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Do 335

Dornier Do 335 Arrow Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2007 Title Dornier Do 335 Arrow
Author J. Richard Smith, Eddie J. Creek, Gerhard Roletschek Publisher Classic Publications
Published 2006 ISBN 1-903223-67-9
Format 174 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $53.95


Regardless of how you view Nazi Germany and its history, that period in history was to serve as the catalyst to advance aviation at a blinding pace, much of which was based on very advanced German aeronautical and propulsion technologies.

One such advancement was the Luftwaffe's fastest piston-powered fighter, the Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow). Developed by Dornier as a heavy fighter, it was powered by a pair of Daimler Benz DB 603 engines which could propel the aircraft nearly 480 mph/770 kph. To put this into perspective, one of the fastest piston aircraft of the time was the de Havilland Mosquito which could regularly leave the P-51 Mustang behind at full power. The only German piston fighter that posed a threat was the Ta 152H that could slightly out-perform the Mosquito. The Do 335 out-performed the Ta 152H and would have posed a serious threat to the reconnaissance Mosquitos had they really entered service.

This title is definitely the ultimate reference on the subject. The authors walk the reader through the history of the designer, the requirements and development of the aircraft, its evolution through flight test and changing requirements, a look at the post-war exploitation of the aircraft, and even a look at some of the advanced designs of 'what might have been'.

The coverage include:

  1. Whales and Flying Pencils
  2. The Dornier Do 335
  3. What might have been
  4. "The most fascinating aircraft"
  5. Camouflage and Markings
  6. Do 335 - An Overview

What makes this the ultimate reference is not only the excellent research and organization of material on the subject, and not just the outstanding photographs, many of which have not previously been published. What makes this title outstanding is the collection of images of the aircraft under construction, excerpts of engineering diagrams to show how things worked, and even a pilots 'dash-one' flight manual. In the colors and markings section, the authors have reproduced the original (still in German) RLM paint and camouflage instructions for the aircraft. The title also has color profiles of a selection of aircraft.

In the Appendices are the pilot's manual, an excellent selection of detailed line drawings of various developmental aircraft, and a nice modeler's reference on building the Tamiya kit written by Hyperscale's Brett Green.

If you are an aviation historian and/or a Luftwaffe era modeler, this is the one book you'll ever need on the subject. This title is highly recommended!