Dornier Do 31 E-3
The Dornier Do 31was the only VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) transport aircraft with jet engines ever built.
It was developed to meet military requirements, but never went into production. Two prototypes were used between 1967–1969 as experimental aircraft for researching and testing VTOL flight.
The Do 31 was conceived as a transport air craft for supplying small airfields. The fuselage was designed to carry a 3-ton NATO lorry that could drive up a rear ramp into the cargo hold. To lift the aircraft vertically into the air with its take-off weight of 21 metric tons, the design called for 10 engines with total thrust of 300 kN. Under the wings, two lift/cruise engines are mounted with swivelling nozzles to deliver thrust during VTOL manoeuvres and in horizontal flight. At each wing tip, four additional lift engines in nacelles are firmly built in and support vertical take-offs and landing.
After testing, the Do 31 E-3 was turned over to the Deutsches Museum. For more than 20 years it was on display in an eye-catching location in front of the main entrance of the museum in the centre of Munich. In 1995 it was moved to the Flugwerft, where it was restored over a five-year period.
- Manufacturer: Dornier Werke GmbH, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, 1967
- Wingspan: 18.0 m
- Take-off weight: 21,000 kg (vertical take-off)
- Maximum speed: 710 km/h at an altitude of 2500 m
- Range: 200 km (vertical take-off and 2700 kg payload)
- Power plant: 2 x Bristol-Siddeley Pegasus 5-2 lift/ cruise engines, 8 x Rolls Royce RB 162 lift engines
- Thrust: 2 x 68.0 kN, 8 x 19.6 kN