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Do H Falke
The WP-1 under test with the US Navy in about 1923
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Dornier
Designer Claudius Dornier
First flight 1922
Primary user United States Navy
Number built Five[1]

The Dornier Do H Falke was a German single-seat fighter designed by Claudius Dornier and built by Dornier Flugzeugwerke. Although an advanced design for its time, being evaluated by the United States Navy as the Wright WP-1, it did not go into production.[1]

Development[edit | edit source]

The company started to design a prototype fighter in the early 1920s based on earlier wartime designs like the Zeppelin-Lindau D.I. It was an all-metal high-wing cantilever monoplane, with the wing above the fuselage on four small struts. It had a conventional cantilever tail unit and a fixed tailskid landing gear. The pilot had an open cockpit just behind the trailing edge of the wing. The aircraft was powered by a Hispano-Suiza piston engine located in the nose. Two aircraft were built by the Swiss subsidiary of Dornier and three by S.D.C.M.P. in Italy,[1] to avoid restrictions on military aircraft production in Germany.[2] It first flew on 1 November 1922, but failed to go into production. One of the Falkes was converted to a floatplane in 1923, powered by a 261 kW (350 hp) BMW IVa V-12 engine, as the Dornier Seefalke.

One Seefalke was shipped to the United States of America by the Wright Aeronautical Company who fitted it with a licence-built Wright-Hisso H-3 engine. It was evaluated by the United States Navy with the designation Wright WP-1.[2] It performed well, but the Navy considered the monoplane fighter too advanced for its needs.[1]

Operators[edit | edit source]

 United States

Specifications (Dornier-Wright WP-1)[edit | edit source]

Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 1480

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 7.43 m (24 ft 4⅓ in)
  • Wingspan: 10 m (32 ft 9¾ in)
  • Height: 2.66 m (8 ft 8¾ in)
  • Wing area: 20 m2 (215.29 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 825 kg (1,819 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,213 kg (2,674 lb)
  • Powerplant: One × Wright-Hisso H-3 V-8 piston engine, 239 kW (320 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 261 km/h (162 mph)
  • Range: 350 km (217 miles)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Dornier H Falke". Germany. http://histaviation.com/Dornier_H_Falke.html. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p.496.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft, (Part Work 1982-1985), Orbis Publishing
  • Andrade, John. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909, Midland Counties Publications, 1979, ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter M. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London: Putnam. Second Edition, 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.

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