Dornier DO 31 VTOL Prototype, 1967

by Daniel Russ on May 15, 2010

Dornier DO 31

After WWII, tensions between Germany and the west continued with East Germany and West Germany, West Germany remained a part of NATO and East Germany remained Communist in the Warsaw Pact. Surprise air strikes worried war planners and so a plan was concocted to create VTOL aircraft that could take off from highways and soccer fields if runways were hit.

The Dornier DO 31 was a prototype VTOL aircraft that never achieved its goals and was canceled in the late 60s. There was a drawing board version called the DO 231 which would carry a hundred passengers. Neither came to fruition, but the tilt wing jet engines are still very cool

Source: X-Planes And Prototypes. Jim Winchester; Barnes and Noble Books, 2000.

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Louis August 29, 2017 at 4:37 am

This one did the VTOL with four small jet engines in the bulky things at the wingtips. So two sets of engines, one almost always being dead weight when the other was working….

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