The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil was a German World War II heavy fighter built by the Dornier company.
The two-seater trainer version was called Ameisenbär.
The Pfeil’s performance was much better than other twin-engine designs due to its unique push-pull configuration and the lower aerodynamic drag of the in-line alignment of the two engines.
It was Germany’s fastest piston-engined aircraft of World War II.
The Luftwaffe was desperate to get the design into operational use, but delays in engine deliveries meant that only a handful were delivered before the war ended.
Delivery commenced in January 1945.
When the United States Army overran the Oberpfaffenhofen factory in late April 1945, only 11 Do 335 A-1 single-seat fighter-bombers and two Do 335 A-12 trainers had been completed.
French ace Pierre Clostermann claimed the first Allied combat encounter with a Pfeil in April 1945.
He describes leading a flight of four Hawker Tempests from No. 3 Squadron RAF over northern Germany, when they came across an unknown aircraft flying at maximum speed at treetop level.
Detecting the British aircraft, the German pilot reversed course to evade. Two pilots fired on the Dornier but Clostermann, despite the Tempests’ considerable low altitude speed, decided not to attempt to chase it as it was obviously much faster.