Project Aphrodite

B-17F Formation

A group of B-17F on their way to the target, somewhere in Europe. The most of them, who servive these mission, would scrachted and only a handfull cames once for honour job without return - "Project Aphrodite".

In June the Englishmen had gotten accustomed already by roaring aircraft engines from their sleep to be torn. Also the play of a diving or exploding or coming up in flames airplane was not an unusual event in East Anglia of the yearly 1944. When however in the sunny afternoon of 4 August a Boeing B-17 fell into a forest, the explosion exceeded nevertheless enormously the used framework. Even if the detonation were moderated by numerous oaks something, then nevertheless three road workers still lost their hearing at considerable distance.

At the crash place arrivals a crater of approximately 30 meters of diameters and trunks of attained full growth oaks was offered lay around periphery by 60 meters scattered. Of the B-17 were only metal fragments present, the largest of it the cylinders of the engines.

The heat developed with the explosion had melted a large part of the metal. Not amazingly, because with this machine it probably concerned not a normal B-17 with a bomb charge of 4.000 lbs (1,814 kg), but around the deadliest missile, which had ever come down over Great Britain. This and three further equal equipped bombers formed the opening salvo in the context of an experiment with remote-controlled weapons - designated after the Greek goddess of the love: "Project Aphrodite".

On 13 June the Germans of launch pads in Pas de Calais began their offensive out with the "flying bomb" Fieseler Fi 103 (V-1) against London. With the V-1 did not act it actually around particularly an unmanned, again usable airplane designed for carrying a warhead with Pulsostrahlahntrieb. This forerunner of the today's cruise missiles was a result of the 1928 of the aerodynamicist Paul Schmidt research work begun at jet propulsion.

The project ran under the pseudonym FZG 76; the missile received the designation Fi 103 and the weapon became from Goebbels' propaganda machinery V-1 (that's means retaliation weapon 1) baptized. With the poeple of London it was designated after their first hit on 13 June 1944 because of their unmistakable sound as "Doodlebug".