Bomber and reconnaissance aircraft Dornier Do 215 was the “younger brother” bomber Do 17. Do 215 kept the basic design solutions of “flying pencil”, but was powered by inline engines Daimler-Benz DB601 Aa.
Due to the sensation that the Dornier Do 17 had caused at an air show in Zurich in the summer of 1937, numerous countries began to take an interest in the type. Yugoslavia acquired a production licence for the Do 17K and Do 17M versions. In the meantime, a new version for the Luftwaffe, the Do 17Z, went into production but was not licensed for export. Dornier soon made efforts to obtain such approval. RLM finally allowed the export under the condition of a deviating designation Do 215.
As before, Yugoslavia was the first interested party. A pre-production Do 17 Z-0 was fitted with a pair of Gnôme-Rhône 14N radial engines as a demonstration aircraft and was given the designation Do 215 V2 before being presented to the Yugoslavian Air Force. Previously, a Do 17 Z-0 with the standard BMW Bramo 323A-1 engines had been redesignated the Do 215 V1. However, the V2 showed little improvement in flight characteristics over its predecessor, which was already in production in Yugoslavia, so no order was placed. Dornier then decided to equip the Do 215 with the more powerful DB-601A engines made by Daimler-Benz. A corresponding prototype flew under the designation Do 215 V3 and showed considerable increases in performance compared to the other prototypes.
In December 1939, Sweden ordered 18 Do 215 A-1s to replace the undelivered French Breguet 694s, but the ordered aircraft were not delivered due to a German export embargo and the order was subsequently cancelled in September 1940. The German Luftwaffe took delivery of the aircraft instead.
In 1941, some Do 215Bs received the armament head already mounted in the Do 17 Z-10 “Kauz II” instead of the nose glazing for night fighter purposes. These aircraft were given the designation Do 215 B-5. At least 17 aircraft were converted into such night fighters.
Dornier Do215 were used in combat by Germans and Hungarians. Three aircraft of this type were sold to the USSR. Number built: 101.
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- Samoloty Luftwaffe 1933-1945 Tom I & II – Marek Murawski, Ilustrowana Encyklopedia Techniki Wojskowej (polish)