May 9, 2014

Godwin's Rocket: Grandpa Drone Goes On Sale at Bonhams


Is it just me or is a lot of stuff going on around here starting to resemble Nazi Germany at the height of the Marxist Leninest Stalinist Maoist Cultural Revolution led by Idi Amin in pants with sharp creases?

Bonhams : A 1945 Republic Aircraft-Ford JB-2 Loon "Buzz Bomb": A rare example of a WWII Jet Bomb and one of the first American self-guided weapons. The technology would form the basis of postwar rocket development. Nicely restored display piece. The United States had discovered the existence of the top secret German V-1 when a unit crashed in Sweden in 1942. A detailed analysis of the wreck was made and in 1943 the US decided to begin the development of a similar Jet Bomb. The advantage of the self-flown and self-guided bomb was obvious. It could inflict huge damages with almost no risk of lives to the operating side. The Germans exploited the weapon and unleashed huge damages with zero harm to their forces.

A contract to produce the JB-1 (Jet Bomb) was given to Northrup Aircraft in July 1944. The Northrup design was complex and a team at Wright Field were simultaneously reverse-engineering a German V-2 pulse jet engine. This design system would be the basis for the JB-2 Loon and it would replace the unsuccessful JB-1 design.

There were 1,391 Jb-2s built by Willys Overland (on subcontract from Republic Aircraft) and The Ford Motor Company produced the power plants. Ultimately the machines were too late to contribute to the War effort, but the development was still considered a technological success which laid the groundwork for many important projects.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 9, 2014 8:53 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

German V-2 pulse jet engine. ????

Posted by: chuck at May 9, 2014 9:51 AM

"The Northrup design was complex and a team at Wright Field were simultaneously reverse-engineering a German V-2 pulse jet engine."

That would be a V-1. The V-1 was an air breathing jet engine powered aircraft. The V-2 was a rocket powered ballistic missile.

Posted by: Fat Man at May 9, 2014 11:32 AM

If I had that I'd install it on the front porch, opposite the B-29 belly turret, flanking the front door.

Posted by: ghostsniper at May 9, 2014 8:28 PM

If you took that to your local field where everyone else flies their models and launched it, bragging rights would last the rest of your life.

Posted by: Mike James at May 10, 2014 12:02 PM