When you pay a visit to the new National Military Museum at Soesterberg Airfield you cannot help but be impressed by the huge flying boat on display there.
It is a Dornier Do-24, almost similar to the “K” model operated by the Dutch Naval Air Service (MLD) in Indonesia. Designed largely to a Dutch specification it was first produced by Dornier Flugzeugbau GmbH’s Swiss subsidiary.
However, the contract with the Royal Dutch Navy stipulated these machines had to be built in the Netherlands. A production line was set up at Fokker’s Aviolanda subsidiary in Dordrecht and most of the 34 Do-24’s in use by the MLD were built there.
When the Germans occupied the Netherlands in May 1940 they laid their hands on the fully functioning Do-24 production line. Quick to recognize the unique advantages of this type of aircraft for Search And Rescue (SAR) operations, the Germans kept the production line going to equip their “Seenot Flugdienst”.
At least 159 Do-24’s of the improved ‘N’ and ‘T’ models were produced in Dordrecht between 1940 and 1944 (they were also produced in France on a smaller scale)
The machine seen here on display at Soesterberg is a Do-24T-3, originally produced in Holland and until the mid 1960’s deployed by the Spanish Air Force on SAR duties
For the sake of “Tempo Doeloe” I attach a film fragment of a MLD Do-24K taking of from their Morokrembangan base near Surabaya