Dornier Do 335A-O Pfeil
Dornier produced 10 Do-335A-O’s for evaluation as single-seat fighters. This is Tamiya’s AWESOME 1/48 scale rendition of Dornier’s radical twin-engine Pfeil (Arrow). My model depicts the 7th of the 10 single-seat fighter versions built and delivered to Erprobungskommando 335 (Flight test unit) in September 1944. Pilots that flew her dubbed her the Ameisenbar (Ant eater) because of its elongated nose. The Pfeil was radical in appearance due to its cruciform tail, pull and push prop arrangement and an ejection seat for the pilot. The Pfeil was in fact the first production fighter fitted with an ejection seat. Albeit, ejection from a Pfeil proved quite dangerous. Ejection procedure called for the cruciform tail to be jettisoned and then the canopy had to be jettisoned manually by holding on to handles to initiate the release of the canopy. During the test programme, two aircraft crashed and the pilots were still in the cockpit minus their arms! This was due to them holding onto the jettison handles for the canopy too long.
The Pfeil was powered by two Daimler-Benz DB 603E-1 12-cylinder inverted-Vee liquid cooled engines rated at 1905 hp. Max speed was 763 km/h and cruising speed was 686 km/h. Armament comprised one engine mounted 30 mm MK 103 cannon with 70 rounds firing through the propeller hub and two 15 mm MG 151 cannon with 200 rounds in the upper nose. Provision for a weapons bay (on Hitler’s insistence) allowed the Pfeil to carry two 250 kg bombs or one 500 kg bomb.
The kit is typical of Tamiya’s high standard of engineering and NO filler was needed on this build. The decals were superb. Hardly needed any decal setting solution. The decals were not as THICK as that of Tamiya’s Skyray and Thunderjet kits. The model was built OOB with no aftermarket goodies. Model was painted using my preferred paint, Modelmaster enamels from their RLM colour range. Weathering was only subtle since reference photos show the aircraft in pristine condition with little weathering except exhaust staining and scuff marks on the wing where the pilot climbed into the cockpit. Panel lines were highlighted with brown watercolour paint.
18 additional images. Click to enlarge.