Debut: June 2016



.: David Hutchinson's Fieseler V-1 (Fi 103)





Modelling Time:

3 hrs

PE/Resin Detail:



"I tried to use the salt technique to show wear & tear on the trolly, first go using this method."

V-1 flying bomb

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Buzzbomb" redirects here. For the song by the Dead Kennedys, see Buzzbomb (song). For other uses, see V1 (disambiguation).
V-1 flying bomb
Fieseler Fi 103
Flakzielgerät 76 (FZG-76)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1975-117-26, Marschflugkörper V1 vor Start.jpg
Type Guided missile
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1944–1945
Used by Luftwaffe
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Robert Lusser
Manufacturer Fieseler
Unit cost 5,090 RM[1]
Weight 2,150 kg (4,740 lb)
Length 8.32 m (27.3 ft)
Width 5.37 m (17.6 ft)
Height 1.42 m (4 ft 8 in)

Warhead Amatol-39
Warhead weight 850 kg (1,870 lb)

Engine Argus As 109-014 Pulsejet
250 km (160 mi)[2]
Speed 640 km/h (400 mph) flying between 600 to 900 m (2,000 to 3,000 ft)
Gyrocompass based autopilot

The V-1 flying bomb (GermanVergeltungswaffe 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 earlypulsejet-powered cruise missile, the very first production aircraft of any type to use a pulsejet for power.

The V-1 was developed at Peenemünde Army Research Center by the Nazi German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. During initial development it was known by the codename "Cherry Stone". The first of the so-called Vergeltungswaffen series designed for terror bombing of London, the V-1 was 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 its 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 when the last launch site 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 Flugzeugwerketo 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 with 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, 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]


V-1 cutaway

The V-1 was designed under the codename Kirschkern (cherry stone)[10] by Lusser and Gosslau, with a fuselage constructed mainly of welded sheet steel and wings built of plywood. The simple, Argus-built pulsejet engine pulsed 50 times per second,[2] and the characteristic buzzing sound gave rise to the colloquial names "buzz bomb" or "doodlebug" (a common name for a wide variety of flying insects). It was known briefly in Germany (on Hitler's orders) as Maikäfer (May bug) and Krähe (crow).[11]

Power plant

Main article: Argus As 014

Ignition of the Argus pulsejet was accomplished using an automotive type spark plug located about 76 cm (2.49 ft) behind the intake shutters, with current supplied from a portable starting unit. Three air nozzles in the front of the pulsejet were at the same time connected to an external high-pressure air source that was used to start the engine. Acetylene gas was typically used for starting the engine, and very often a panel of wood or similar material was held across the end of the tailpipe to prevent the fuel from diffusing and escaping before ignition.The V-1 was fuelled by 625 l (165 US gal) of 75 octane gasoline.

Once the engine had been started and the temperature had risen to the minimum operating level, the external air hose and connectors were removed and the engine's resonant design kept it firing without any further need for the electrical ignition system, which was used only to ignite the engine when starting.

Rear view of V-1 in IWM Duxfordshowing launch ramp section

The Argus As 014 (also known as a resonant jet) could operate at zero airspeed because of the nature of its intake shutters and its acoustically tuned resonant combustion chamber. However, because of the low static thrust of the pulse jet engine and the very high stall speed of the small wings, the V-1 could not take off under its own power in a practically short distance, and thus needed to be ground-launched by aircraft catapult or air-launched from a modified bomber aircraft such as a Heinkel He-111. Ground-launched V-1s were typically propelled up an inclined launch ramp by an apparatus known as a Dampferzeuger ("steam generator"), which reacted stabilizedhydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate (T-Stoff and Z-Stoff),[12] the same combination of chemicals used as propellants for the Walter HWK 109-500 Starthilfe RATO rocket booster unit. Ramp-launch velocity for an operational V-1 was 580 km/h (360 mph) as it left the end of the launch ramp.

Beginning in January 1941, the V-1's pulsejet engine was also tested on a variety of craft, including automobiles[13] and an experimental attack boat known as the "Tornado". The unsuccessful prototype was a version of aSprengboot, in which a boat loaded with explosives was steered towards a target ship and the pilot would leap out of the back at the last moment. The Tornado was assembled from surplus seaplane hulls connected incatamaran fashion with a small pilot cabin on the crossbeams. The Tornado prototype was a noisy underperformer and was abandoned in favour of more conventional piston engined craft.

The engine made its first flight aboard a Gotha Go 145 on 30 April 1941.[13]


Click on each image for a closer look

Box art:

------>> Guidance system

A V-1 on display in Musée de l'Armée
A reconstructed starting ramp for V-1 flying bombs, Historical Technical Museum, Peenemünde (2009)

The V-1 guidance system used a simple autopilot developed by Askania in Berlin to regulate altitude and airspeed[10] (the RLM at first planned to use a radio control system with the V-1 for precision attacks, but the government decided instead to use the missile against London).[14] A weighted pendulum system provided fore-and-aft attitude measurement to control pitch (damped by a gyrocompass, which it also stabilized). Operating power for the gyroscope platform and the flight-control actuators was provided by two large spherical compressed air tanks that also pressurized the fuel tank. These air tanks were charged to 150 atm (15,199 kPa)(2,204psi) before launch. With the counter determining how far the missile would fly, it was only necessary to launch the V-1 with the ramp pointing in the approximate direction, and the autopilot controlled the flight.

There was a more sophisticated interaction between yawroll and other sensors: a gyrocompass (set by swinging in a hangar before launch) gave feedback to control the dynamics of pitch and roll, but it was angled away from the horizontal so that controlling these degrees of freedom interacted: the gyroscope remained true on the basis of feedback received from a magnetic compass,[citation needed] and from the fore and aft pendulum. This interaction meant that rudder control was sufficient for steering and no banking mechanism was needed. In a V-1 that landed in March 1945 between Tilburg and Goirle, Netherlands, without detonating, several rolled issues of the German wartime propaganda magazine Signal were found inserted into the left wing's tubular steel spar, used for weight to preset the missile's static equilibrium before launching. Several of the earliest V-1s to be launched were provided with a small radio transmitter (using a triode valve marked 'S3' but equivalent to a then-current power valve, type RL 2,4T1) to check the general direction of flight related to the launching place's and the target's grid coordinates by radio bearing (navigation).

An odometer driven by a vane anemometer on the nose determined when the target area had been reached, accurately enough for area bombing. Before launch, the counter was set to a value that would reach zero upon arrival at the target in the prevailing wind conditions. As the missile flew, the airflow turned the propeller, and every 30 rotations of the propeller counted down one number on the counter. This counter triggered the arming of the warhead after about 60 km (37 mi).[15] When the count reached zero, two detonating bolts were fired. Two spoilers on the elevator were released, the linkage between the elevator and servo was jammed and a guillotinedevice cut off the control hoses to the rudder servo, setting the rudder in neutral. These actions put the V-1 into a steep dive.[16][17] While this was originally intended to be a power dive, in practice the dive caused the fuel flow to cease, which stopped the engine. The sudden silence after the buzzing alerted listeners of the impending impact. The fuel problem was quickly fixed, and when the last V-1s fell, the majority hit with power.

Initially, V-1s landed within a circle 19 miles in diameter, but by the end of the war, accuracy had been improved to about 7 miles, which was comparable to the V-2 rocket.[18]

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