The Dornier Do 215 was a variant on the Do 17Z originally intended for the export market. The first prototype, Do 215 V1 was even powered by the same Bramo 323A-1 engines. These didn’t provide enough power to satisfy the potential customers (Yugoslavia and Sweden). A second prototype, powered by Gnone-Rhone radials was also underpowered, but the third, powered by Daimler Benz DB 601 inline engines was more successful, and Dornier received orders from both countries. In the event neither would receive their aircraft.
With the outbreak of war the aircraft then under production were taken into Luftwaffe service. The Do 215 entered Luftwaffe service in 1940 as a reconnaissance aircraft, serving in that role until replaced by the Ju 88D-1. The type also served as a night fighter, seeing service with NJG 1 and II./NJG 2. In that role it achieved the first radar interception by a Luftwaffe night fighter.
The A-1 was the official export version, powered by the 1,075hp DB 601 engine. These aircraft entered Luftwaffe service as the B-0.
This was the designation given to those A-1s completed for the Luftwaffe after the outbreak of war.
The B-1 was the first full production variant. It was a reconnaissance bomber, carrying a 2,200lb bomb load and three cameras.
Various sources describe the B-2 as either a pure reconnaissance aircraft or a pure bomber, neither of which version was actually built.
The B-3 was an export version, two of which were delivered to Russia!
The B-4 was similar to the B-1 but with a different combination of cameras, carrying one Rb 20/30 and one Rb 50/30.
The B-5 was the night fighter version of the aircraft. It was powered by the 1,075hp DB 501A engine, and equipped with FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC AI radar. It carried the same guns as the Do 17Z-10 – four MG 17s and four MG FF cannon in a solid nose.
The B-6 was a high-altitude long range reconnaissance aircraft, of which one appeared. It was powered by the troublesome DB 601T engine combined with the TK 9A turbo supercharger.
Engine: 2 x DB 601A
Span: 59 ft .75in
Length: 52 ft 0 in
Max Speed: 292 mph at 16,400ft
Cruising Speed: 257 mpg
Range: 965 miles
Armament: Four 7.9mm MG 15 machine guns
Pay load: 2,200lbs plus three cameras