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Dornier Do 335 Pfeil

by J. Richard Smith & Eddie Creek
with Gerhard Roletschek


Classic Publications


S u m m a r y

Title and Publisher: Dornier Do 335 Pfeil Arrow
Classic Publications "Luftwaffe Classics" Series No. 13
ISBN: 1-903223-67-9
Media: Hardback with colour dust jacket; 303mm x 226mm in portrait format; 176 pages; approx. more than 200 photographs; line drawings; tables
Price: £24.95 plus shipping, online from Ian Allan Publishing
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Excellent coverage of concept, development, testing and operations; readable and interesting text; high quality artwork; scale drawings by Arthur Bentley, reproduction of Pilot's Handbook; attractive layout.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com




"Air War Classics" is the flagship Luftwaffe research series from Classic Publications, and the first twelve volumes have all been groundbreaking and authoritative in their specialist subject areas.

The latest in the Air War Classic series maintains this high standard.

"Dornier Do 335 Pfeil Arrow"  is presented in a hard cover behind the familiar Classic Publications grey dust jacket. This newest book comprises 176 pages of premium quality glossy paper.

The fastest piston engine aircraft produced by Germany in the Second World War came from an unlikely source. The Dornier company made its reputation building flying boats. However, the Dornier name is probably best known for its "Flying Pencil" bomber, the Dornier Do 17, which was an advanced design for its time, and formed the backbone of the Kampfflieger force for the first year of the war. The Do 17, in turn, led to the Do 217 medium bomber and a related family of night fighters and reconnaissance aircraft.

Despite its conservative public image, the Dornier company was dabbling with some unusual concepts, including the Gö 9, sub-contracted to a small company called Schempp-Hirth near the city of Göppingen (hence the Gö designation). The design featured a cruciform tail and a pusher propeller connected via a long extension shaft. The first flight took place in June 1941 following a tow and air-launch by a Dornier Do 17 M. The purpose of this aircraft was to prove the viability of the extension shaft.

Further tests and development resulted in the P 231/1 design, powered by two DB 603 E engines at 1,800 hp each driving propellers at the front and the rear, and featuring a cruciform tail. Meanwhile the RLM had issued  a Schnellbomber specification. Despite being originally snubbed by the German bureaucracy, Dornier eventually received an order for ten prototypes of their unconventional design on 19 January, 1943. This would become the Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow).

This new book examines the development and testing of the Dornier Do 335, its operations and what might have been.  The authors' text is logically laid out, comprehensive and informative, while remaining admirably readable. 

It is especially interesting to see many of the myths surrounding this unique aircraft being examined and often dispelled - including the oft-repeated tale of pilot's arms being ripped off during deployment of the ejection seat!

More than 200 photos, technical drawings, maps and tables are an essential part of the book, and they ensure that the reading is never laborious. The colour artworks by rlm.at's ( http://www.rlm.at ) Simon Schatz are very attractive.

The book also includes a full reproduction of the December 1944 Pilot's Handbook (mostly four sheets to a page, but still quite legible). It is also very pleasing to see eight pages of fine technical scale drawings, skeletal cutaways and scrap views by renowned illustrator Arthur Bentley.

This title is rounded out by a short two-page, 500 word summary* of Dornier Do 335 models available in 1/72 and 1/48 scale, with four photos of Chris Wauchop's gorgeous 1/48 scale Dornier Do 335 A-0.





The 1997 Monogram Monarch series book on the Dornier Do 335 looked like it would be the last word on the subject. However, much new information and many new photos have emerged in the intervening decade.

The new Classic Publications book adds to the pool of knowledge on this fascinating aircraft and is now probably the definitive work on the subject.

This will be a welcome resource for modellers and Luftwaffe enthusiasts alike.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Simon from DLS and  Ian Allan Publishing for the review sample

* the modelling summary was written by myself.

Review Copyright © 2007 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 12 February, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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