Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg
SS officer Otto Skorzeny is credited with the idea of a piloted version of the Argus pulsejet-powered Fieseler Fi 103 V-1 flying bomb able to make precision attacks, and design began before the first unguided V-1s fell on London in June 1944. To study why many test V-1s crashed soon after launch an earlier piloted version was tested. Two pilots were injured before famed woman test pilot Hanna Reitsch confirmed that the engine noise was vibrating the airframe off course.
Proposals were made to launch the manned bomb from beneath a carrier aircraft. On operations the piloted flying bomb would have been carried and launched in pairs from modified Heinkel He 111 bombers.
A total of about 175 piloted Fi 103Rs (Reichenberg being the oper-ational codename covering the project) were completed: the R-I, R-II and R-III were test and training versions, and the R-IV was intended for oper-ational use. The Reichenberg IV had only basic instrumentation and could supposedly be flown after minimal training training. The cockpit had only four instruments. Testing was undertaken by Rechlin pilots but after two had crashed development flying was taken over by DFS test pilots Hanna Reitsch and Heinz Kensche. Handling in the air was fairly straightforward but landing was extremely tricky owing to the rudimentary control provided and the very high landing speed.
The 100 volunteers who signed up to fly the bombs were known unofficially as 'Selbstopfermaenner' or 'Self-sacrifice Men' for special unit KG 200, but none were actually used operationally and development stopped in October 1944.
Powerplant: one 350-kg (772-1b) thrust Argus 109-014 pulsejet.
Max powered level speed 650 kph (404 mph) at sea level
Endurance (limited by pulsejet life) 20 min.
Weight: at launch 2180 kg (4,806 lb).
Wing span: 5.715 m (18 ft 9 in)
Length 8.00 m (26 ft 3 in)
Height: 1.42 m / 4 ft 8 in
Maximum fuselage diameter 0.838 m (2 ft 9 in)
Warhead: 850 kg (1,874 lb).