First of the so-called Vengeance Weapons, the Fieseler Fi 103 was designated the V-1 (Vengeance Weapon 1) by Adolf Hitler. Compared to the contemporary V-2 ballistic missile, it was a simple device: fuselage, wings, and a tail- mounted Argus Pulse Jet. The limited guidance was provided by a Siemens autopilot. Launched from fixed ramps or dropped from Heinkel He 111 aircraft, the V-1 traveled at speeds of 497 mph and had a rage of 150 miles.
Germany fired 10,000 V-1 bombs, also known as "Buzz Bombs" or "Doodlebugs," on southern England from the Pas-de-Calais in France. Over 4,600 were destroyed by anti-aircraft fire or by RAF fighters such as the Hawker Tempest or the Gloster Meteor. It is estimated that over six thousand people were killed by the remaining approximately 3,900 V-1s that found their targets in London and the surrounding area.
Targeting of the V-1 was not a precision process. The weapon could be aimed and kept on course in a straight line -- subject to prevailing winds. Distance was controlled by a propeller on the nose of the aircraft which turned an internal clockwork. After a programmed number of turns, the fuel to the engine was cut off and the weapon fell to earth.
After the war, captured V-1s were studied and copied by the Allies. The V-1 on display at Planes of Fame Air Museum is actually a "JB-2 Loon" guided missile manufactured by Republic Aircraft Company in the U.S., as are most of the "V-1 s'' on display in air museums.
Manufacturer: Gerhard Fieseler Werke
Year: 1945 (Replica built by Republic Ford as JB-2 Loon.)
Model: Fi 103 Buzz Bomb (or V-1 Buzz Bomb)
Max T/O Weight: 4,750 lb.
Span: 17 ft. 7 in.
Length: 27 ft. 4 in.
Height: 4 ft. 8 in.
Maximum Speed: 410 mph
Cruise Speed: 410 mph
Rate of Climb: N/A
Power Plant: 1 × Argus As 014 pulsejet engine, 660 lb. thrust