Dornier Do 19

Do 19
Dornier Do 19
Role Heavy bomber
Manufacturer Dornier-Werke GmbH
First flight 28 October 1936
Status cancelled
Primary user Luftwaffe
Number built 3

The Dornier Do 19 was a German four-engine heavy bomber that first flew on October 28, 1936. Only one prototype flew, and it was converted to a transport in 1938. The other two were scrapped.

The Luftwaffe had a shortcoming in the lack of an efficient heavy bomber fleet. Generalleutnant Walther Wever, the Luftwaffe's first Chief of Staff, was the most persistent advocate of a German long-range strategic bomber fleet. It was built for the Luftwaffe's Ural bomber program under General Wever, competing against the Junkers Ju 89. The RLM Technisches Amt issued a specification for a four-engine heavy bomber. But after Wever's death in an airplane crash in June 1936, Wever's successor, Albert Kesselring, canceled Germany's long-range bomber projects to concentrate on tactical bombers.

Both Dornier and Junkers were competitors for the contract, and each received an order for three prototypes in late 1935. The Dornier design was given the project number of Do 19, while the Junkers prototype became the Ju 89.

Design and development

The Dornier Do 19 was a mid-wing cantilever design, and was mostly metal in construction. It had a rectangular-section fuselage and a tail unit, quite similar to the one fitted to the contemporary British Armstrong Whitworth Whitley medium bomber, with braced twin fins and rudders, mounted on the upper surface of the tailplane, itself set low on the rear fuselage as the Whitley's was. It also had retractable landing gear, including the tail wheel. The power plant, according to some sources, was supposed to be four Bramo 322H-2 radial engines that were mounted in nacelles at the leading edges of the wings.

It had a crew of ten, which would have consisted of a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, radio operator and five gunners. The V1 prototype flew on 28 October 1936. After Generalleutnant Wever died in an airplane crash on June 3, 1936, the heavy bomber program lost its momentum, and never recovered. When the Luftwaffe was given its heavy blow over the skies of England, the error of not having heavy bombers became apparent. But by then, it was too late in the day to develop the bombers required.

Albert Kesselring, Wever's successor, believed that what Germany required was more fighters and tactical bombers. Therefore the V2 and V3 prototypes were scrapped. The original V1 became a transport in 1938. The Dornier Do 19 had a disappointing performance: it was slow, carried only a 1,600 kg bomb load and had only a medium range. In fact, the whole Ural bomber concept had already been abandoned, not only because the required range was impossible, but also because existing navigation and bomb sights were not up to the task.

Specifications (Do 19 V2)

Dornier Do-19 Technical Specs.

General characteristics



See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists
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