Dornier DO J WAL




Local Legend III: Dornier Do J Wal

The Microsoft Flight Simulator team is proud to announce the third release in our Local Legends family of historic aircraft: the Do J Wal, a twin-engine, high-wing flying boat by German aviation firm Dornier. The J Wal (“Whale” in German) captured the imagination of the world immediately after it was introduced in 1923 due its unique form and demonstrated reliability, endurance, and utility. The J Wal was readily adopted as the aircraft of choice for a number of salient aerial expeditions, high-endurance firsts, and pioneering air mail and airline routes throughout the globe in the early days of flight. J Wals streaked over arctic latitudes, across oceans, and penetrated the skies above unmapped tropical rainforests. Some of the most notable journeys it made possible include the first Spain to South America transatlantic flight, a North Pole flight by famed explorer Roald Amundsen, and the operation of a number of early airline routes.


The J Wal features metal construction with fabric-covered wings and control surfaces, a hull design that incorporates distinctive, patented sponsons for stability on water, and a traditional empennage. The main wing, which has a span of 72 feet, 2 inches, is elevated above the hull by a lattice structure and is reinforced by struts connected to the sponsons. The J Wal is powered by two engines in a tractor-pusher configuration mounted in a nacelle above the main wing. J Wals use various engines in pairs, including the Rolls-Royce Eagle IX V-12 that produces up to 355 horsepower, the 500-horsepower Napier Lion V, and the BMW V12x that turns out up to 600hp, among others.

Depending on engines and aircraft configuration, the J Wal cruises between 87 and 106 mph, has a top speed of 124 to 130 miles per hour, and has a range from 497 to 621 miles. It climbs at 300 feet per minute and has a service ceiling of between 10,170 and 14,764 feet above sea level.


The aircraft was initially produced by Costruzioni Meccaniche Aeronautiche in Pisa, Italy due to aircraft manufacturing restrictions in Germany imposed by the Treaty of Versailles after the First World War. Dornier began building the Wal in Germany in 1931, with production ceasing in 1936.

More than 325 J Wals were manufactured in two primary variants, one serving military needs, and one for civilian use. The military version has an open cockpit design that accommodates up to four personnel in the forward end of the fuselage. The civilian iteration has a cabin that can carry up to twelve passengers, with the open cockpit positioned just aft of that of the military J Wal. The aircraft, which flew until the early 1950s, served in more than a dozen countries, including Germany, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Argentina, and the Soviet Union.

This historic machine lives on today in the Microsoft Flight Simulator World, rendered in striking realism, down to the grain of wood in the cockpit. Microsoft Flight Simulator users can recreate some of the most daring and historically significant exploits undertaken in the J Wal, ones that etched it forever into volumes of aviation lore. The flying boat can also be flown to destinations of your choosing in skies of any mood you wish.

An excellent, comprehensive resource for those interested in learning more about the Do J Wal is the website “Dornier Wal Documentation Center,” created by M. Michiel van der Mey. He is also the author of the excellent book, “Dornier Wal: a Light coming over the Sea.

The Dornier Do J Wal comes in a number of versions, ones paired with missions recreating three distinctive expeditions and one pioneering passenger route.


The Plus Ultra is a historically renowned J Wal that completed the first Spain to South America transatlantic flight, which took place in January of 1926.

The J Wal Plus Ultra was manufactured to custom specifications by Costruzioni Meccaniche Aeronautiche for the Atlantic crossing expedition. The Plus Ultra has a wingspan of 73 feet, 10 inches, measures 56 feet, 7 inches in length, and features added fuel tanks for greatly extended endurance. The aircraft is powered by two Napier Lion W-12 engines that each produce up to 500 horsepower and are mounted in a push-pull configuration in a nacelle above the centerline of the main wing.

The Plus Ultra cruises at 109 miles per hour, has a top speed of 122 mph, and an operational ceiling of 9,850 feet above sea level. The aircraft was designed to be able to maintain an altitude of 1,650 feet above sea level with just a single engine and has a range of 1,350 miles.

The Plus Ultra is included to fly in the incredible MSFS mission that recreates the first Spain to South America flight, or it can be used anywhere in the Microsoft Flight Simulator World.


Two years after the initial flight of the J Wal, Dornier debuted a civilian version for passengers, the Cabina. Crewed by two or three, the Cabina is built similarly to its predecessor with a metal fuselage and fabric-covered wings and tail section. The passenger aircraft is powered by two Rolls-Royce Eagle IX engines.

The Cabina is included in the Flight Simulator package to fly the mission that recreates the first air route operated in Italy, which connected Genova to Palermo via Rome and Naples.


The N-25, an early military version of the Wal, was one of the duo of the flying boat flown by the North Pole expedition led by Roald Amundsen. The N-25 was subsequently used by visionary German aviator Wolfgang von Gronau during his pioneering journey from the German Island of Sylt to New York City, the first trans-Atlantic flight by a flying boat. Von Gronau’s aerial voyage, which took to the sky on August 18, 1930, covered 4,670 miles.

The N-25 is included to fly in the MSFS mission that recreates von Gronau’s bold crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

All three versions of the Dornier Do J Wal are available together in the Marketplace for both PC and Xbox for $14.99.