World War 2 Aircraft Logo
Home » Germany » Dornier Do 18

Dornier Do 18

Aircraft Lists

First flown in March 1935 with two Jumo 5 diesel engines, the Do 18 was one of its era. Its wide hull and sponsons made it extremely stable on the water, while internal watertight compartments meant that it was difficult to sink.

As well as operating its four DO 18Es on the southern Atlantic mail route, Lufthansa used the single DO 18F to set a new distance record for seaplanes in March 1938. The aircraft flew 8,390 km (5,213 miles) after being catapult launched from the tender Westfalen.

The Luftwaffe's DO 18D entered service in 1936 and served with maritime recconnaisance units during the Polish and Norwegian campaigns before being used as an air-sea rescue aircraft during the Battle of Britain in 1940. With just two 7.9 mm (0.31 inch) machine guns, however, it proved to be too poorly armed for military service. New engines and heavier armament were installed to produce the DO 18G. The DO 18H was a training version.

During 1941 many DO 18Gs were converted to DO 18Ns for the air-sea rescue role. This was the DO 18's main task for the remainder of its career.

With its origins in the Wal series of flying boats which Dornier had been developing since 1922 and which had culminated in the military DO 15, the DO 18 was developed to provide both a replacement for the DO 15 and a transatlantic mail carrier for the German airline Lufthansa. Using the new, fuel efficient Junkers Jumo 205 diesel engine, the Do 18 proved to have outstanding range, but its main military use was for air-sea rescue.


Dornier Do 18

Dornier Do 18 early wartime search and rescue Dornier Do 18 junkers type flaps The Dornier Do 18 maritime patrol flying boat
As a maritime patrol aircraft the Do 18 was very vulnerable to enemy fighters and its frontline career came to an end in August 1941. The large 'double wing' flaps, of Junkers design, can clearly be seen here. Although this aircraft carries a civilian registration, it is actually the pre-production Do 18D-01.

Dornier Do 18 (Technical Specification)
Role Four seat maritime patrol and reconnaissance flying boat
Manufacturer Dornier
Maximum Speed 267 kmh (166 mph)
Maximum Range 3,500 km (2,175 miles)
Ceiling 4,200 meters (13,780 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

5,980 kg (13,184 lbs)
10,795 kg (23,800 lbs)
Wing Area

23.70 meters (77 ft, 9 in)
19.38 meters (63 ft, 7 in)
5.32 meters (17 ft, 5 in)
98 square meters (1,055 sq ft)
Engines Two Junkers Jumo 205D six cylinder inline diesel engines each providing 656-kW (880-hp)
Armament One 13 mm (0.51 in) machine gun
One 20mm (0.79 in) cannon
Two 50 kg (110 lb) bombs

Photo Gallery

Click here to submit your photo

Have A Passion For Aircraft?
Subscribe to our 14 series FREE newsletter
delivered weekly on World War 2 Aircraft factfile...
NB:- We hate spam as much as you do, so your email address will NEVER be shared with or sold to anyone else. That's a Guarantee.

Best 10 Aircraft   Top 10 Favorites   United States   Germany   Great Britain   Japan   Russia  
Italy   Model Gallery   Resources   Contact Us   Guestbook  
Copyright © All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.