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It happened on July 12: the first flight of the Dornier Do X airplane -VIDEO
Rome, Italy - The maiden flight in 1929 of the seaplane, the greatest aircraft of the period
It was on July 12, 1929 when the Dornier Do X seaplane made its maiden flight, the greatest aircraft of the period. Created by the German engineer Claude Dornier around 1925, in that moment owner of the Dornier- Metallbauten GmbH company, was completed only in 1929, after numerous studies and aerodynamic and hydrodynamic tests, in the old facilities of the Zeppelin in Friedrichshafen on the Costanza Lake. (Dornier born in Kempten by French father and German mother at only 50 kms from the lake, city of age old origin- the Roman Cambodunum, in the Raetia province).
To bypass restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty of 1919, that limited strongly the German industry after the WWI, the plane was built together to the Swiss subsidiary Dornier-Werke Altenrhein AG and of the Italian Cmasa (Costruzioni meccaniche aeronautiche società anonima) of Marina di Pisa.
The seaplane was gigantic (it had a wing span of almost 50 m) and 12 Siemens Jupiter engines installed of 500hp each (in six nacelles with engines in tandem), radial air cooled. The first flight, happened on July 12, 1929 was piloted by Richard Wagner, demonstrated that engines were not suitable and for this reason, despite a fully successful flight with 169 passengers on October 31 of the same year (the world record remained for twenty years), these were replaced by 12 Curtiss Conqueror V-12 engines from 640 Hp liquid cooled.
The Do X, name chosen in the absence of nicknames of the kind- was entirely in metal and impressive dimensions for period. It had a living room, galley, smoker cabin, sitting room, bed cabins and bathrooms, on three decks for a total of 66 passengers. The flying staff was composed by two pilots, a navigator, a radio operator and a board mechanic, situated in the cabin above the first deck. A real flying boat that wanted to make competition to the "Proven" airships, that were already dominants of the Atlantic fly over.
Also other two units for Italy were produced: Do X2 and Do X3, destined to SANA (Società anonima navigazione aerea), powered FIAT A22R from 570hp with liquid cooled, and dedicated to the aviators Umberto Maddalena (I-REDI) and Alessandro Guidoni (I-ABBN). They were integrated in the Regia Aeronautica and after a failed attempt to make them hydrobombers and a short promotional use of the fascist regime, were abandoned and demolished in the facilities in La Spezia.
The original model had not luck. The Do X (D-1929 registration) that departed in November 1930 for a travel towards USA passing for some European legs (Amsterdama and Lisbon among them). In this last city a fire damaged wing and there was a month delay for the journey. A further accident in Las Palmas damaged the flying boat and brought it to an another three month delay. It was reduced aircraft weight and crew too to reach an altitude necessary to the fly over, without success. It reached Brazil and then New York, where it arrived on August 27, 1931. On May 19 of the following year it departed again to Europe reaching Berlin in only five days.
The Do X, marked a partial failure, disappeared for following three years and to emerge it again in 1936 in the Deutsche Luftfahrt-Sammlung Museum in Berlin. It was destroyed in a RAF bombing happened between November 23 and 24, 1943.
Below, the video: