Fieseler Fi 103R Reichenberg


Place in history: Late in the war, several piloted V-1s were built. The plan was that a pilot would guide the missile into position close to its target and bail out at the last moment. It was essentially a suicide mission, as it would have been very difficult to open the canopy against the wind resistance and in the unlikely event that the pilot was able to climb out he would have undoubtedly have been sucked into the intake of the engine. This manned missile killed several pilots during landing in flight tests. All of the Reichenbergs were air-launched from planes, unlike the unmanned V-1s that were mostly fired from ground-based catapult ramps. The war ended before Germany could use the Reichenberg in combat.