Quick Facts

V-1 Flying Bomb

The Doodlebug


On loan from the Smithsonian Institution

Location: Flight Innovation Center

Did You Know?

  • The V-1 flying bomb was developed by the German Luftwaffe during World War II.
  • These unmanned missiles became known as terror weapons and were most noted for being launched from German-occupied France and Holland towards London, Antwerp, and Paris during the later stages of World War II.
  • These were also known as the "Buzz Bomb" or "Doodlebug."
  • The V-1's guidance system used a simple autopilot to regulate altitude and airspeed. A weighted pendulum system provided fore-and-aft attitude measurement to control pitch. Two large spherical compressed air tanks, which also pressurized the fuel tank, provided operating power for the gyroscope platform and the flight control actuators. 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.