German aerospace firm Dornier has made some amazing aircraft over the last century, the DO-24 flying boat included. Today, only one flying example exists, the DO-24ATT, and it is truly a melded masterpiece of past and present aircraft technologies. Yet even this amazing machine can’t escape the realities of operating an aircraft from a liquid medium.
Here is the link to the video of Facebook for mobile readers.
The crazy spin-out you see above occurred July 17th at the Scalaria Air Challenge that takes place in picturesque St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut, Austria. During an attempted touch and go, an object was seen in the water and the crew tried to avoid it at the last moment, resulting in this spectacular ground, or should I say water loop. Apparently a heavy rain occurred just hours before the attempted touch-and-go, dumping heavy debris into waterway.
The aircraft did sustain damage after this incident but should be back to a regular flying schedule in the not so distant future according to the aircraft’s Facebook page.
Looking like a PBY Catalina on steroids, the triple engined DO-24 served as a maritime patrol and rescue aircraft for about a half dozen air arms, including the Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe, with 279 examples built from 1937 to 1945.
After World War II, the Do-24 thrived, with the Spanish Navy operated the unique aircraft well into the 1970s before finally being retired. During its career, the DO-24 fleet saved over ten thousand lives and even sunk a Japanese Destroyer during WWII.
The aircraft shown doing the slip n’ slide above is the DO-24ATT, a highly modified testbed aircraft that Dornier outfitted in the late 1970s to experiment with modern aerospace concepts integrated into an amphibious aircraft design. The DO-24ATT’s wing is a precursor design to the one found on the Dornier 228/328 series of regional airliners and has a continuous aluminum wing spar that runs through it.
Beyond the new wing, the biggest change integrated into the DO-24ATT is the replacement of its standard Bramo nine cylinder radial engines with modern Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprops. These improvements, and many other smaller ones, including an awesome interior, along with the DO-24’s already highly stable broad-beam hull design, resulted in a one-off and highly flexible flying machine.
The DO-24ATT was retired in the mid 1980s after its flight test program concluded and was flown to the Deutsches Museum of Technology in Munich, Germany for display. Almost two decades later in 2003, Iren Dornier, the grandson of aerospace legend Claude Dornier, pulled the aircraft out of the museum and shipped it to the Philippines where he planned to restore and fly it once again.
He did just that, and in 2004 the DO-24ATT took to the skies again, more modernized and capable than ever before. Since then it has toured on UNICEF campaigns, has flown as a VIP airliner and has celebrated Dornier’s aerospace heritage in both hemispheres. And yes, it is downright gorgeous, being one of the most elegant flyable antique aircraft in the world today.
You can read more about the DO-24ATT at the aircraft’s homepage here.
Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.
Photo Credit: DO-24 Oshkosh-wikicommons/Dave Miller, head-on on ramp- wikicommons/Stahlkocher