Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fliegender Bleistift

"Bomben auf England !"

Way back in the last millennium during the Battle of Britain - one of Deutschland's attack craft was the sexyful Dornier DO 17 "Flying Pencil." Long, tall, lean and mean she was originally masqueraded as a super fast mail plane to escape the Versailles Treaty which prohibited Jerry from developing combat planes.

Debuting as a superfast bomber she was envisioned as being able to swing both ways - dropping precision targeted pay loads and simply outrunning any Allied pursuit planes. 

Tenacious fighter pilot skills and RAF's technological prowess soon rendered flying the Pencil in combat a dumb thing to do and the one piece all aluminum aircraft was obsolete'd by the end of 1941.

Very few survived the war so it is a historical treat of sorts that a Fliegender Bleistift that splashed down in the channel in the do or die days over the fields of Kent is still there and available for salvage and display.

"...A rare World War Two German bomber, shot down over the English Channel in 1940 and hidden for years by shifting sands at the bottom of the sea, is so well preserved a British museum wants to raise it.

"...The plane came to rest upside-down in 50 feet of water and has become partially visible from time to time as the sands retreated before being buried again.

The sonar sat pics are amazing 

Fliegender Bleistift stats:

* Crew: 4 (pilot, bomb aimer/gunner, two gunners)

* Length: 53 ft 3¾ in. (16.24 m)

* Wingspan: 59 ft 0¾ in. (18 m)

* Height: 14 ft 2 in. (4.56 m)

* Wing area: 592 ft² (54.99 m²)

* Empty weight: 9,920 lb (4,499 kg)

* Loaded weight: 14,991 lb (6,799 kg)

* Max takeoff weight: 15,520 lb (7,039 kg)

* Powerplant: 2× BMW VI 7.3 litre 12-cylinder liquid cooled in-line engines, 750 hp (559 kw) each


* Maximum speed: 236 mph (379 km/h) at sea level

* Range: 990 mi (1,593 km) with 1,760 lb bomb load

* Service ceiling: 18,050 ft (5,501 m)

* Maximum diving speed: 550 km/h (342 mph)

* Landing speed: 109 km/h (68 mph)


* Guns: three 7.92 mm MG 15 machine guns (some were fitted with up to five in 1939/40)

* Bombs: 997 kg (2,200 lb) of bombs

Pic - "Hanna flies a Pencil in airframe trials. Later, she became the 1st girl to ever fly a helicopter"