For all the routine and expected aircraft designs out there, there’s also plenty of of exotic, iconic, and extraordinary creations as well. The Dornier Do J is one of such aircraft, as it functions not only as air transportation, but also as a fully sea-worthy vessel. Now, Microsoft Flight Simulator players can experience this weird wonder of aviation history as they take the Dornier Do J out and about in the virtual skies (and seas) of the sim.
Developed all the way back in 1923, the Dornier Do J, or “Flying Boat,” hails from Germany. Also nicknamed the J Wal (meaning “Whale” in German), it became a go-to machine for “salient aerial expeditions, high-endurance firsts, and pioneering air mail airline routes throughout the globe in the early days of flight.” Understandably, this aircraft is now a part of the Local Legends aircraft collection for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Riding the (air) waves
The Dornier Do J was used in all sorts of wild locations, such as parts of the arctic, into the Amazon, and beyond. It even managed to be the first plane to cross the Atlantic from Spain, making it down to South America. Considering it can only hit a top-speed of 130mph (under the right conditions), that makes such a trek even more impressive. This is definitely the antithesis of Asobo’s last release, the Staggerwing. It was known as a muscle-car in the sky, whereas the J Wal is definitely more like a tractor.
Like many aircraft of the early era, the Dornier Do J was actually constructed with very primitive materials, including a metal frame with fabric-covered wings and control surfaces. Due to its amphibious nature, it features a hull in the shape of a boat. For all intents and purposes, it really was just a boat with wings.
Function over fashion
Various engine models were used to power the different configurations of the Do J, including the Rolls-Royce Eagle IX V-12, Napier Lion V and BMW V12. Despite them all sporting two pistons, as mentioned before, the Do J was not known for its speed. Just as a cargo van is useful for its carrying capacity, the Do J was useful for its ruggedness above all else.
That said, the Do J had three primary version. First is the the Plus Ultra. It’s the model that made the aforementioned journey from Spain to South America, which featured added fuel tanks and sportier engines. Another is the Cabina, which as the name suggests, was built for passenger use. Improvements made to Microsoft Flight Simulator back in 2021 better integrated seaplanes like the Dornier Do J, so its air and sea functions are well-utilized in the sim.
All versions of the Dornier Do J are available together as one collection, which players can find in the in-game Marketplace for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Like all of Asobo’s past releases in its Local Legends/Famous Fliers series, the Dornier Do J is being offered for a mere $14.99.