V-1 flying bomb

V-1 flying bomb
Fieseler Fi 103
Flakzielgerät 76 (FZG-76)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1975-117-26, Marschflugkörper V1 vor Start.jpg
TypeCruise missile
Place of originNazi Germany
Service history
In service1944–1945
Used byLuftwaffe
WarsWorld War II
Production history
DesignerRobert Lusser
ManufacturerFieseler
Unit cost5,090 RM[1]
Specifications
Weight2,150 kg (4,740 lb)
Length8.32 m (27.3 ft)
Width5.37 m (17.6 ft)
Height1.42 m (4 ft 8 in)

WarheadAmatol-39, later Trialen
Warhead weight850 kg (1,870 lb)
Detonation
mechanism
  • Electrical impact fuze
  • Backup mechanical impact fuze
  • Time fuze to prevent examination of duds

EngineArgus As 109-014 Pulsejet
Operational
range
250 km (160 mi)[2]
Speed640 km/h (400 mph) flying between 600 to 900 m (2,000 to 3,000 ft)
Guidance
system
Gyrocompass based autopilot

The V-1 flying bomb (German: Vergeltungswaffe 1 "Vengeance Weapon 1"[a])—also known to the Allies as the buzz bomb, or doodlebug,[3][b] and in Germany as Kirschkern (cherrystone) or Maikäfer (maybug)[5]—was an early cruise missile and the only production aircraft to use a pulsejet for power.

The V-1 was the first of the so-called "Vengeance weapons" (V-weapons or Vergeltungswaffen) series designed for terror bombing of London. It was developed at Peenemünde Army Research Center in 1939 by the Nazi German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. During initial development it was known by the codename "Cherry Stone". Because of its limited range, the thousands of V-1 missiles launched into England were fired from launch facilities along the French (Pas-de-Calais) and Dutch coasts. The first V-1 was launched at London on 13 June 1944,[6] one week after (and prompted by) the successful Allied landings in Europe. At peak, more than one hundred V-1s a day were fired at south-east England, 9,521 in total, decreasing in number as sites were overrun until October 1944, when the last V-1 site in range of Britain was overrun by Allied forces. After this, the V-1s were directed at the port of Antwerp and other targets in Belgium, with 2,448 V-1s being launched. The attacks stopped only a month before the war in Europe ended, when the last launch site in the Low Countries was overrun on 29 March 1945.

The British operated an arrangement of air defences, including anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft, to intercept the bombs before they reached their targets as part of Operation Crossbow, while the launch sites and underground V-1 storage depots were targets of strategic bombing.[7]

Design and development

In late 1936, while employed by the Argus Motoren company, Fritz Gosslau began work on the further development of remote-controlled aircraft; Argus had already developed a remote-controlled surveillance aircraft, the AS 292 (military designation FZG 43).

On 9 November 1939, a proposal for a remote-controlled aircraft carrying a payload of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) over a distance of 500 km (310 mi) was forwarded to the RLM (German Air Ministry). Argus worked in cooperation with Lorentz AG and Arado Flugzeugwerke to develop the project as a private venture, and in April 1940, Gosslau presented an improved study of Project "Fernfeuer" to the RLM, as Project P 35 "Erfurt".

On 31 May, Rudolf Bree of the RLM commented that he saw no chance that the projectile could be deployed in combat conditions, as the proposed remote-control system was seen as a design weakness. Heinrich Koppenberg, the director of Argus, met with Ernst Udet on 6 January 1941 to try to convince him that the development should be continued, but Udet decided to cancel it.

Despite this, Gosslau was convinced that the basic idea was sound and proceeded to simplify the design. As an aircraft engine manufacturer, Argus lacked the capability to produce a fuselage for the project and Koppenberg sought the assistance of Robert Lusser, chief designer and technical director at Heinkel. On 22 January 1942, Lusser took up a position with the Fieseler aircraft company. He met Koppenberg on 27 February and was informed of Gosslau's project. Gosslau's design used two pulsejet engines; Lusser improved the design to use a single engine.

A final proposal for the project was submitted to the Technical Office of the RLM on 5 June and the project was renamed Fi 103, as Fieseler was to be the chief contractor. On 19 June, Generalfeldmarschall Erhard Milch gave Fi 103 production high priority, and development was undertaken at the Luftwaffe's Erprobungsstelle coastal test centre at Karlshagen, part of the Peenemünde-West facility.

By 30 August, Fieseler had completed the first fuselage, and the first flight of the Fi 103 V7 took place on 10 December 1942, when it was airdropped by a Fw 200.[8]

The V-1 was named by The Reich journalist Hans Schwarz Van Berkl in June 1944 with Hitler's approval.[9]

Other Languages
العربية: في-1
azərbaycanca: V-1 (raket)
български: Fieseler Fi 103
brezhoneg: V1 (fuc'hell)
čeština: V-1
dansk: V1-missil
Ελληνικά: Ιπτάμενη βόμβα
español: Fieseler Fi 103
Esperanto: V-1
فارسی: وی-۱
français: V1 (missile)
한국어: V-1 비행폭탄
hrvatski: Fieseler Fi 103
Bahasa Indonesia: V-1
עברית: V-1
ქართული: ფაუ-1
Lëtzebuergesch: Fieseler Fi 103
lietuvių: V-1
magyar: V–1
Bahasa Melayu: V-1 (bom terbang)
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဗွီ-၁ ဗုံးပျံ
Nederlands: V1 (wapen)
日本語: V1飛行爆弾
norsk: V1
occitan: V1
português: V-1
română: V-1
русский: Фау-1
Simple English: V-1 flying bomb
slovenčina: Fieseler Fi 103
српски / srpski: V-1 (летећа бомба)
suomi: V1-ohjus
svenska: V-1
Türkçe: V-1 füzesi
українська: Фау-1
Tiếng Việt: Bom bay V-1
中文: V-1火箭