Dive-Bombing Brake

An unusual development on a German bomber is illustrated with these drawings.

Germany's Dornier Do-217E is one of its leading all-around bombers. In addition to being a conventional level bomber, the D0-217E has been adapted to dive-bombing through the use of the novel umbrella-like device shown on this page. Based on data and photographs supplied by the British from captured and shot-down Do-217Es, Julian Krupa, a member of Flying's art staff, prepared these illustrations.

Until the advent of the Do-217E, dive-bombers' flaps or "air brakes" followed a conventional pattern. The standard speed-reducing flaps normally found along the trailing edge of the wing were simply strengthened and, in some cases, modified a little, then used for both dive-bombing as well as landings or takeoffs. The Dornier flap, however, is used only for dive-bombing. When this type of bombing is not called for on a particular mission, the whole tail unit can be replaced with a standard fuselage tail cone. The brake operates on the same general principle as does the parachute. When entering a dive, the pilot can operate the bomb doors as well as the tail brake by pushing a button.

This short article was originally published in the August, 1943, issue of Flying including Industrial Aviation magazine, vol 33, no 2, p 51