Dornier Komet

Komet, Merkur, and related
Dornier B-Bal "Merkur" of Ad Astra Aero S.-A.
Role Airliner
Manufacturer Dornier Flugzeugwerke
First flight 1921

The Dornier Komet ("Comet"), Merkur ("Mercury"), Do C, Do D, and Do T were a family of aircraft manufactured in Germany during the 1920s, originally as small airliners, but which saw military use as well. The earliest aircraft in the series were basically landplane versions of the Delphin flying boat, and although the Delphin and Komet/Merkur series diverged from each other, design changes and refinements from one family were often incorporated into the other.

Design and development

The first Komets (Do C III Komet I) utilised the wing, tail, and even upper fuselage of the early Delphin versions, but replaced the lower fuselage and sponsons with a simple sheet-metal bottom that incorporated fixed tailskid undercarriage. The engine installation was also relocated from its peculiar position above the Delphin's nose to a conventional location in the Komet's fuselage nose. Accommodation was provided for a single pilot and four passengers. An improved version, the Do Komet II, was first flown on 9 October 1922 and was widely exported to countries including Colombia, Spain, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union.

Dornier Merkur (CH 142) operated by Ad Astra Aero (1927)
Dornier Merkur replica on display

The Do Komet III of 1924 was a practically all-new design that shared many elements with the Delphin III. The cabin was expanded to seat another two passengers, and the wing was raised above the fuselage on short struts. This version was exported to Denmark and Sweden, but was also produced under licence in Japan by Kawasaki.

In 1925, the Komet III was replaced in production by the Do B Merkur I, which featured a revised fin and longer-span wings. When fitted with the BMW VI engine, it became known as the Do B Bal Merkur II, as did indeed any Komets thus re-engined. The type was widely used by Deutsche Luft Hansa, which had some 30 Merkurs operating at one time, and was also exported to Brazil, China, Colombia, Japan, and Switzerland.

The Do C and Do D were follow-on military designs, the former a trainer exported to Chile and Colombia, the latter a floatplane torpedo-bomber built for the Yugoslav Royal Navy. The designation Do T was used for a landplane ambulance version.


Do C III Komet I
First of the Komet series
Do Komet II
Do Komet III
Do B Merkur I
Do B Bal Merkur II
Do C
Military version of the Komet III
Do D
A much revised floatplane torpedo bomber version for the Royal Yugoslav Air Force
Do T
An ambulance version


Civil operators

 Soviet Union

Military operators

 Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Specifications (Merkur II)

Dornier Komet

Data from European Transport Aircraft since 1910[5]

General characteristics



  1. 1 2 3 Hooks Aeroplane June 2016, p. 52.
  2. 1 2 Hooks Aeroplane June 2016, p. 51.
  3. Hooks Aeroplane June 2016, pp. 52–53.
  4. Hooks Aeroplane June 2016, pp. 51–52.
  5. Stroud 1966, p. 246.
  6. Donald 1995, p. 347.
  7. Stroud Aeroplane Monthly January 1984, p. 39.


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