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STEVEN J. ZALOGA, illustrated by JIM LAURIER
V-1 FLYING BOMB. 1942-52. HITLER'S INFAMOUS "DOODLEBUG"

Besides the Chelomey missile program, in October 1945 the Soviet- controlled Junkers plant at Dessau in Soviet-occupied Germany was assigned to develop a piloted attack fighter version of the V-1, called the EF-126. A total of five pilots were completed in 1946, and glide tests began in May 1946. The definitive production version would be armed with a pair of 20mm cannon and a new Jumo 226 jet engine. The second test flight on May 21st, 1946 resulted in a crash which killed the German lest pilot. The remaining prototypes along with pilot versions of the Jumo 226 engine were sent to the Soviet Union, but the program was soon abandoned.

The Soviet EF-126 attack aircraft. (Author)

Other V-1 copies

Of the major powers, Britain never manufactured a copy of the V-1, though the Red Rapier cruise missile program of 1950 was certainly inspired by it. Therefore the only other air force to copy the V-1 in any significant numbers was the French. Arsenal de l'Aéronautique in Châtillon began work on a V-1 copy in 1947, It was not intended as a cruise missile, but rather as a jet-powered target drone for use with new air-to-air missiles that the firm was designing. Designated as CT 10, the first trials of the drone were completed in April 1949. It was actually smaller than the V-1, and used twin rudders like the original German Erfurt proposal. CT 10 could be launched from a ground ramp using solid rocket-assisted take-off, or from aircraft such as the Leo 451 medium bomber. About 400 were manufactured and some were sold to Britain and the United States.

This illustration shows the typical stenciling on the V-1. Usually, the stencils were in white on the green upper surfaces and black on the light blue undersurfaces. (Author)

COLOR PLATE COMMENTARY

A1: FI-103 V-ZELLEN, PEENEMÜNDE, SPRING 1943

Test missiles were often painted in bright colors to assist in visual tracking. Originally, they were painted in overall yellow, but this switched to bisected yellow and black which made it easier to see if a missile flipped on to its back. The Argus engine was left in its original unpainted steel finish. The serial number was painted on the tail, in this case, 91 for V91.

A2: FI-103 M-ZELLEN, LEHR-UND-ERPROBUNGSKOMMANDO WACHTEL, PEENEMÜNDE, FALL 1943

The pre-series M-zellen missiles were finished in a relatively neat scheme of RLM 71 (The Reichsluftministerium - German Air Ministry - had an official series of numbered designations for paint colors, prefixed "RLM") dark green over RLM 65 light blue. The serial number was applied to the tail in white.

A3: FI-103RE.3 REICHENBERG TRAINER, RECHLIN TEST ESTABLISHMENT, FEBRUARY 1945

The few photos that exist of these trainers show them to be in a fairly neat finish. On August 15th, 1944, the RLM ordered the withdrawal of RLM 65, substituting three new greens after existing paint was exhausted at the factories. Bombers retained the RLM 65 light blue, which also affected Fi-103. The results were not that noticeable on the V-1 as most surviving examples seem to show the use of RLM 71 dark green or the similar RLM 83.

B: DIVER DOWN! LONDON, AUGUST 1944

This scene depicts one of the duels between the Doodlebugs and RAF Tempests. In some circumstances, such as when they had run out of ammunition, fighter pilots would position one of their wingtips under the Doodlebug wing, and then bank sharply, the slipstream causing the V-1 to tumble out of control as is seen here.

C: FI-103A-1, FLAK REGIMENT 155 (W), SUMMER 1944

Many of the FZG-76 missiles used in the summer of 1944 had a very motley finish as little care was taken in applying paint on a cheap, expendable weapon. In addition, the missile was assembled from components coming from different plants, so the camouflage schemes on the all the parts did not match. The base color was the usual RLM 65 light blue over which RLM 71 dark green was sprayed in irregular patterns. The wing and tail surfaces as well as the spine of the engine tended to have a more solid finish of dark green. Missiles with Trialen enhanced blast warheads sometimes had a large red X painted on either side of the warhead casing as seen here.

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