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Dornier Do-17

The Do-17 supplemented the He-111 during the early part of the war. It was first designed as a fast mailplane and airliner. The airliner proposal was dropped because the fuselage was thought to be too small for paying passengers. This is why it was often called the 'Flying Pencil'. It utilized two BMW Bramo radial engines for power. The earliest Do-17s had normal step canopies while later varitants had fully-glazed canopies and noses. Like the Ju-88, the Do-17 housed the crew in a forward compartment for better communication and morale. It could carry four to eight 7.92mm machine guns for defense. It could carry 2,200 pounds of bombs and had a range of 930 miles. The Do-17 fought alongside the Ju-88 and He-111 during the Battle of Britain. Like the other two bombers, many 17s were shot down because of lack of a large defensive armament. The best known variant was the Do-17Z. Although Germany's bomber force was being downscaled almost daily, the Do-17 didn't stay in service very long. Later on the war the Do-17 was used as trainers, nightfighters, and as reconnaissance planes. Like all German bombers during World War Two, the Do-17 was doomed from conception.

A Do-17Z in flight. Early 17s had normal step canopies, while the later ones had a fully-glazed canopy and nose.

From any angle the Do-17 was ugly as could be, but it was a good tactical bomber.

The Do-17Z used BMW Bramo radial engines, while some versions used inline engines.