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Thread: The sound of a V-1 rocket

  1. #1
    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    The sound of a V-1 rocket

    This sent chills up my spine...

    http://tempest.nerdnet.nl/v1.wav

    Could you imagine working in your garden or walking down a city sidewalk and hearing this sound in the distance as it gets closer and closer, and then hearing the abrupt silence, not knowing where exactly the impact will be? Nerve wracking!

  2. #2
    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AccutaneT View Post
    Sorry, what you mean?
    The V-1 rocket was used by Germany to hit targets in England during WWII. It was of little strategic value as it turned out, but was an effective weapon of terror. Using a pulse jet engine, the V-1 used a simple autopilot, gyrocompass, and gyroscope to head for a target. A unique wind-driven odometer was used to arm the warhead after the rocket had traveled the correct distance, which additionally shut off the pulse jet and locked the controls in a steep dive. People could hear the rocket coming, and when the engine quit, they would know it was going to hit soon. When you listen to the audio file at the link, you can hear the pulse jet "buzzing" and then the sudden stop as the warhead is armed, followed by a few seconds of silence and then the explosion.

  3. #3

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    The British used to stage artillery and Mosquitoes at Dover to shoot down those "buzz bombs". The real terror occurred as your ear followed the sound and then the sound stopped all of the sudden. Then you knew it was falling from the sky and about to impact.

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    MEdwards's Avatar
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    Zack, where did that audio file come from? Is it an authentic recording from WWII? The pitch was lower than I'd expected, since I'd heard it was a "buzz." But that could be an artifact of a 1940's recording. Really fascinating. Deserves a place in the Eagle Hangar.

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    Zack, I haven't seen it , but Jerry Yagan says he has a genuine V1 plane or bomb o what ever it is called. It was captured by the Allies at the end of the war, intact and complete, I think from a factory, not sure of the details.

    He says they have actually run the engine, but of course not flown it.

    As a weapon it created some terror,but not much else since it had no method of aiming it. Thus there wasn't any way of directing it against a specific target.
    Some of the faster fighters could shoot them down, and did.

    The V2 was a different matter and we are lucky they did not come along earlier in the war.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 06-18-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  6. #6
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    The Flying Heritage Collection (Paul Allen's group) has a "regular" V-1 as well as the piloted Reichenberg variant on display. They were planning on restoring one of these engines to running condition as well, but I'm not sure where that ended up. I was last there when I lived in the area a few years ago, and, if I remember right, I got this info from one of the restoration guys when they were still at their previous location a while before that.

    And Bill - amen on the V2. The Deutsches Museum in Munich has one on display with a spiral staircase wrapped around it - absolutely chilling.

    Hal Bryan
    EAA #638979
    Online Community Manager
    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  7. #7

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    Sound of a V-1 jet, not a rocket

    Videos with sound of Argus (V-1) pulse jets running are available on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8Q9oAPrvZo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdwbp6R2qM8
    And Zack, the warhead arming did not cut the engine, that was a design flaw. Its terminal dive was supposed to be a power dive but the negative gs at push over uncovered the fuel inlet. The Germans eventually found and corrected that problem.

  8. #8

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    I had nearly forgotten how it sounded. I heard several when I was a kid and still have the scar to prove it. I tore my leg open going through barbed wire fence. The V2 was a failure as a weapon of terror as there was no incoming noise, just a big bang. All this was a follow on from the blitz, which left us sitting in shelters every night, wondering if we would see the morning.

  9. #9
    gmatejcek's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, there are a surprizing number of V-1's and US built JB-2's on display hither and yon. The oddest I've come across personally are a JB-2 in front of an American Legion or VFW post and an original V-1 on a large concrete V - shaped base in front of a rural county court house. Field pieces, statues of doughboys, bronze bells, all that stuff is pretty normal. But a genuine buzz bomb, an actual terror weapon as used against us on display in front of in Indiana court house... well... that is somewhere between odd and surreal.

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