Dornier Do22 by Djordje Nikolic (Kagero)

Dornier Do22 by Djordje Nicolic (Kagero)

Design, development, testing and service with the Yugoslav, Greek and Finnish Air Forces, by Djordje Nikolic

The Dornier Do 22, one of the lesser known and obscure types of the pre-war german aviation industry, has not received the attention it deserves and no publication has covered its history and technical description, until now. It was developed in the mid -1930s as an export only aircraft. Production aircraft never flew with german markings, though the prototype (and some later examples) did.

Never adopted by the Luftwaffe it was developed at a request by the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The parasol winged monoplane was fabric over metal with bracing struts to the fuselage and the floats from the wing. Only 29 examples were manufactured for Yugoslavia, Greece, and Latvia. The Greek Air Force (EVA – Elliniki Vassiliki Aeroporia) would convert some of these to land machines, and the Finnish would use them in both land & sea configurations. The Latvian examples were never delivered -due to occupation by the USSR- and were finally transferred by Germany to Finland. The Greek examples were destroyed during the German invasion - except one, which managed to reach Egypt but crashed landed there thus ending the Greek Do 22 service in World War 2. Eight Yugoslav machines managed to escape to Egypt where they flew under RAF control until lack of spares grounded them.

The book is hardcover, A4 size and 190 pages long. It is perfectly printed in matt, good quality paper and illustrated throughout with excellent black and white photographs, technical drawings, and scale plans. There are 20 pages with 35+ colour profiles at the rear of the book for all the operating nations. A welcome bonus is a set of loose A2 sized plans of the aircraft.

The book begins with a brief biography of Claude Dornier and his career. Much experimentation was conducted and the book covers the predecessors to the Do 22 and its prototype development. Then follows a section on the production of the float and land plane versions including technical drawings, specification charts and pictures of close-up detail and factory/assembly line photos. There are also step-by-step instructions on starting the engine, take off and landing procedures and maintenance routines.

All the photographs have explanatory captions with numbers and arrows showing each part and detail. The cockpit and interior are fully covered with more than 20 pictures. We particularly liked many close-ups, as the bomb rack arrangement under the fuselage, depth charge loading, rear machine guns installation, hoisting equipment, engine, engine access panels, engine maintenance and so on. What is sadly missing from the book is a large cutaway drawing, useful to locate/identify internal parts, like the forward-facing machine gun which fired through the propeller (page 59, weapons section). However there are many official factory drawings (including some partial cutaways) showing internal systems, detailed component layout and landing gear details.

The book fully covers the Do 22's service with Yugoslavia, Greece and Finland and describes in detail the missions. This is followed by sections on camouflage and markings for each country. There is an extensive appendix listing a plethora of additional information and a selected bibliography listing books, internet sources, archives and personal collections.

The last 32 pages comprise of 3-view drawings of both sea and land planes in 1/72 and 1/48 scale, followed by beautiful large color profiles of the planes in Yugoslavian, Latvian, German, Greek and Finish markings. Two folded inserts (58 x 42 cm or 23" x 16.5") of drawings in 1/32 and 1/24 scale are also included as a bonus, showing all the rivets and other external details.

The chapters of the book are:

An introduction (12 pages), covering the background to the Dornier works at Friedrichshafen development of the Do22 from the Do C2 and Do C3.

The Prototypes (12 pages) and rejection by the Luftwaffe (it was developed without RLM’s co-operation or official permission).

An extensive description (35 pages) of the construction of the aeroplane, including lubrication diagrams, internal wing and fuselage structure, instrumentation, etc.

A short explanation of the Operation and Maintenance of the aircraft, summarised from technical manuals.

36 pages of the story of their use by the Yugoslav Air Force, including in North Africa.

16 pages and 30 photos on its use by the Greek Air Force. (Greek modelers and aviation fans will find this section absolutely interesting and valuable, especially for those who wish to build any of the available scale kits in 1/72 or 1/48 scale. Greece requested the Do22 to be equipped with wheels but Dornier had actually developed the land version in advance of the greek request, which reflected Claude Dornier’s vision of the future: The airplane was designed in such a way to make it possible to switch easily between floats and wheels!)

17 pages on its use by the Finnish Air Force.

Camouflage and Markings.

Appendices covering technical data, missions, Rank comparisons, a parts list and painting instructions, including internal parts.


The last 35 pages are made up of the scale drawings and colour schemes by Arkadiusz Wrobel, several of them as four-views.

There are some kits available for the Do22, though they may be hard to find (all are -or were- limited editions and most of them are resin/vac with vac canopies):

Planet Models & CMK 1:48 Dornier Do 22, Resin Kit (two editions: one with floats and another kit with wheels and skis. Only the land version includes greek markings)

Alpha 1:72 Dornier Do 22 (vacuform from the 70s)

Xotic-72 (Aviation Usk) 1:72 Dornier Do 22 (kit No. 2026). 58 injection parts, 2 vac, 18 resin parts. Greek decals included.

Kora 1/72 (skis set only for the Xotic-72/Aviation Usk kit)

Up until this book there has been no publication dedicated to the Do 22. The depth of knowledge inside, inclusion of many technical diagrams and detailed plans shows the excellent work of the author Djordje Nikolic, who gathered all this information for many years. This truly was a "passion project" for the author, shown in the thoroughness of his research. This book is well written with a wealth of pictures and hard to find illustrations. If you are at all interested in unusual aircraft with inspiring stories and small air forces with colorful camouflages & markings, do not miss this publication. A great reference for both the modeller and the historian and a great book about one of the lesser known aircraft types.

Highly recommended!

You can order this book here.


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