007 03:58

VSTOL aircraft tend to consume a large amount of fuel while in take-off / hover / landing operation. They also tend to be very loud.
(I'm sure you would agree, Mr.Wood) This was, however, an extraordinary aircraft, as previously stated.

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Dagoberto G. flores-Lozano, e-mail, 03.08.2007 22:19

I wonder, having this airplane; why airlines take their passengers to airports so far to city destinations, when they could land downtown?

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Drury Wood, e-mail, 30.12.2006 19:50

I was the project test pilot on this airplane. Flew all of the test rigs and full size over 600 flights. Made the record flights, Awarded Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande and Society of Experimental Test Pilots highest award, Kinchloe. A successful program killed by politics.

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