More than 1,500 examples of the Dornier 17 medium bomber were built. The twin engine, twin fin configuration together with the narrow fuselage and shoulder-mounted engines gave the aircraft a distinctive silhouette and earned it the nickname ‘The Flying Pencil’. The Goodwin Sands wreck is the only known surviving example.
The most numerous model was the Dornier 17 Z. Over 400 were employed by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, equipping at least 15 units on bombing and reconnaissance duties, predominantly Kampfgeschwader (KG – Bomber Wing) 2, 3 and 76. Nearly 200 examples were destroyed (from various causes) during operations between August and November 1940. The Dornier 17 Z-2, powered by a pair of Bramo ‘Fafnir’ 323P air-cooled, 9 cylinder, radial engines each rated at 1,000hp, was flown by a crew of four and equipped with up to 7 x 7.92 mm MG 15 machine guns. The maximum bomb load was slightly over 2,000lbs.