Dornier Do 31 Germany V / STOL cargo plane

The Dornier Do 31 was Germany V / STOL cargo Aircraft.


Development of Dornier Do 31

The first preparatory work began in 1959, and in February 1962 the aircraft manufacturer Dornier was commissioned to develop the Do 31 as a 25-ton class combat-zone transporter for the transport of 36 fully-equipped soldiers for the Luftwaffe of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The development program was limited in the first phase to the construction of two Schweigsestelle, two flyable prototypes and an Iron Birds for testing the systems.

In the second phase, the Do-31 should have been developed for series production. At the end of the first phase, the program was discontinued.

Why Dornier Do 31 was discontinued?

It was too early from the perspective of many experts, as the military specifications of NATO had changed. The entire Do-31 program cost just over DM 200 million, of which 40% went to British companies mainly for the development of the engines. The main and marching engine Pegasus 5-2 was developed by Bristol-Siddeley (later: Rolls-Royce ) and also used in the British Harrier whiz.

The technically very demanding development and testing program were provided by a remarkably small development and experimental team.


Prototypes of Pornier Do 31

Three prototypes were built (SG, E-1, E-3); but should fly only the E-1 and the E-3. The SG (Schwebegestell) was only intended for tests on the ground. The prototype E-1 (D-9530) had its maiden flight on February 10, 1967. The second prototype, the E-3 (D-9531) made its (conventional) maiden flight on July 14, 1967, and lifted on September 22, 1967, for the first vertical take off. On December 16, 1967, the first transition from vertical to horizontal flight was carried out.

In 1969, the E-3 was transferred from Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich to Paris for aerosalon, while five new world records were set for vertically take-off aircraft; among others the highest speed of 514 km / h, flown by pilot Drury W. Wood and copilot Dieter Thomas. On May 5, 1970, the Do 31 flew for the last time in front of an audience at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Hannover, although the project had already been stopped in October 1969.

After 154 test flights and a total of 39 flight hours, the E-3 was shut down and stood for a long time in front of the main entrance to the Museum Island of the Deutsches Museum in Munich. After the completion of the Schlewerheim airfield, it was transported there in 1996, restored and can today be visited there.

The E-1 was also shut down in 1970 after 101 test flights and a total of 59 flight hours, stored and transported in April 2009 from Oberpfaffenhofen to Friedrichshafen. There she is exhibited since July 2009 in the new Dornier Museum.

Vertical takeoff and horizontal flight 

The vertical take-off takes place by means of eight lifting engines and the two cruise engines, which are equipped with swiveling thrusters. In addition, at the rear of a control nozzle, which can blow up or down, available. In horizontal flight, the two cruise engines are used.

In order to use the aircraft fuselage for transport purposes, the lifting engines (Rolls-Royce RB 162) are housed in the characteristic gondolas at the wing tips, four on each side. These gondolas are removable, in order to be able to install additional containers in their place.

Article Source: Wikipedia

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