AUTOPILOT UNIT FROM A GERMAN V1 FLYING BOMB.
Contained in a black metal housing with various electrical and hydraulic connections around lower edges. A transparent plastic window covers a control dial with altitude adjustment. Includes possibly original unmarked cardboard box with packing material and string closure. Shows no significant signs of wear, but with adhesive tape residue on casing and corrosion of exposed metal parts. Exterior box worn, with tape reinforcements. Approximately 12 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches. Provenance: Found in 1944 in an armaments factory by a US Naval Intelligence Officer.
WITH: ENGLEMANN, JOACHIM, V1 The Flying Bomb, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History Books, 1992.
A fine and rare unused example of the V1 autopilot mechanism. Developed by the German Luftwaffe to attack Britain from across the channel, The V1 flying bomb was an early unmanned jet-powered cruise missile. The first V1 was launched after the allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. By the time the last launch site was overrun in March 1945, 2,448 of the missiles had been launched at allied targets in Britain and Belgium. The V1 utilized an autopilot that consisted of three air-driven gyros which controlled the elevators and rudder through pneumatic servos. This unit was connected electronically to a compass in the nose to detect changes in heading. The dial controls on the autopilot allowed the flight altitude to be set before launch. A timing device determined when to cut off the pulse-jet motor and commence a dive to a target. The missile could not be directed to a specific location, but rather fell randomly into an urban area.