ACAM has, for a number of years, had in it’s possession an example of the famous German WW II V-1 Flying Bomb. Commonly known as the “Doodle Bug” it is a display of an unusual memento of that major conflict.
The history of this particular V-1 is somewhat uncertain but is believed to have been brought back to Canada as a war prize and was, for many years, on display at the Stadacona Naval Base and then at the Halifax Citadel. Although it has several non-original components, and lacks some others, it is a very rare item and will add something very different to our overall displays.
At one point a visitor saw the item in storage and noted that the night she gave birth to her first son in London the section of the Hospital they were in was hit by one of these weapons. Both fortunately survived. To see it was an emotional experience for her and she encouraged us to maintain it as a future display.
The V-1 was propelled by a pulse-Jet engine at speeds in excess of 360 MPH. It carried a high explosive warhead of some 1800 lbs and has a range of some 150 miles. Launched from ramps by steam catapults over 9000 were fired at England.
The power unit was an Argus AsO14 Pulsejet (impulse thrust) engine with a net thrust of 530 lbs. It’s pulse rate of 4 per second apparently resulted in a very recognizable sound as it hopefully continued to fly on overhead.
Flight was controlled by a gyroscopic system with duration determined by amount of fuel. One method of bringing them down was to disturb the airflow over the wing by placing the wing of the defending fighter under the V-1’s wing sending it out of control. The Hawker Tempest was apparently fast enough to carry this out with most success. It must have been a somewhat touchy experience for the pilots.
One has to be impressed by it’s size being some 27 ft. 2 in. long with a wingspan of 18 ft. 7 in.
The completed V-1 will offer a display item which will be much appreciated by our visitors and offer a close-up exposure to one of the really unique weapons of World War II.
In the summer of 2005 the V-1 was painted and assembled under the CF-100 in the MacLoon Gallery. In the future markings will have to be applied to the V-1 to complete it.