Aircraft Wiki

The V-1 flying bomb (Fieseler Fi 103) was an early Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and a predecessor to the cruise missile. It was developed by the German Luftwaffe during World War II and manufactured by Fieseler.



Cutaway of a V-1.

The V-1's fuselage consisted mostly of welded sheet steel with wings built of lightweight plywood. The Argus As 109-014 pulse jet engine pulsed 50 times per second, creating a buzzing sound that lead to its nicknames the "buzz bomb" and "doodlebug."

Its guidance system used a simple gyrocompass-based autopilot that regulated its altitude and airspeed, with a weighted pendulum system to control pitch. It had an operating range of 250km and a top speed of 640 km/h.

V-1s were generally launched from the ground via inclined ramps.


Another variation, the F-1, had a higher operating range due to its much larger fuel compartment and plywood, rather than steel, nosecone.

An air-launched variation of the V-1 also existed, but had an extremely high failure rate (40%).


  • Length: 8.32m
  • Wingspan: 5.37m
  • Range: 250km
  • Maximum Speed: 640km/h
  • Weight: 2,150kg
  • Warhead: 850kg Amatol-39