Dornier Do 635 (Dragon Models, Parts scratch-built

TYPE: Long-range reconnaissance aircraft


POWER PLANT: Four Daimler-Benz DB 603E liquid-cooled engines, rated at 1,777 hp each


COMMENT: The Dornier Do 635 was a WW II long-range reconnaissance aircraft of the German Luftwaffe proposed by Dornier Company, as two Dornier Do 335 fuselages joined by a common center wing section.
In 1944, designers of Dornier Flugzeugwerke proposed the RLM a long-range reconnaissance aircraft with a range of 2.480 mi under the designation Dornier Do 335Z (Z for Zwilling ; “Twin”). Similar to the Heinkel He 111Z, a combination of two Heinkel He 111 bombers joined by a common center wing section, two Dornier Do 335B fuselages were connected by a center wing section. The pilot was seated in the left fuselage, the radio operator/navigator sitting in the right fuselage. Armament was not envisaged. The RLM confirmed the design provided the range was increased to app. 3.720 mi. Further modifications changed the design from the original Do 335 into a completely new aircraft; the new RLM designation was now Dornier Do 635. Four prototypes were ordered and begin of production was planned for June 1945.
On order of the RLM and representatives of the Luftwaffe the cooperation with Dornier was cancelled and all further development was transferred to Heinkel Flugzeugwerke.
Reason might be that Heinkel’s team had much experience with the Heinkel He 111Z and its twin fuselage combination.  The designation of the project was internally changed to Heinkel He P.1070, officially Heinkel He 535 (or He 635, depending on literature). Again, profound changes were required. In order to increase range three external fuel tanks under the outer and center wings were provided, the wing span was reduced and the fuselage length was increased.
All these changes did not satisfy the RLM, so the design was revised again. The crew compartment was now solely positioned in the left fuselage and enlarged to seat three crew members: pilot, copilot and observer/navigator. Wing span was increased again, the center wing section was shortened to bring both fuselages closer together and the inner tail planes were provided as a common sector.
Meanwhile, a lot of time was wasted due to permanent changes in the requirements of the design. Finally, all further development was transferred to Junkers Flugzeugwerke. Prof. Hertel and his team refined the design once again, now under the designation Junkers Ju 635. The aim was to simplify the aircraft for easier production and an increase of range to app. 7.200 mi.
As its predecessor the Junkers design used two modified Dornier Do 335 fuselages, joined by a center wing section of constant chord, the outer wing panels were tapered back. Four Daimler-Benz DB 603E-1 engines supplied the power, one in each forward fuselage pulling and two in each rear fuselage driving a pusher propeller via a long drive shaft. Fuel was carried in ten internal wing tanks, four in the fuselages and possibly one in each fuselage bay. The port fuselage bay carried two Rb 50/30 cameras and the starboard bay contained five 60 kg marker bombs. A crew of three was envisioned, although this could be increased to four eventually. The pilot and the radio operator sat in the port fuselage and a second pilot sat in the starboard fuselage. The fourth crew member (navigator) was also to sit in the starboard fuselage. The landing gear was to consist  of two nose wheels under each fuselage nose, two main wheels which were fitted with mud guards to protect the rear radiator intakes, and a jettisonable fifth wheel located beneath the center wing, which was fitted with a parachute for recovery. The main wheels were modified from the Junkers Ju 352 transports wheels. Two Walter HWK 109-500 RATO (Rocket Assisted Take Off) units could be fitted to assist take off. No armament was included due to the fact that this was a long-range reconnaissance aircraft and thus all weight was reserved for fuel and speed.
Four prototypes and six preproduction aircraft were orderd, the first example planned to take-off on February 1945. By early 1945, wind-tunnel models had been tested and cockpit mockups had been constructed. But by February 1945 due to the worsening war situation all further work on the Junkers Ju 635 was stopped.
The model shown here is the first design of the Dornier Do 635 (Ref.: 17, 24).

Junkers Ju 488 V401 (Kora Models, Resin)

TYPE: Heavy strategic bomber

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of three

POWER PLANT: Four BMW 801TJ or BMW 802 radial engines, rated at 2,500 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 429 mph at 23,620 ft

COMMENT: The Junkers Ju 488 was Germany’s last real attempt to create a four-engined, long range bomber. In early 1944, Junkers design department at Dessau made a proposal to simply and quickly produce a heavy bomber, using a minimum of new building jigs or parts. Basically, the Ju 488 was to be constructed out of existing Junkers aircraft. The Ju 388K was to supply the pressurized crew cabin, the Ju 188E supplied the rear fuselage, the ventral pannier was to come from the Ju 88A-15 and Ju 388K series, outer wing sections from the Ju 388K and finally the entire twin fin tail section from the Ju 288C. Added to this collection were a new center fuselage section and a parallel wing center section, to carry the four engines.
The Ju 488 V401 and V402 were to be entirely of metal construction, with the exception of the ventral pannier, which was constructed of wood. The fuselage had an internal bomb bay and five fuel tanks located behind the fuselage and above the bomb bay. The mid-fuselage mounted wing was tapered on the outer wing panels and featured a two spar, all metal construction, with a total of eight fuel tanks within the wing. Four BMW 801TJ 14 cylinder radial engines (driving four bladed propellers) were mounted in individual nacelles, with each nacelle containing a single main landing gear leg, which retracted to the rear. One interesting design workaround was that the outer engines had to be mounted lower on the wing, because the wing dihedral would have left the landing gear a little short from reaching the ground. No defensive armament was to be fitted to either the V401 or V402.
Proceeding in parallel with the first two 488 prototypes’ construction, a new, larger aircraft was being designed. This was to be the production model Junkers Ju 488A, and four prototypes (V403-406) were ordered. This new version deleted the wooden ventral pannier and the wing was moved further to the rear. The BMW 801TJs were to be replaced by four Jumo 222A-3 or B-3 liquid cooled 24 cylinder four row radial engines. Perhaps the biggest change was the lengthened fuselage, which was to use a welded steel tube construction with a sheet metal covering towards the front portion of the aircraft, and a fabric covering for the rear. An extra fuel tank could now be carried within the fuselage, for a maximum total of 15.066 liters (3.980 gallons). Defensive armament consisted of a remote controlled tail barbette with two MG 131 13 mm machine guns and a single remote controlled dorsal turret with two MG 151 20 mm cannon, both controlled from the pressurized cockpit via a periscope.
Work was begun on the Junkers Ju 488 V401 and V402 prototypes in the former Latécoère factory at Toulouse in early 1944. The plan was for the fuselage and the new wing center section to be built in Toulouse, all other components would come from the Junkers Dessau and Bernburg factories. It was hoped to have the Ju 488 in operational service by mid-1945. Construction was well advanced when the decision was made in July of 1944 to move the existing work done to date to Bernburg by train, due to the rapidly advancing Allied invasion forces. On the night of July 1944, resistance fighters succeeded in destroying the Ju 488 V401 fuselage and center wing section to the extent they could not be salvaged. After the last of the German forces evacuated the city in late August 1944, the V402 forward fuselage section was found covered and abandoned on a railway siding. No record seems to exist as to the final disposition of this last remaining Ju 488 piece. The entire Ju 488 program was discontinued in November 1944, when it was realized that a new large bomber aircraft was not needed at this stage in the war. An attempt was made to offer the Ju 488 design to the Japanese, but they were not interested (Ref.: 17).

Heinkel He 177A-5/R2 “Greif” (“Griffin”) with Ruhrstahl Fritz X, 4./KG 100, (Revell)

TYPE: Heavy long-range bomber


POWER PLANT: Two Daimler- Benz DB 610 “power systems”, each one created from a twinned-pair of Daimler-Benz DB 610A-1/B-1 liquid-cooled engines, rated at 2,950 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 303 mph at 19,685 ft

COMMENT: The Heinkel He 177 “Greif” (“Griffin”) was a long-range heavy bomber flown by the German Luftwaffe during World War II. The He 177 was the only operational long-range heavy bomber available to the Luftwaffe during the war years that had a payload/range capability similar to the four-engined heavy bombers flown by the USAAF and RAF in the European theatre; it had higher cruising and maximum speeds.
Designed to a 1936 requirement known as “Bomber A”, the aircraft was originally intended to be a purely strategic bomber intended to support a long-term bombing campaign against Soviet industry in the Urals. In spite of its large wingspan, the design was limited to two engines. During the design, Luftwaffe doctrine came to stress the use of moderate-angle dive-bombing, or “glide bombing”, to improve accuracy. Applying the changes needed for this type of attack to such a large aircraft was unrealistic.
To deliver the power required from only two engines on an aircraft this large, engines of at least 2,000 hp were needed. Such designs were not well established and the Daimler-Benz DB 606 “power system”, combined with the cooling and maintenance problems caused by the tight nacelles, caused the engines to be infamous for catching fire in flight. Early models gained the nicknames  Reichsfeuerzeug“ (“Reich’s lighter”) from Luftwaffe aircrew.
On 9 November 1939, the first prototype, the He 177 V1, was flown. Further seven prototypes were completed until 1942, followed by 35 pre-production He 177 A-0s and 130 He 177 A-1s. The early aircraft in this batch were used for further trials, and after a brief and unhappy operational debut the remainder were withdrawn from service. From late 1942 they were replaced by He 177 A-3s. Starting in August 1943, all He 177’s delivered had an extended rear to both instill greater stability for bombing and to offset the slightly lengthened engine nacelles. Most of the short-fuselage A-3s were rebuilt to the longer standard . From November 1942 to June 1944 612 He 177A-3 were built resp. converted (from short fuselage to long fuselage). These were followed by 350 He 177A-5.
The type matured into a usable design but was too late in the war to play an important role. It was built and used in some numbers, especially on the Eastern Front where its range and cruising altitudes in excess of 19,690 ft was particularly useful. So, losses were relatively light. The Soviet Air Force, equipped mainly for low-level interception and ground-attack roles, could do little to hinder the high-flying bombers. In contrast the He 177 saw considerably less use on the Western Front late in 1944.
As the war progressed, He 177 operations became increasingly ineffective. Fuel and personnel shortages presented difficulties, and He 177s were sitting on airfields all over Europe awaiting new engines or engine-related modifications. Constant attacks of the Allied against Luftwaffe long-range combat units in France made continuous operations difficult.
In common with most piston-engined German bombers, the He 177 was grounded from the summer of 1944 due to the implementation of the Emergency Fighter Program (Jäger Notprogramm). Until November 1944, 1,153 He 177 in several subtypes were built by Arado and Heinkel.
One Heinkel He 177A-0, one A-3, and two A-5 were rebuilt as Heinkel He 177 B  prototypes from December 1943 to July 1944. From the beginning these aircraft were designed as a four-engined development with four Daimler-Benz DB 603 in separate nacelles instead  of the “coupled engine” powered He 177 A-series. Further plans show that these engine arrangements were postulated for the successor, the Heinkel He 277.
The Heinkel He 177 A-5/R2, shown here, belongs to the 4./KG 100, stationed at Chateaudun, France. This version was optimized for Ruhrstahl Fritz X and Henschel Hs 293 guided bombs and equipped with FuG 203 Kehl-Straßburg control gear.


Ruhrstahl Fritz X was the most common name for a German guided anti-ship glide bomb used during WWII. Fritz X was the world’s first precision guided weapon deployed in combat and the first to sink a ship in combat. Fritz X was a nickname used both by Allied and German Luftwaffe personnel. Alternative names include Ruhrstahl SD 1400 X, Kramer X-1, PC 1400X or FX 1400 (the latter, along with the unguided PC 1400 Fritz nickname, is the origin for the name “Fritz X”.
Fritz X was a further development of the PC 1400 (Panzersprengbombe, Cylindrisch 1,400 kg) armour-piercing high-explosive bomb, itself bearing the nickname Fritz. It was a penetration weapon intended to be used against armored targets such as heavy cruisers and battleships. It was given a more aerodynamic nose, four stub wings, and a box shaped tail unit consisting of a roughly 12-sided annular set of fixed surfaces and a cruciform tail with thick surfaces within the annulus, which contained the Fritz Xs aerodynamic controls.
The Luftwaffe recognized the difficulty of hitting moving ships during the Spanish Civil War. Dipl. engineer Max Kramer, who worked at the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) had been experimenting since 1938 with remote-controlled free-falling 250 kg bombs and in 1939 fitted radio-controlled spoilers. In 1940, Ruhrstahl AG was invited to join the development, since they already had experience in the development and production of unguided bombs.
Fritz X was guided by a FuG 203 Kehl-Straßburg radio control link, which sent signals to the movable spoilers in the thick vertical and horizontal tail fin surfaces, within the annular tail fin structure. This control system was also used for the unarmored, rocket-boosted Henschel Hs 293 anti-ship ordnance, itself first deployed on 25 August 1943. The Kehl-Straßburg receiver antenna installations on the Fritz X were aerodynamically integrated into the trailing edge of the annular surfaces of the tail fin, non-metallically encapsulated within a quartet of “bulged” sections in the trailing edge. This design feature of the FuG 230 Kehl-Straßburg receiver installation is not entirely unlike the Azon (Azimuth only ) US contemporary guided bomb, which had its own receiving antennas placed in the quartet of diagonal struts bracing the fixed sections of its tail fins.
Minimum launch height was 13,000 ft – although 18,000 ft was preferred – and a range of 5 km was necessary. As it was an MCLOS (manual command to line of sight)-guidance ordnance design, the operator had to keep the bomb in sight at all times (a tail flare was provided, as with the Azon, to assist the operator in tracking the weapon) and the control aircraft had to hold course, which made evading gunfire or fighters impossible. Approximately 1,400 examples, including trial models, were produced (Ref.: 24).