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Dornier Do 24

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The DO 24 was an excellent search and rescue aircraft which first flew in July 1937. It was soon delivered to the Dutch navy for service evaluation and after acceptance of the type the Dutch acquired 11 factory built examples and also license built another 25 aircraft powered by three Wright R-1820 engines and designated DO 24Ks.

At the outbreak of World War II Germany had only one airworthy prototype. However, with the defeat of Holland all semi-completed DO 24Ks were shipped to Germany and were fitted out for air-sea rescue duties. Under the supervision of the Germany company, Weser Flugzeugbau, production also continued in Holland. During the next four years about 170 BMW-Bramo powered DO 24TS were produced. These served with Luftwaffe rescue units in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Before being overrun by the Japanese the Dutch used a number of DO 24s successfully in the East Indies. The aircraft were later passed to the Royal Australian Air Force. Spain also acquired DO 24s and used these after World War II. A number of these remained in service for almost 30 years.

Designed to fill a requirement for the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service, the DO 24 was a three engined all metal flying boat which came to excel in the air-sea rescue role. Exported to the Dutch before the start of World War II, the aircraft was to serve both sides during the conflict. Although very few modifications were introduced during the production run, such was the enduring nature of the design that it continued to serve until the late 1970s.


Dornier Do 24

Dornier Do 24 air-sea rescue and transport flying boat Dependable Dornier Do 24 Dornier 24 during the post war service
Despite the large size of the DO 24 the aircraft was surprisingly agile. Crews soon came to marvel at the cabilities of their aircraft. This early DO 24 is being put through its paces during rough water tests. The aircraft proved to be extremely reliable. Remarkably these aircraft remained in service into the 1970s in the search and rescue role.

Dornier Do 24 (Technical Specification)
Role Air-sea rescue and transport flying boat
Manufacturer Dornier
Maximum Speed 331 kmh (205 mph)
Maximum Range 4,700 km (2,915 miles)
Ceiling 7,500 meters (24,600 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

9,400 kg (20,680 lbs)
18,400 kg (40,480 lbs)
Wing Area

27.00 meters (88 ft, 7 in)
22.05 meters (72 ft, 4 in)
5.75 meters (18 ft, 10 in)
108 square meters (1,162 sq ft)
Engines Three BMW-Bramo 323R-2 nine cyclinder radial engines each providing 746-kW (1,000-hp)
Armament One 7.9 mm (0.31 in) MG 15 machine gun in bow and stern turrets
One 20mm (0.79 in) Hispano Suiza 404 cannon in dorsal turret

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