DOFLUG D-3803 History

The DOFLUG D-3803 was an offshoot of the Swiss-originated D-3802 single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter program started in 1942. The existence of both was made possible by both a pre-World War 2 relationship with the nation of France and its Fall at the hands of the Germans in May of 1940, when several French designs made their way to Switzerland. Original Morane-Saulnier designs formed the basis for much of the Swiss work thereafter.

Switzerland received a local production license to manufacture the MS. 406, a capable monoplane appearing in 1935, introduced in 1938, and built across 1,176 total examples. These were known locally as "D-3800" and carried Hispano-Suiza 12Y-31 engines while relying on the wings of the MS. 405 design. After the Fall of France, Switzerland continued work on the line to produce the EFW "D-3801" based in the "MS. 412" fighter while the D-3802 was the enhanced, localized version of the French "MS. 540" monoplane (both related to the original MS. 406). The D-3802, and its sister design the "D-3803", were both a product of DOFLUG - Dornier-Werke AG - the Swiss-based subsidiary of the German Luftwaffe's own Dornier aero-concern (makers of the famous wartime Do 17 "Flying Pencil" medium bomber).

Developed alongside the D-3802, the D-3803 was a slight evolution of this same Swiss fighting aeroplane; it retained the forward-engine mounting, single-seat (enclosed) cockpit, and retractable "tail-dragger" type undercarriage while also utilizing the original's wing mainplanes, tail surfaces, and undercarriage mechanics. In the revision, the fighter was given much-improved all-round vision from the cockpit due to the cut down nature of the rear dorsal fuselage and more pronounced position of the canopy. The engine switched to the Saurer YS-3 liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 1,430 horsepower, this powerplant an original Hispano-Suiza product and locally licensed and built.

Like the later D-3802A pre-series fighters (of which eleven were ultimately built after the single prototype), the D-3803 enjoyed the firepower of 3 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS-404 automatic cannons, one set to each wing mainplane and the remaining example buried within the engine block - firing through the propeller hub. In addition to this, the fighter could be adapted to conduct fighter-bomber sorties by mounting up to 441lb of bombs or rockets under the wings and fuselage centerline.

Well-streamlined with an all-modern look, coupled to a formidable armament suite, the D-3803 certainly looked the part of wartime fighter. However, by the time the D-3803 specimen flew in its prototype form, the World War that once raged across Europe was over. A first-flight was not recorded until May of 1947 exposing engine issues during the later testing stages which did not help the lagging project. Like the concurrent D-3802 fighter program, the D-3803 was also given up by the Swiss Air Force in favor of acquiring wartime surplus North American P-51D "Mustang" fighters from America.

During testing, the D-3803 was able to make speeds of 423 miles-per-hour and reach altitudes beyond 22,000 feet - showcasing considerable potential. However, there was no escaping its design roots which, essentially, dated back to the original French pre-war approach to the MS. 406 of 1935.

DOFLUG D-3803 Specification

BASICS

Service Year

1947

Origin

Switzerland

Status

CANCELLED

Development Ended.

Crew

1

Production

1

MANUFACTURER(S)

Dornier-Werke AG - Switzerland

OPERATORS

Switzerland (cancelled)

ROLES

Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter

General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.

X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)

Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

NOTABLE QUALITIES

RUGGED AIRFRAME

Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.

HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE

Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.

HIGH-ALTITUDE PERFORMANCE

Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.

BAILOUT PROCESS

Manual process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to exit in the event of an airborne emergency.

CREWSPACE PRESSURIZATION

Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.

ENCLOSED CREWSPACE(S)

Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.

RETRACTABLE UNDERCARRIAGE

Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS

Length

30. 6 ft

(9. 33 m)

Width/Span

32. 9 ft

(10. 02 m)

Height

12. 3 ft

(3. 76 m)

Empty Wgt

6,493 lb

(2,945 kg)

MTOW

8,598 lb

(3,900 kg)

Wgt Diff

+2,105 lb

(+955 kg)

MAINPLANE STRUCTURE

monoplane / low-mounted / straight

Monoplane

Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.

Low-Mounted

Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.

Straight

The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.

(Structural descriptors pertain to the base DOFLUG D-3803 production variant)

POWER & PERFORMANCE

Installed:

1 x Saurer (Hispano-Suiza) YS-3 liquid-cooled inline-piston engine developing 1,430 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.

Max Speed

423 mph

(680 kph | 367 kts)

Cruise Speed

338 mph

(544 kph | 294 kts)

Max. Speed Diff

+85 mph

(+136 kph | 73 kts)

Ceiling

30,003 ft

(9,145 m | 6 mi)

Range

404 mi

(650 km | 1,204 nm)

Rate-of-Climb

3,012 ft/min

(918 m/min)

MACH Regime (Sonic)

Sub

Trans

Super

Hyper

HiHyper

ReEntry

RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

ARMAMENT

STANDARD, FIXED:1 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS-404 automatic cannon firing through the propeller hub. 1 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS-404 automatic cannon in port side wing. 1 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS-404 automatic cannon in starboard side wing. OPTIONAL:Up to 441lb of conventional drop bombs or ground-attack rockets.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)

HARDPOINTS

Hardpoint Mountings: 3

Mounting Points

-

-

-

-

5

-

1

-

4

-

-

-

-

HARDPOINT(S) KEY:

X

15

13

11

9

7

5

3

1

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

COLOR KEY:

Fuselage Centerline

Fuselage Port/Wingroot

Fuselage Starboard/Wingroot

Wing/Underwing

Wingtip Mount(s)

Internal Bay(s)

Not Used

Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).

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