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Do 18 file photo [12119]

Do 18

ManufacturerDornier Flugzeugwerke
Primary RoleSeaplane
Maiden Flight15 March 1935


ww2dbaseAfter one year of development, the Do 18A prototype flying boat took flight in 1935, piloted by personnel of the airline company Lufthansa. The final design closely resembled the appearance of the predecessor Do J Wal design, but adjustments were made to improve aerodynamic and hydrodynamic efficiency, and the use of modern engines improved fuel efficiency. Between 1935 and 1939, four additional aircraft were built for Lufthansa, which operated them across the Atlantic Ocean on many flights; one of Lufthansa's Do 18 aircraft was the Do 18F "Zyklon", which was the only Do 18 with extra-wide wingspan to allow flying even with one engine out. When the European War began in Sep 1939, 62 were in German Navy service, with 58 of them in operable condition. In 1939, they served in reconnaissance roles in the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. On 26 Sep, nine British Fleet Air Arm Skua aircraft from carrier HMS Ark Royal engaged three Do 18 flying boats, forcing one of them to make an emergency water landing; as this aircraft was later destroyed by destroyer HMS Somali, it became the first German aircraft to be destroyed by the British during the European War. In 1940, Do 18 aircraft were seen in Norwegian waters after the German invasion of Norway commenced. By mid-1941, they were considered obsolete, thus only one squadron was still serving in combat zones, and it was operating only as air-sea rescue aircraft rather than front-line reconnaissance.

ww2dbaseProduction of Do 18 flying boats lasted until Aug 1940. During the design's production life time, 170 aircraft were built; 48 of them were by Dornier and 122 of them were by Weser-Flugzeugbau.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Mar 2011

Do 18 Timeline

15 Mar 1935 Do 18A prototype flying boat took its maiden flight.
2 Nov 1935 Do 18A prototype flying boat was lost over the Baltic Sea during high speed tests.
10 Sep 1936 Do 18 flying boat "Zephir" piloted by Lufthansa Flugkapitän Blankenburg was launched from the German seaplane tender Schwabenland by catapult in the Azores. Do 18 flying boat "Aeolus" was similarly launched.
11 Sep 1936 Do 18 flying boat "Aeolus" arrived at Hamilton, Bermuda from the Azores after a 18-hour 15-minute flight. Several hours later, Do 18 flying boat "Zephir" arrived at New York, New York, United States from the Azores after a 22-hour 12-minute flight.
22 Sep 1936 Do 18 flying boat "Aeolus" arrived at Horta, Azores from Hamilton, Bermuda after a 17-hour 50-minute flight.
11 Jun 1937 Do 18F "Zyklon" flying boat took its maiden flight.
30 Jul 1937 Do 18 flying boat "Aeolus" was damaged during an ocean landing and was lost.
27 Mar 1938 A Do 18W flying boat established a seaplane record flying non-stop in a straight distance of 8,391 kilometers from Start Point, Devon, England, United Kingdom to Caravelas, Brazil.
1 Oct 1938 Do 18 flying boat "Pampero" was lost in the Atlantic Ocean; the entire crew of 5 was missing and was never found.
21 Nov 1939 Lufthansa's Do 18F flying boat, upgraded with BMW 132N radial engines and redesignated Do 18L, took its first flight after the upgrade work. After two days of testing, it was found that the BMW engine suffered overheating problems.


Do 18D-1
MachineryTwo Junkers 205C-4 six-cylinder diesel engines rated at 605hp each
Armament1x7.92mm MG15 bow machine gun, 1x7.92mm MG15 dorsal machine gun, 2x50kg bombs under wing
Span23.70 m
Length19.23 m
Height5.32 m
Wing Area98.00 m²
Weight, Empty6,680 kg
Weight, Maximum8,500 kg
Speed, Maximum250 km/h
Speed, Cruising190 km/h
Service Ceiling4,350 m
Range, Normal3,500 km


Do 18 float plane resting atop a catapult, date unknownDo 18 aircraft taking off from a seaplane tender, date unknown
See all 3 photographs of Do 18 Seaplane

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Do 18 Seaplane Photo Gallery
Do 18 float plane resting atop a catapult, date unknownDo 18 aircraft taking off from a seaplane tender, date unknown
See all 3 photographs of Do 18 Seaplane

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