Daimler-Benz DB 605 Inverted V-12 Engine


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

Developed from the DB-600 engine first produced in November 1937, the DB-600 series was used primarily in Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters. In 1939, a Messerschmitt 209V1, using a DB-605ARJ engine, set a world's record of 755 km/hr (469.22 mph) which was not broken by a propeller driven aircraft until 1969.

Inverted mounting provided better visibility, lower center of gravity, and improved maintenance access. In the Bf 109, a cannon was mounted between the engine banks and fired through a propeller hub. The DB-601A in the Bf 109E, used fuel injection instead of a carburetor, a great asset in combat since the engine did not cut out under negative g forces. This engine was also used in some Heinkel 111s and license-built versions in the Macchi MC.202 Folgore and several Japanese aircraft.

Of the 74,896 DB 600 series engines, 42,405 DB 605 engines were produced, more than any other model.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the U.S. Air Force Museum.




  • Overall: 3 ft. 3 13/16 in. × 2 ft. 4 5/16 in. × 5 ft. 8 1/2 in., 1642lb. (101.1 × 71.9 × 174cm, 744.8kg)
  • Other: 3 ft. 3 13/16 in. × 5 ft. 8 1/2 in. × 2 ft. 4 5/16 in. (101.1 × 174 × 71.9cm)

Country of Origin




Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, inverted V, 12 cylinders, liquid-cooled, geared drive
  • Power rating: 1,100 kW (1,475 hp) at 2,800 rpm
  • Displacement: 35.7 L (2,179 cu in.)
  • Bore and Stroke: 154 mm (6.1 in.) x 160 mm (6.3 in.)
  • Weight: 745 kg (1,642 lb)


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Inventory Number