The Dornier Do-X, 1929: First Ever Luxurious Flying Boat With Dining Salon, Smoking Lounge And Wet Bar

Dornier Do-X was the largest and heaviest flying boat, having 157 feet of wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of more than 16 tons. It was built in 1929 by the German Transport Ministry in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Constance, in order to comply with terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which forbade Germany from building certain classes of aircraft.

12 engines were installed and mounted in tandem “push-pull” configuration atop the wing, which could just barely haul the hulking craft up to an altitude of 1,650 feet. Do-X engines were not directly controlled by the pilot. The captain in the cockpit had to send orders for throttle adjustments to a flight engineer in the engine room.

Do-X was the luxurious boat of that time, with a dining salon, smoking longue, wet bar and comfortable seating for 70 to 100 passengers. The Do-X made its first test flight on July 12, 1929. A few months later, it carried a world-record 169 passengers on a 40-minute flight.

#1 A completed Dornier Do-X flying boat in the assembly hangar of the aircraft plant in Altenrhein, Switzerland,July 9, 1929

#4 A completed Dornier Do-X flying boat in the assembly hangar of the aircraft plant in Altenrhein, Switzerland before her maiden flight,July 9, 1929

#5 A machinist in the flying boat’s engine room,July 25, 1929

#7 A machinist in the engine room of the flying boat,Oct. 21, 1929

#8 Dornier employees and crew staff aboard the Dornier Do-X on a flight over Lake Constance, Germany,Oct. 21, 1929

#11 An operator tests the radio reception in the lounge of the flying boat,Sept. 18, 1930

#12 Luxurious passenger accommodations,Sept. 28, 1930

#14 The chief navigator examines a map in the navigation cabin,c. 1930

#15 Passengers aboard the Do-X during its tour of the United States,c. 1930

#16 The wet bar in the lounge of the Dornier Do-X,c. 1930

#18 The Dornier Do-X flies past the New York City skyline,Sept. 1, 1931

#19 The Dornier Do-X comes in for a landing on the Hudson River,Sept. 1, 1931

#20 Spectators gather around the flying boat on Lake Müggelsee in Berlin,May 24, 1932

#21 The Italian-owned Dornier Do-X2 flying boat “Umberto Maddalena,1931

#22 An Italian-owned Dornier Do X2 flies over the Alps,Aug. 28, 1931

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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