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German V1 and V2 control systems and electronics discussion

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schmitt trigger

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I've always been fascinated by the technology developed during WW2, too numerous to list here.
But a pair of those specifically interest me: the Vergeltungswaffen 1 and 2 flying bombs.

This is not a political nor historical forum, so I won't entertain discussions about the effectivity as weapons, or whether an earlier development would have helped Germany win the Blitz. Or about the morality of its deployment. Or the effect on British morale. Those are speculations, and other forums are ablaze with related discussions. You are welcome to join the fray.

Rather, since this is a technical forum, let's focus on the technical aspects of these fascinating weapons.
Now, there is plenty of information on the web, books and museums about those aspects, but they tend to focus on the propulsion systems.

Don't get me wrong...the propulsion systems were revolutionary, and in the case of the V2, it helped launch the space age.

But too little is discussed about their control and electronics systems. In a sense, those systems allowed them to become the world's first mass-produced autonomous robotic weapons.
So those systems were also revolutionary. True, they were primitive and very inaccurate, but it helped that London back then was already a huge urban sprawl and not very far inland.

Unfortunately, I've been able to find precious little information, and I'm not sure that it is all correct.

I know that both weapons used fuel cutoff to determine where they would fall. The V1 used a clock, and the V2 used an inertial system for the purpose.
But how about guidance? I know that the weapons had to be aimed in the general direction of London, but were there any mid-flight corrections?
I would assume that the V2 would use ballistic trajectories to complete its final leg, but how about the V1? How did they kept a level flight, how did they do course correction due to winds?

Also...were the controls electronic, mechanic, hydraulic?

And I've read that the V1 was the first to use mag-amps as their control devices. Is this correct?
 

schmitt trigger

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Can't read Russian, but from the figure, it confirms what German website, where it mentioned that gyros were involved for guidance.
On the V1, those gyros were powered by compressed air.
 

Kajunbee

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Wikipedia has a decent amount of information on the "v1 guidance system." To much for me to post here.
 

Kajunbee

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I also came across a YouTube video titled
" German v1 flying rocket instructional video". If you haven't seen it already it may be worth a look.
 

schmitt trigger

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Thanks!
As a matter of fact, there are lots of videos.

I had checked Youtube about a year ago, but apparently there a bunch of newer videos have been uploaded since I last checked.

- - - Updated - - -

BTW;
an interesting website mapping the V2 hits in south England, including London.

https://londonist.com/2009/01/london_v2_rocket_sitesmapped
 
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Kajunbee

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Most notable to me is the way that some RAF pilots would deal with the v1. They would sometimes fly alongside the v1 and put there wing under its wing and tip them. The guidance system couldn't correct for this abrupt change and they would go down. A later technique was to fly just in front of them to create turbulence. Some would even attempt it at night when all they could see was the flame coming from the pulse engine. They must have had balls as big as grapefruits back in those days. I haven't found a reason why they would use this technique instead of shooting them down. Guess I'll have to do some more research.
 

Nik_2213

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IIRC, shooting a V1 so that it exploded often meant the pilot flew though that large explosion. Aircraft emerged the worse for wear, often up-side down.

Also, IIRC, given its compact size, a V1 was a difficult gun target. Running out of ammunition so having to let that one and possibly several more go on their lethal way must have rankled...
 
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