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German V1 and V2 control systems and electronics discussion

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by schmitt trigger, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. schmitt trigger

    schmitt trigger Well-Known Member

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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?
     
  2. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I do not think we should discuss guidance systems for flying bombs here. There are too many crazy people who are waiting to read how the Germans did it then to do it again.
     
  3. schmitt trigger

    schmitt trigger Well-Known Member

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    Audioguru;
    we are not discussing detailed guidance systems here, only what sort of technology involved.... and besides, who would use mag-amps and mechanical inertial systems today?
    Most likely it would be a GPS module with an Arduino.
     
  4. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  5. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    The Wikipedia description for the V1 matches what I have read elsewhere but unfortunately didn't write down those sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb

    The British defensive technique of tipping the wings to disturb (tumble) the gyro is consistent with that description. You can read about tumbling a gyro here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attitude_indicator Search on "caging."

    As for the aspect of discussing guidance, no one today would consider a gyro-stabilized, swinging pendulum autopilot when you can get a much more sophisticated and GPS-accurate system at the hobby shop for $50.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  6. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    A complete set of drawings, schematic, pictures, and theory of operations for a V2 is of lessor value than what Schmitt Trigger said in the last 5 words.

    My neighbor's kids have flying machines that flys with precision, and deliver payloads. Crazy people have a guidance system, made in China, and delivered by ebay. No one is going to build a V2.
     
  7. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    SHHHHH! Don't let the crazies know about it.:rolleyes:
    When I was a kid I had a swinging pendulum that leveled my free flight model airplane and it was simple and worked well. I didn't kill anybody with it. The bombs I made were too heavy for my model airplane to carry, but most went up like rockets. My rockets all blew up.
     
  8. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  9. dr pepper

    dr pepper Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I know one thing about the V1, and this is as close as I can remember, the elevator was controlled pneumatically, air pressure was taken from the front of the weapon caused by its motion, this operated a cylinder connected to the elevator, when the control system decided to 'drop' to the target then the 2 rubber hoses to this cylinder were cut by a spring loaded shear, the elevator being spring loaded to a dive position made the weapon dive.

    I suspect the V1 and V2 were guided by an inertial guidance system using gyros, I dont know but maybe the V1 used pneumatic control valves mechanically connected to the gyro's for flight stabilisation, navigation is another story, there may not have even been any, just point & go.
     
  10. Musicmanager

    Musicmanager Active Member

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    Where in the world are you ? Anywhere near IWM at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK ?

    They have a quite elaborate display of V1 & V2 production, including launch ramps & platforms but more importantly a cut- away sectioned V1 with a great deal of technical data attached to it.
    Most of it floated over my head at the time but now, I'd welcome a second look .. .. .. .. .

    S
     
  11. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Well-Known Member

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    The one think I remember about them (V1) is you were OK as long as you could hear it, if you heard the motor cut, run for cover.:nailbiting:
    Max.
     
  12. dr pepper

    dr pepper Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I spose summizing my previous comments I was implying there are no electronics at all.
    My grandparents used to refer to the V1 as 'doodlebugs'.
     
  13. dknguyen

    dknguyen Well-Known Member

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    Not even vacuum tubes? Crazy. Even artillery shells had those.
     
  14. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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  15. schmitt trigger

    schmitt trigger Well-Known Member

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    Music manager: Unfortunately nowhere near. I'm in the US.
    The only IWM I've visited is London's. Duxford looks very interesting, from their website.
     
  16. Musicmanager

    Musicmanager Active Member

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    That's a shame !
    Duxford has expanded a lot in the last few years .. .. some really impressive stuff now.

    You'll just have to get on a plane .. ..

    S
     
  17. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Well-Known Member

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    I used to see the Spitfires chasing them, every school boy at that time could identify any type of aircraft, friend or foe, often just by the sound of the engines.
    Max.
     
  18. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    A Spitfire using its wingtip to "topple" a V-1. BRAVE! Later the pilots learned of you fly ahead and to one side the V1/2 will drift off course.
    upload_2018-1-12_16-34-50.png
    Another thought; the V1, V2 used up valuable aluminum and parts. I can't remember the numbers but I think 2 or 3 flying bombs used up enough resources to build a fighter.
     
  19. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I suspect the V1 did not use up much aluminum (its wings were plywood), the V2 might have. But, I have nothing to cite for that. I had the opportunity in the late 70's to visit the technical/science museum in Munich. Quite amazing. Spent a whole day there and could have spent even more. There were real V1 and V2 exhibits. One of the most fascinating things to me was the construction of the ribs and bulkheads for the dirigibles -- they were made from an enormous number of very small parts with lots of small rivets. They were not formed as today we would form wing ribs and such.

    As for the RAF in the Battle of Britain, no one questions the bravery it took.
     
  20. schmitt trigger

    schmitt trigger Well-Known Member

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    Is that the same museum which has functional Tiger and Leopard tanks?
     
  21. MaxHeadRoom78

    MaxHeadRoom78 Well-Known Member

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    The V1 and V2 were completely different animals, the V2 was a true ballistic missile rocket, over 3000+miles/hr, as opposed to the 300+m/hr for the V1.
    Max.
     
  22. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I always wonder about WWII technology. I've always assumed that anything they accomplished in 1945 I could now do in my shed. The (mechanical I assume) guidance systems of the V2 however would still be a challenge. Also, Uranium enrichment is still a challenge for nations with huge budgets. There were some clever guys back then.

    Mike.
     

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