FPL 53 - Dornier Do 27A-4 (1962-1991)

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The Dornier 27 was a development of an earlier design - the Do 25 - built by the Spanish aircraft manufacturer CASA to the design by Officinas Technicas Dornier. The Dornier 27 prototype, with the Spanish registration EC-AKY, was flown for the first time in the summer of 1955 at Madrid. The aircraft for the German defence -  which had placed a large order of the type - were however built at Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany and the initial production aircraft was flown there in October 1956. The Do served in all three branches of the German defence - Luftwaffe, Marine & Heer -with  totally 428 aircraft, and was also put into production to meet orders from the civil market. The last military example for Germany was delivered in 1960.   

In the beginning of the 1960s, the Swedish Army aviation was still a small organization, flying the old Piper Super Cub and a few helicopters. None of these types could hardly be used for the transport of cargo. Therefore, the Army decided to procure a larger aircraft type. In addition to better cargo capacity, the aircraft also would have a higher cruising speed and better range than the Fpl 51 Super Cub. Good STOL (Short-Take-Off-and-Landing) capability was also a requirement. The aircraft had to be able to operate from temporary airstrips as well as ordinary gravelled roads.  

The Dornier 27 fulfilled these demands. In 1961, five aircraft were ordered and were delivered the next year. The Swedish Do 27s, which were given the military designation Fpl 53, were designated Do 27-A-4 by the manufacturer. This referred to some discrepancies from their  standard design. The landing gear was reinforced and the aircraft had a hatch in the cabin floor to make it possible to drop cargo during flight. The engine was a Lycoming G0-480-B1A6, delivering 274 hp. In wintertime, skis could be fitted at the landing gear.  

The aircraft had a spacious cabin. In addition to the two pilots, four passengers could be carried. The passenger space was often used for observers at reconnaissance missions. The large windows gave an excellent view and there was plenty of room for large maps in the cabin.  As an alternative, two stretchers could be accommodated behind the pilots. When using the aircraft for cargo, 700 kg could be carried. The paratroopers at Karlsborg were frequently users of the Fpl 53, which was a cheaper alternative than larger transport aircraft such as the Tp 79 DC-3 or the Tp 84 Hercules.  

Another important task was the training of the Army’s pilots in instrument flying.  

Three of the five Fpl 53, # 53272, 53274 and 53275, were destroyed at accidents. In the last one the very experienced pilot, Captain Åke Carlsson, lost his life. The two remaining aircraft, # 53271 and 53273 are preserved for the future. The photos show # 53273 (c/n 2110), exhibited at Flygvapenmuseum

Length: 9,60 m. Span: 12,00 m. MTOW: 1.850 kg. Max. speed: 247 km/h.

For the Model Builder

Revell has a plastic model kit of Swedish Army FPL 53 Dornier Do 27 in scale 1:32. Catalouge number  4726. Click on the thumbnail for larger image.

Revell model kit for Swedish Army FPL 53 Dornier Do 27 in scale 1:32

Stamp sheet from Republic of Guinea 1995 - Aéroplanes Do 27.
Stamp sheet from Republic of Guinea 1995 depicting Dornier Do 27

Military Aviation in Sweden - main page

© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-14