A 1945 Republic Aircraft-Ford JB-2 Loon "Buzz Bomb",
a rare example of a WWII Jet Bomb and one of the first American self-guided weapons. The technology would form the basis of postwar rocket development. Nicely restored display piece.
The United States had discovered the existence of the top secret German V-1 when a unit crashed in Sweden in 1942. A detailed analysis of the wreck was made and in 1943 the US decided to begin the development of a similar Jet Bomb.
The advantage of the self-flown and self-guided bomb was obvious. It could inflict huge damages with almost no risk of lives to the operating side. The Germans exploited the weapon and unleashed huge damages with zero harm to their forces.
A contract to produce the JB-1 (Jet Bomb) was given to Northrup Aircraft in July 1944. The Northrup design was complex and a team at Wright Field were simultaneously reverse-engineering a German V-2 pulse jet engine. This design system would be the basis for the JB-2 Loon and it would replace the unsuccessful JB-1 design.
There were 1,391 Jb-2s built by Willys Overland (on subcontract from Republic Aircraft) and The Ford Motor Company produced the power plants. Ultimately the machines were too late to contribute to the War effort, but the development was still considered a technological success which laid the groundwork for many important projects.
The JB-2 Loon offered here from the Cox Collection has been restored for display purposes. The case, though authentic, does not contain the pulse jet engine or any of its guidance systems. The machine does show exceptionally well and makes a stunning display of this groundbreaking machine. The wings easily remove making transport relatively simple.
Historically the JB-2 Loon has enormous significance as much of its technology would be the basis for the American Space Race that would dominate the postwar era. With the increased use of drone warfare today, this JB-2 can be seen as one of the earliest American uses of such technology.
This lot is presently at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, Long Island, New York. For information regarding viewing times and collection, please consult the department.
Offered on a Bill of Sale.