Germany’s blunted ‘Arrow’ – was the Do 335 too little, too late?

Dornier’s remarkable Do 335 could have been among the most potent piston-engined aircraft of World War Two, but changing plans and production problems derailed the concept, as Chris Goss  reveals

It’s an aircraft that continues to fascinate everyone from historians to the casual observer, mostly due to its remarkable appearance. The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow) was certainly among the more unusual and immediately identifiable single-seat fighter aircraft of World War Two. With a piston engine at either end of the fuselage, one pushing and one pulling, it was highly unlikely to be mistaken for anything else – although, in April 1945, this did in fact occur, with a Messerschmitt Me 262 being mistaken for a Do 335. Had it become operational, the Pfeil would also have been the fastest piston-engined fighter in service at that time.

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